The Audi Future Factory – bringing the future forward
The Audi Future Factory – words that may well conjure up images the likes of which might have in the past only been seen in a film. But are flying, driverless, remote-controlled, uber-intelligent, conversing and cognitive cars are no longer to be realised only in the mind of science fiction writers, but in reality?
The Future Factory is made up of a team of specially skilled engineers working together in Audi’s Ingolstadt base. Felix Schwabe, Alois Brandt and Fabian Rusitschka are the masterminds behind the Future Factory and along with their colleagues are creating and conceptualising weird and wonderful things on the factory floor.
So, what exactly will you find at the Future Factory? Let’s start with robots! These artificially intelligent super ‘bots will work hand-in-hand with Audi’s staff, mainly performing repetitive tasks and acting as assistants.
there’s no need to worry about robots replacing humans, as Dr. Hubert Waltl who
stands on Audi’s Board of Management for Production explains, robots “will
become more connected, more intelligent and more efficient. At the same time,
our employees will continue to be the drivers of successful production.”
everything will be communicating with everything else, it makes sense that this
data will need to be managed from somewhere. Even without any new scientific
advancements, Audi data as it stands is already so large it’s impossible to
manage. For example, every single fitting station uses up one gigabyte of data
per day, just in documenting that it has correctly positioned all its
fasteners. So, as technology advances and individualisation is implemented, the
size and complexity of how it can be processed is unfathomable. That’s where
the ‘The Tower’ will be utilised. The tower will dictate workflow and keep tabs
on production, not just through information and technology systems, but also
physically, by putting humans in the middle of the action with a panoramic
view. Being able to see where problems may be occurring from the vantage point
of the tower will mean they will be solved in speedier and more efficient
manner – sometimes it’s the simple things that work best!