India’s number one utility vehicle manufacturer, Mahindra & Mahindra, uses a proven strategic project approach for precision manufacturing.
Automotive manufacturers need strategic partners to guide them through the entire process of concept, planning, design, assembly and manufacturing to maximise productivity gains. While technology and optimal utilisation of assets have a bearing on lifecycle costs (including capex and opex), the real productivity gains are earned through an integrated automation approach.
Mahindra & Mahindra has built industry-leading vehicles that are known for their reliability, affordability and fuel efficiency through its focus on manufacturing excellence, technological superiority and differentiated products. The business challenges faced, by Mahindra & Mahindra, were myriad viz. growing global competition, reducing time-to-market, accelerating production ramp-up to meet increasing demand and managing a flexible production line to accommodate vehicle customization. It identified that one of the keys to success was precision and consistency in manufacturing, following the ‘first time right’ approach.
Combining its deep industry expertise with experience in delivering the latest automation solutions, Siemens provided a holistic solution across the entire value chain from design, planning, engineering, execution & services. This included design and software solutions for product lifecycle management (PLM), Siemens Technology for Powertrain (STP) and integrated automation. For powertrain, the solution included SINUMERIK, SINAMICS, SIMOTICS and SIMATIC controls and drives as well as CNC and PLC-controlled machines that are linked via a Profinet interface. As a strategic project partner, Siemens also provided solutions to optimise life cycle costs viz knowledge management, troubleshooting packages and training to help Mahindra achieve their project management objectives.
Siemens implemented a proven concept that is aimed at automating production and assembly of engines, axles and transmission. In this approach, the project team develops the desired automation solution, including the communications, software, engineering, training, spare parts and service, that are tailored to the respective production areas and to the specific project requirements.
Morever the automation solutions provided by Siemens is integrated into the “Poka-Yoke” manufacturing philosophy of Mahindra that helps an equipment operator avoid mistakes. Its purpose is to eliminate product defects by preventing, correcting, or drawing attention to human errors as they occur.
Standardization was achieved both at the concept level and system level, based on international standards. Mahindra & Mahindra also uses Teamcenter software for PLM), NX software for some of the powertrain product design, and Tecnomatix software for digital manufacturing.
The digitalised platform, Mahindra Product Development System, is a flexible system that could quickly translate market requirements into a viable vehicle platform, increasing the number of product launches, reducing time taken for new product launches, improving cross-discipline collaboration and enhancing program visibility.
Siemens’ project team contributed to Mahindra & Mahindra eliminating mean time to repair and mean time before failures on a sustainable basis, thus enabling the company meet its PQDSM targets.