11 pioneering companies joins Volkswagen’s Industrial Cloud

28 July 2020 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

Volkswagen has teamed up with technology partners Amazon and Siemens to launch an Industry 4.0 ecosystem that will help the automotive giant with driving manufacturing excellence and innovation. 

Leveraging its new ecosystem, Volkswagen aims to gain a competitive edge versus its competitors. Industry 4.0 has long been touted as a disruptor to industrial companies, but with the possibilities of emerging technologies now shifting gear, the German car brand believes the time is right to scale its approach. 

Using technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, cloud computing and more, Volkswagen believes it can “transform industrial production” by “accelerating production, logistics and supply chain management into the digital age,” said Nihar Patel, Executive Vice President at Volkswagen. “We expect significant efficiency and productivity gains.”

At an event revealing the launch of the new platform, Volkswagen’s ex-CIO Martin Hofmann elaborated on the key expected benefits, stating “This is the foundation of our new production strategy. It will help us reduce factory costs, increase production program fulfilment [delivering vehicles on time to customers] and enable us to speed up our product launches.”

Volkswagen’s Industrial Cloud

Once fully operational, Volkswagen aims to have realised a 30% in productivity, a 30% reduction in plant costs and a $1 billion per annum saving in the supply chain. And more importantly, the platform will serve as the “stepping stone for fully autonomous and dark room factories in the future,” said Hofmann. 

One of the key features of the ecosystem is that it is an open platform, designed to break down traditional siloes and to bring the best of third-party firms specialised in industrial solutions. Trusted partners of the company will be able to create applications that benefit Volkswagen’s operations – from plant manufacturing through to supply chain. 

Industrial Cloud

The so-called ‘Industrial Cloud’ platform works as follows. Third-party companies will develop cloud solutions for all kinds of areas including machinery, tools, equipment or planning. They then offer these in a marketplace, and every Volkswagen unit will be able to make use of these apps.

Meanwhile, the marketplace is also opened up to Volkswagen’s community of partners such as parts suppliers, logistics providers and original equipment manufacturers. All in all, “the marketplace will provide a trusted and secure environment for selling, sharing, or acquiring proven manufacturing and supply chain applications,” said Patel.

After growing the platform’s maturity and scope, the Industrial Cloud will include all Volkswagen’s factories throughout the world and its global supply chain, offering platform partners an appealing prospect for building long-term partnerships and developing innovative business models. 

Partners of Industrial Cloud

Industry Cloud Partners

Amazon is one of the platform’s two key delivery partners. Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosts the infrastructure, powers many of the technologies, and standardises the sharing and exchange of data. Siemens is the platform’s integration partner, providing solutions and technical expertise in the area of shop floor connectivity as well as edge and cloud solutions, apps and services.

A group of eleven pioneering companies have been admitted in the first batch of partners to the Industrial Cloud – all companies boast a longstanding track record with Volkswagen. These are ABB, ASCon Systems, Celonis, Dürr, Grob-Werke, NavVis, Synaos, Teradata and Wago, and consulting firms BearingPoint and MHP. 

Dirk Didascalou, a Vice President at AWS, remarked, “We look forward to watching the marketplace collaboration flourish as participants take advantage of the open architecture of the Industrial Cloud.”