VW sees its Industrial Cloud as an eventual B2B marketplace
Volkswagen, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and integration partner Siemens, is opening up its Industrial Cloud to other manufacturing and technology companies as an eventual, app store style, B2B marketplace.
New partner companies will be able to connect with the automaker’s plants and to contribute their own software applications for optimising production processes using the cloud.
“This way, a rapidly growing range of industrial software applications for VW’s plants will be created,” the automaker said.
Each location will be able to obtain applications for its machinery, tools and equipment direct from the cloud using an app store approach.
The group expects “significant efficiency and productivity gains” while partner companies will be able to scale and further develop their applications in one of the world’s largest automobile production networks while optimising their own processes and products.
As a first step, 11 pioneering international companies, ABB, ASCon Systems, BearingPoint, Celonis, Duerr, GROB-WERKE, MHP, NavVis, SYNAOS, Teradata and WAGO, will be joining the cloud.
“With the Industrial Cloud we are creating a platform allowing partners to contribute their solutions. This will help the VW group achieve global efficiencies at its plants. At the same time. we are creating the pathway for partners to scale their applications and optimise their own operations. This way, everyone will benefit,” said group new business development chief Nihar Patel.
The cloud ultimately will include all VW factories worldwide plus the global supply chain and will facilitate data interchange between systems and plants.
The system is based on AWS technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, data analytics, and computing services which have been extended specifically to meet the requirements of both VW and the automotive industry.
Dirk Didascalou, VP of AWS IoT at Amazon Web Services, said: “We look forward to watching the marketplace collaboration flourish as participants take advantage of the native open architecture of the cloud.”
Software already available includes an algorithm with artificial intelligence to calculate requirements for driverless transport systems for plant logistics and to distribute these systems.
Software for optimising plant efficiency (Overall Equipment Effectiveness, OEE), and an application for generating a digital twin on the cloud to simulate the capacity deployment and maintenance intervals of machines without intervening in the physical production process is also available now.
Discussions with additional companies are ongoing.
Volkswagen and AWS see the development of the cloud into an open partner network as a key step and intend to further develop the app store approach.
In the long term, the partners aim to create a marketplace for industrial applications. All participants would then be able to exchange their applications with each other, to acquire applications and to use them irrespective of any links to the automaker.
Development of the technology base for this marketplace is already in progress.