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AC-DC
Automotive Chassis Development for 5-day Cars

The prime objective of AC-DC is to develop a concept, which radically enhances automotive manufacturing in order to achieve the high level of responsiveness required for a 5-day car according to customer specifications, and to validate/demonstrate the novel approach using the characteristic component lightweight chassis as a master.

Tags: Road

Background

To date, a clear hierarchic structure dominates automotive manufacturing assuring a 100% delivery of components and systems just in time and just in sequence. However, new challenges emerge, such as:

  • a steep increase in modularisation and interdisciplinary technologies
  • a market pressure for variability and flexibility to customers
  • the cost pressure demands a reduction of stocks on the supply side
  • a highly flexible mastering of global production and delivery, which will mean a rapid development of an efficient ‘networked’ production scheme.

This calls for both a determined step forward in motor vehicle technology combined with a dynamic planning process involving the full supply chain. In order to break with the traditional hierarchic manufacturing, revolutionary concurrent elements must be introduced that reduce stocks and allow last minute configuration of new products in higher variations and quality and at lower costs.

Objectives

The prime objective of AC-DC therefore is to develop a concept that radically enhances automotive manufacturing in order to achieve the high level of responsiveness required for a 5-day car process according to customer specifications, with the development and introduction of individual and highly reactive planning loops in the supply chain. The efficiency of this future system needs to be validated realistically by considering the emerging step-change in component technology (technology convergence of ‘Mechatronics’ for customer neutral modules of high parameterisation).

Description of work

Emphasis is placed on a vehicle system that promises maximum impact and reward regarding the transfer-suitability to other parts of the vehicle that can be achieved within the duration of the project:

  • technically, highly mechatronic and individualised automotive chassis modules hold considerable challenges to demonstrate the transfer of customer-neutral module design methodology to ample applications, including new drivetrains, electrical propulsion and new wheel systems. Technical progress in intelligent software and sensor-actuator technology combined in customer-neutral mechatronic chassis modules paves the way to the next generation of automotive chassis, which needs to be taken into account by new automotive production processes.
  • AC-DC develops the requisite ‘dynamic supply chain collaboration concept’ that promotes the conventional automotive terms of delivery to a highly reactive 5-day, capable system that cuts down inventories in the supply network while maintaining the 100% guarantee of delivery as an uncompromised constraint. Leaving hierarchic production concepts behind by building on multiple planning loops, the dynamic supply network management is paramount for the integration of both the requisite high-tech module technology and the appropriate process configuration features. All aspects of complementary concern, such as fail-safe real-time event management, collaborative demand prediction and planning consistency, modular production technology processes, as well as distributed quality control and testing form crucial building blocks to form the dynamic and reliable supply loops network.

Results

AC-DC will develop a highly dynamic and robust supply loop concept, which is superior to the conventional hierarchic system in reactivity, reliability and costs while maintaining the 100% guarantee of delivery. From the proof-of-concept a characteristic next-generation automotive modular system will be developed, which will convert different technologies (in this case mechanics and electronics) into high-quality modules to reduce part count and cost (first cost and stocks) and to achieve a customer-neutral component/supply concept.

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