Skip to main content

Suppliers and Manufacturers in Automotive Collaboration

Objective

- Facilitate and promote concurrent engineering amongst European automotive manufacturers and their suppliers.
- Improve business processes, reducing time to market.
- Improve the quality of information exchanged amongst manufacturers and suppliers, thereby improving the quality of product.
- Investigate the impact on cultural and organisational issues including attitudes, working practices, management commitment and support, and future roll-out plan.
- Contribute to the introduction of IBC and multi-media technologies in Europe.
- Disseminate and exploit project results within the European design and manufacturing industry including SMEs.
- Contribute to European standardisation bodies especially in the domain of graphics exchange via high speed networks.
A project was designed to facilitate and promote concurrent engineering amongst European automotive manufacturers and their suppliers. During 1994 the project established an experimental platform with a large degree of technical heterogeneity and multiple sources of hardware and software components. The early prototype was successfully implemented and experiments conducted with a large number of real users both from automotive manufacturers (Renault and Rover) and component suppliers (TRW and Siemens Automotive). This has led to:
a redefined concurrent engineering process, based on integrated broadband communications (IBC), which will be the benchmark for the European automotive industry;
a new set of working practices and skill base consistent with emerging technologies in the fields of multimedia communications;
knock on effort on automotive small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who traditionally have always followed the technological developments of the large manufacturers;
cultural changes both at user and management levels.
Work to date has reinforced the view that the project offers great potential benefits to the automotive industry in the area of concurrent engineering and collaborative development.
Technical Approach

Following both user and technical evaluations of applications (Product Library, Decision Support, Multimedia Conferencing and Multimedia Messaging), and communication infrastructure (ATM/LAN), results are being consolidated. Similarly, feedback from senior managers following a series of demonstrations is currently being consolidated. These results form the basis for refinement of the prototype in 1995 and for running trials in a real production environment. These will run in the ATM/LAN/WAN environment between the automotive manufacturers and component suppliers.

Key Issues

- Investigation and evaluation of off-the shelf products and selection of the 'Best in Class' for the final experiment.
- Definition of a seamless integration of applications and interworking protocols and their evaluation.
- Analysis of the different integration scenarios based on a set of evaluation parameters arising from user feedback.
- Pilot trials in real business with real users with the objective of developing an implementation plan.
- Exploration of different options for the intended broadband communication in 1995.

Expected Impact

Work to date has reinforced the view that the project offers great potential benefits to the automotive industry in the area of concurrent engineering/collaborative development. World class automotive manufacturing is currently based on the team-working philosophies developed and proved by the Japanese in the 1980s. This approach involves creating multi-functional teams, empowering the "fact holders" giving them total authority for decision making, and the co-location of the team for high personal motivation. The project SMAC proposes to preserve this 'best practice', but eliminate the necessity for co-location, enabling manufacturers to utilise European supplier and consultancy expertise without geographical constraints.

Coordinator

GAYDON TEST CENTRE
Address
Building 102, Lighthorne
CV35 OBL Warwick
United Kingdom

Participants (13)

British Telecom plc (BT)
United Kingdom
Address
Guidion House Harvest Crescent Ancells Park
GU13 8UZ Fleet
Computervision UK Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Argent Court Sir William Lyons Road Warwick Science Park
CV4 7EZ Coventry
FRANCE TELECOMM EXPERTEL
France
Address
25 Rue Des Jeuneurs
75002 Paris
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung eV (FhG)
Germany
Address
Wilhelminenstraße 7
64283 Darmstadt
IBM France SA
France
Address
Centre D'études Et De Recherches Le Plan Du Bois
06610 La Gaude
Loughborough University of Technology
United Kingdom
Address
The Elms Elm Grove
LE11 1RG Loughborough
RENAULT SA
France
Address
34 Quai Du Point Du Jour
92109 Boulogne-billancourt
SIEMENS AUTOMOTIVE SA
France
Address
Avenue De Mirail
31036 Toulouse
SIEMENS PCN/CORPORATE R&D
Germany
Address
Otto-hahn-ring 6
8000 München
TIRAC
Ireland
Address
Business Innovation Centre, Regional Technical College
Ballinode
TRW SSL
United Kingdom
Address
Old Church Road
BS21 6NJ Clevedon, Avon
Technische Universität Berlin
Germany
Address
Pascalstraße 8-9
10587 Berlin
Università degli Studi di Trento
Italy
Address
Via Fortunato Zeni 8
38068 Rovereto Trento