Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


AC-DC — Result In Brief

Project ID: 31520
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

Driving more dynamic car production

A consortium of European companies and researchers has developed a new concept to radically change automotive manufacturing processes. Using new technology and dynamic planning tools, their system should enable the delivery of a 'five-days car'.
Driving more dynamic car production
′Automotive chassis development for 5-days cars′ (AC-DC) was an EU-funded research initiative that looked to test and validate an innovative networked production scheme for car manufacturing to replace the industry's traditional hierarchical approach.

The four-year project aimed to introduce much more modularisation, enabling manufacturers to respond to demands for greater variability and flexibility from customers. Other priorities included reducing stock levels on the supply side in order to lower costs, and facilitating the high degree of flexibility demanded by global production and delivery business models.

The research team used a number of different simulators to develop the functionality they required. Vehicle simulation was enhanced by modelling an actuator, including aspects of vehicles such as signals voltage, current, steering-wheel angle, steering-wheel torque and forces in the steering rack. Simulation results included those for an advanced electrical network, and algorithms for add-on functionalities were also developed, including for road and manoeuvre identification.

The researchers built a rear-axle demonstrator, including components such as rear-axle-differential, electronic stabiliser, electric-power steering and electric-roll control.

The project also worked on the communications systems needed for a global supply chain to operate securely and consistently, using the open source ebXML messaging service. This service was enlarged to allow communication protocols involving multi-cast or even broadcast communications between different businesses.

The use of value stream mapping (VSM) and design (VSD) helped to reduce the total lead time from door-to-door. The project results were analysed and process improvements were calculated to ensure cost benefits were spread throughout the whole supply chain.

The project team carried out extensive user-driven testing of their prototype solutions. This first validation focused especially on elements which come into direct contact with users.

The project laid the groundwork for a step-change in automotive supply chain efficiencies, and the project partners are continuing to work together to bring their innovations to the market.

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