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Adient's Industry 4.0 experience

Graham Immerman
February 21, 2018

Instead of choosing their worst performing plant to test out Industry 4.0, automotive seat maker Adient chose a high performing plant. They told Automation World, "It was one of our best plants. If we could drive an additional 5 percent conversion cost out of there, then you have something. . . we would make it a model plant, with the latest and greatest automation and assembly technology there. Then all the other plant managers would say, ‘I want to have that too.’” They have found success with the experiment and they are expanding their use of Industry 4.0 technology to other locations. 

An Automotive Seat Maker’s Drive to Industry 4.0Source: http://www.automationworld.com

When manufacturers and their automation suppliers talk about getting a start with Industry 4.0 technologies, the discussion often centers around going after the low-hanging fruit. But when automotive seating company Adient was pushed by some of the biggest names in car manufacturing to get on board the Industry 4.0 train, they decided on a different approach: Start with the factory that needs it the least. Adient chose an assembly plant in Sunderland, UK, to make a solid case for Industry 4.0 innovation. “It was one of our best plants. If we could drive an additional 5 percent conversion cost out of there, then you have something,” said John Moulton, vice president of operational excellence at Adient before he retired about a month ago. “We would make it a model plant, with the latest and greatest automation and assembly technology there. Then all the other plant managers would say, ‘I want to have that too.’” Read More

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