- February 14, 2011
- Case Study
Thanks to a large-scale PROFINET network the new Audi A1 manufacturing line at Brussels in Belgium is the newest and most modern Audi plant in Europe.
February 14, 2011 - Thanks to a large-scale PROFINET network the new Audi A1 manufacturing line at Brussels in Belgium is the newest and most modern Audi plant in Europe. Phoenix Contact has been able to make a major contribution - not only by supplying high-performance hardware but also powerful software and on-site training and support. So far Audi has invested EUR 300million, among other things in the conversion of the assembly lines and in particular the building of a new sheet-metal workshop with 450 robots.
The first A1 rolled off the production line in September 2009 and at the beginning of May 2010 Audi Brussels started mass production. By the end of 2010 some 50,000 will have left the Brussels plant. The production target for next year is 100,000 to 120,000. A start will shortly be made on the first adaptations to the plant for the five-door Audi A1.
Efficiency, cost-effectiveness, modular design and standardization are key words in Audi's production systems. All plants have to operate as far as possible in the same way and within plants all systems and workplaces have to be optimally geared to each other.
Brussels is modeled on Ingolstadt, in Germany, where the Audi A3, A4 and A5 are built. But it has been optimized down to the tiniest details and Audi claims to have a technological lead over most other car manufacturers as a result.
All PLCs, visualization systems, and even the electrical cabinets, are as uniform as possible throughout which makes building, operation and maintenance a great deal easier. Phoenix Contact PLCs, already used at Ingolstadt, were implemented and PROFINET was chosen as the bus system for communication between the robot lines and also for the transport systems.
Phoenix Contact also supplied industrial PCs, control panels, switches, I/O modules, leads, safety relays and terminal clamps. The powerful RFC 470, with standard PROFINET, Interbus and Ethernet 'on board' was chosen for control. Every RFC is located in a cabinet with a main control panel. There are also a large number of ancillary control panels that are connected to the RFC via PROFINET/Ethernet. The many decentralized motor drives are also driven via Interbus and PROFINET from the RFC. There are 102 control panels and more than 300 ancillary control panels in the sheet-metal workshop alone.
Phoenix Contact also supplied a large number of software components, including basic-function building blocks, which were used extensively by the contractors Imtech from Wommelgem (electrical equipment and programming), and VMA from Sint-Martens-Latem (welding line and transport system). Phoenix Contact created visual symbols for each building bock to ensure consistency, plus a wizard that automatically generates identical symbolism plant wide.
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