Martorell, 26/09/2019. A videowall divided into different screens displaying constantly updated numbers, graphs, maps with itineraries, codes… It looks like the control tower at an airport, but it isn't. It's the SEAT Control Tower in its Logistics Centre, a new system to ensure that the data linked to the 16 million parts needed every day to make around 2,300 cars is transmitted in real time.
Connected with innovation: In just 26 weeks, a groundbreaking project took shape at the SEAT Logistics Centre that uses an app to monitor the exact location in real time of each of the parts that go into making a car, in connection with production needs. “This will be the first time that SEAT will have real-time information on the flow of material, transit operation alerts and production material consumption. Information that used to take hours and several phone calls to obtain will now be updated in seconds”, said the director of the project David Castilla.
200,000 key figures updated daily in real time: A car is a giant puzzle where every part and component is essential, so it's vital to know where each one is and whether it will arrive on time.
“We strive to monitor everything possible, from supplier stocks to production line events, transportation and logistics centres”, says David. In addition, this data forms the basis for using predictive tools to solve incidents before they occur. “This groundbreaking SEAT project shows the capacity of the logistics and production team in the ongoing digital transformation of our processes. It has taken a great effort, but we can say that after 26 weeks we've made a huge leap that is going to benefit our customers, as they will have access to all the essential information about their vehicle and delivery times”, said SEAT Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer.
Shorter lead times: With this pioneering system, the near-term goal is to reduce delivery times of the orders. “Buyers will be a part of the planning process, and they can even request colour changes before their car is painted or have it equipped with specific parts. This process will enable us to better know what customers really want and transform the supply chain in order to adapt it and steer it in the direction of what they need”, explains Enric Martí, who is responsible for Logistics at SEAT.
Greater efficiency, less CO2: The environment also stands to benefit greatly, as one of the goals of this project is to improve the material transport itineraries. This will be achieved with an app that gives the geolocation of truck drivers, enabling them to interact in real time. The app features the first predictive ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). In future stages of the project new predictive weather tools will be implemented in order to offer alternative routes and shorten the time spent on the road, making them more efficient and less contaminating.
Innovation Day: This app has earned them a spot on the shortlist for the SEAT Innovation Day, which recognise the company's most innovative, employee-driven projects. “In this stage we can successfully anticipate production needs well in advance. The direct benefits are for the customers, as we can assure them of a delivery date by knowing exactly that the parts of their car will be available on its scheduled manufacturing date”, explains the project director.