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5 things you need to know about electric vehicle manufacturing

A massive change is taking place in the automotive industry. Much of the evolution of electrification goes beyond the engine – cars need to be connected, not just for the consumer but also for the manufacturer. The entire experience of owning and operating cars has become a data goldmine, providing information to manufacturers to change every step of the production line. However, global changes affect every step of the way

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This requires a new approach to electric vehicles (EV).

1. Modern cars are mobile computers

The modern automobile, even from the basic models of cars and trucks, consists of more than just an engine, frame and wheels. Most modern cars have more in common with your smartphone. This goes beyond the high-tech entertainment consoles that connect via Bluetooth – sensors in everything from the engine to the tires; Front, rear and side cameras; Self-parking and collision detection systems; and batteries that need to be constantly charged create a mobile smart device that requires complicated chips, longer-lasting batteries, and attached sensors. And these parts bring their own challenges that are prone to the ongoing disruption of the past year.

2. The heart of the electric vehicle is not simple

The central component of the electric vehicle is the battery, which today consists of numerous components, each of which requires its own production. Many of these components are restricted to selected factories, and because those factories are disrupted, this results in a global shutdown. Battery manufacturers are opening more giga factories around the world. However, the newly connected batteries cannot simply be replaced, which leads to additional malfunctions.

3. The double interruption of the supply chain caused by COVID

The more obvious effects of COVID-19 were on the workforce. Locations being locked down, health hazards for large, closed workforces, and sick leave all reduced staffing and production at plants across the country. In view of this and other financial implications, many manufacturers are cutting production to save costs and reduce expenses. In retrospect, we see these cuts in the significantly reduced supply: As electronic components are becoming scarce due to the malfunction, automobile factories now have problems with the production of cars due to the lack of parts.

4. The right level of automation

In order to understand the growing role of factories, manufacturers need more transparency and granularity in the factory in order to react to production disruptions. Manufacturers have slimed down to keep costs down, but the limited supply in the market shows that they are now so lean that they cannot keep up with demand. Companies have to find the right answer: If you get too lean, you lose production and business; not slim enough and the costs skyrocket beyond income. The solution is to leverage more data collection both in the factory and in the cars, transfer that data to the cloud, and disseminate the data so engineers, executives and plant managers can make the right decisions for success.

5. As cars get smarter, car manufacturing needs to get smarter. Between potential workforce disruptions, supply chains, rising costs or energy consumption, the intelligent manufacturer must properly collect and use data to make decisions that have net short- and long-term benefits. By leveraging more cloud applications and data collection capabilities, manufacturers can more accurately predict where malfunctions can occur and improve their operations.

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