Digital, intelligent, future-oriented: When implementing Industry 4.0, Continental is pursuing a holistic approach that connects and revolutionizes the entire production process chain. Experience and the exchange of knowledge in the global corporate network play an important role in the implementation of modern technologies – what works in the so-called model plants is adapted for other locations and then also rolled out there.
Thanks to the innovations, Continental is well on its way to becoming a smart factory. The company is already using big data applications, around 1,800 collaborative robots (so-called CoBots) and more than 300 autonomous, automated transport systems in its plants. The CoBots take on manufacturing tasks to reduce the physical and mental workload of the employees and thus improve ergonomics. The driverless transporters automatically bring material to the workstations and thus - like the CoBots - increase productivity.
In addition, many other Industry 4.0 solutions are being implemented in ten strategic areas in Continental's model plants: Big Data & Artificial Intelligence, Human Machine Interface & Mobile Devices, Manufacturing Execution System and Factory Applications, Smart Equipment and Robotics, Robotic Process Automation, Future Work, Integrated Storage / Transportation Systems, Automated Replenishment, Geolocation and Geofencing, Autonomous Network Planning.
Innovations increase efficiency and quality
Continental is pursuing various goals with the Industry 4.0 innovations. Modern solutions should increase the efficiency and quality of the products, while a zero-error strategy and high utilization make the production processes more robust. Employees benefit from improved ergonomics, greater security, mobile working and more flexible working hours. The lower energy requirement in production reduces emissions and is thus also an ecological advantage.
The networking of numerous different plants and systems also leads to a more transparent production cycle. The exchange of information in real time means that reactions to deviations can be much faster and adjustments can be made immediately within all phases of the cycle.