Volkswagen is looking to boost its production by as much as 30 per cent in next five years by using Artificial Intelligence at its facilities. The Industrial Computer Vision AI technology will help the carmaker in image recognition processes and speed up production time by reducing manual interventions
The process extracts information from optical data, such as the real environment at the plant, which it then evaluates using artificial intelligence (AI). The procedure is similar to the human capability of recognising, processing and analysing images. Volkswagen has been working with this technology for several years and is now intensifying its efforts.
The first application, which is to be rolled out via the new Volkswagen Industrial Cloud throughout the Group next year, is currently being tested by Porsche in Leipzig. The application functions as follows: several labels are attached to each vehicle produced, for example with vehicle information or notes on airbags. Many of these labels contain country-specific information and are written in the customer’s language. The proper application of these labels is ensured by Computer Vision.
At the Porsche plant in Leipzig, an employee on the production line now scans the vehicle identification number to ensure clear identification of the vehicle. Photos are taken of each label attached to the car. The app checks the images to ensure that the labels have the correct content and are written in the appropriate language on a real-time basis and provides the production line employee with feedback on whether everything is correct. This saves several minutes per vehicle.
Another solution currently being prepared for use throughout the Group comes from Ingolstadt, where Audi uses it for quality testing at the press shop. Cameras combined with software based on machine learning detect the finest cracks and defects in components.
Volkswagen has set up a team of about 60 Computer Vision experts for the further development of the technology and the evaluation of new utilisation possibilities. In addition to the use of the technology in production, Volkswagen plans applications along the entire value stream, for example in sales and after-sales. For development work on the optical procedure, Volkswagen is recruiting experts for this area in Berlin, Dresden, Munich and Wolfsburg. In addition, the Group continues to build up its skills in the fields of camera technology, machine learning and the operation of Computer Vision solutions.