Mercedes-Benz and Microsoft have teamed up to make automotive production more efficient and resilient. With the new MO360 Data Platform, Mercedes-Benz is networking its approximately 30 passenger car plants spread across the globe with the Microsoft Cloud, thereby improving transparency and predictability along the digital production and supply chain processes. The MO360 Data Platform is the evolution of Mercedes- Benz’s MO360 digital production ecosystem. It enables teams to more quickly identify potential supply chain bottlenecks and dynamically prioritise production resources for electric and top-end vehicles.
The unified data platform is based on Microsoft Azure. It provides Mercedes-Benz with the flexibility and cloud computing power to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics globally, while meeting regional cybersecurity and compliance standards in each case. The platform is already available to teams in the EMEA region and is also being rolled out in the US and China.
With the Data Platform, the car manufacturer can create a virtual image of the production process for its vehicles. Information from assembly, production planning, plant logistics, supply chain and quality management is brought together. The virtual simulation and optimisation of processes before implementation in the factory helps to increase operational efficiency and achieve energy savings. For example, managers can optimise operational processes to reduce CO2 emissions in production.
The vehicle manufacturer is also trialling the integration of its MO360 Data Platform with data sources from other areas to enable digital feedback loops and drive continuous learning and innovation across the group.
The central data platform enables work teams to instantly analyse and visualise production data to optimise production processes faster and identify potential supply chain bottlenecks early. This enables dynamic allocation of resources within and between plants to prioritise the production of low-emission and top-end luxury vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz Operations Logistics team will thus be able to resolve bottlenecks in the supply chain much more quickly, according to the carmaker’s expectations. The team can match the availability of parts, such as semiconductor components, with production orders and link this data with production parameters such as operating schedules. This allows the production control room to maintain production and prioritise relevant vehicles even when supply chain difficulties arise.
The MO360 Data Platform also facilitates the parallel production of electric vehicles and combustion engines on the same line as market demand gradually shifts towards an all-electric future. To counteract component bottlenecks and avoid delivery delays, the MO360 Data Platform will allow users to analyse a variety of production scenarios. These scenarios are based on the availability of components such as semiconductors and real-time data on the quality of components and equipment features. This is expected to increase productivity by 20 percent in car production by 2025. In addition, simulations will help prevent unplanned downtime and schedule maintenance work in a timely and climate-friendly manner.