Automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) Group of Spain is using optimization software from ILOG to add customization options while improving production efficiency. The ILOG solution allows VW to offer customers more customized products and optimize production planning.
These new car sequencing and production planning systems have been implemented by Spanish system integrator Gedas Iberia in two plants of the VW Group, which combined produces 3,200 cars per day. Using the new system, VW and its Spanish subsidiary, Seat, expect to both fulfill the rising demand for customizable cars and boost sales.
Faster time-to-market requirements and demand for custom products create more complex challenges for car manufacturers. For VW, these challenges drove the need for a more flexible planning system. Using the new Gedas-ILOG solution, VW can optimize assembly line resources to better meet customer and dealer specifications, and eliminate costly excess inventory because, through better planning, the plants only stock the parts needed based on current orders.
The introduction of ILOG optimization into the planning system has enabled VW to leverage its existing host client server and Oracle server environment, extending the value of its legacy applications. ILOG CPLEX optimization software has reduced the time it takes to build a schedule from an hour and-a-half to 15 minutes. Overall, only a half-day is now required to generate a production plan for the next day when a full day was necessary prior to using ILOG CPLEX.
In the Volkswagen Navarra facility, in addition to using ILOG CPLEX for planning, Volkswagen also uses ILOG Solver for car sequencing, reducing the time needed to create a sequence from six hours when it was done manually to a couple of minutes currently. The real-time optimization solution enables VW to meet both planning and sequencing specific time constraints and needs.
The new production planning system also enables the car maker to respond quickly to incidents, events and changing needs and to create new plans in real-time. This ensures that any unexpected event -- such as car engine delivery delays due to transporter's strikes, production machine breakdown -- will have a minimal impact on the production.