Renault Group

“Digital technology must simplify the daily life of operators and managers”

01 June 2018
Eric Marchiol - Director of manufacturing digital transformation
Eric Marchiol, Director of Manufacturing Digital Transformation at Groupe Renault, works on the performance of all of the group’s plants. He shares his vision of the plant of the future with us - 100% focused on customer satisfaction - and reminds us that its competitiveness depends above all on the men and women who keep it running.
by Valérie Calloch

What are the major disruptive levers that will enable our industrial sites to be more competitive?

Eric Marchiol, Directeur de la transformation digitale du manufacturing du Groupe Renault

One of the priority areas to make our production tool even more efficient is the real-time management of our plants and their supply chain. This means that we can immediately respond to a problem, rather than waiting for an end-of-day assessment. This requires planning demand, managing our suppliers and parts flow, and directing supply logistics.

The second priority area is the "Full track and trace" system, a major breakthrough already deployed in the aeronautics industry and in medicine. The automotive industry still has a way to go in this area, particularly with the arrival of autonomous cars, which will require complete traceability starting from their design: which operator assembled the part, on what date, and what assembly process was used? This entails a transformation of the ecosystem.

The third priority area concerns Maintenance 4.0. We need to capture data from production machinery in order to carry out predictive maintenance. Predictive* as opposed to corrective maintenance can detect the appearance of anomalies on machinery and anticipate breakdowns. To this end, we have to implement smart monitoring on machinery in operation.

Where are you at in terms of rolling out Wi-Fi in the plants?

Wi-Fi has been installed in all Renault industrial buildings, covering a total of 500 hectares. One of the challenges is to collect data from a fleet of machines of different generations. 80,000 measurement points are in place this year, which makes it possible to carry out this predictive maintenance and also to save energy by more efficiently managing the operation of machinery.

What are the benefits for employees?

Digital technology must simplify the daily life of operators and managers. The fourth priority area is therefore to connect employees via tablets or mobile devices so that they have powerful tools, which can be used to carry out their work, learn about life at the company, download a certificate quickly and simply, or take leave by viewing the team's schedule in real time.
As part of the "Kaizen 4.0" continuous improvement program, 3D printers have been installed so that users can make improvements to equipment directly. As such, digital continuity makes it possible to continue designing a part or a component by computer up to the means necessary for its manufacture.

In another area, the APW (Alliance Production Way) system saves each production site team leader 80 minutes a day by simplifying and improving work efficiency. Anything that unnecessarily slows production is eliminated. Logistics flows are automated to make the procurement of parts more fluid and ensure the safety of operators.

Full kitting is widely deployed, eliminating all stocks beside the production line. Operators no longer have to move around - all parts corresponding to the assembly film are prepared in advance and follow the vehicle on the assembly line.
Management has an important role in supporting digital transformation: encouraging teams to visit sites, inviting production and design managers to visit plants that are similar in size to Renault’s plants, but operate in different fields.

To lead this gargantuan project, it was necessary to change the way in which projects were managed and to use the agile* method.

• APW*: With 36 production sites and 12 logistics sites around the world, the Renault and Nissan manufacturing teams apply a production standard entitled "Alliance Production Way (APW)". This incorporates the best practices of both manufacturers, encourages synergies, and facilitates the deployment of innovations and the pooling of investments linked to plant modernization.
• The AGILE* method: a set of "methods" based primarily on collaboration, autonomy and multidisciplinary teams.

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