IoT Drives Innovation for the Cars of the Future
Eleven years ago, my husband Simon, baby Ellen and I visited Monaco during the Grand Prix. I was immediately struck by the atmosphere and excitement surrounding the event. You could say that trip was the start of my love affair with car racing!
Today, I’m still a big fan and am particularly fascinated with Le Mans. It’s not just about the skill and endurance of the drivers over a 24-hour period as they navigate the track at high speed, making critical decisions in literally a fraction of a second. No, I’m even more fascinated by the whole race strategy, selecting the best car, the right brakes and tyres, understanding track grip and studying the weather forecast. For me, car racing is an amazing combination of engineering and science coupled with human skill and judgement.
Knowing all this, you can imagine how excited I was when our team recently participated in an IoT digital transformation project with Brembo, a world-leading manufacturer and innovator in brake systems for high performance cars, motorbikes and commercial vehicles. I love the fact that the company is responsible for every part of the product life-cycle, all the way from research and design through to producing the castings in the foundries, manufacture, assembly and test. It’s a real end-to-end process.
Two years ago, Brembo took the decision to digitally transform its business. The Company’s goal was to develop a heterogeneous environment across all of its factories worldwide and reduce its operational costs. Fast forward to today and our Dell edge gateways and embedded PCs are being used to monitor production lines in all 17 of the Company’s plants across the world.
Knowledge is power
What has this delivered in terms of business benefits? According to Paolo Crovetti, Brembo’s Chief Information Officer, IoT has helped the Company increase productivity with the team now able to assess the efficiency of each production line in real-time as well as conduct historical analysis. “It’s easier to review quality stats and access data on every single product coming out of the factory every day. We can quickly access information about what materials are being used, what parts take the longest time to produce and what might be causing the production line to fail.”
In the past, the parameters for each line were decided by local production managers and line operators. Now using data mining and machine learning, Brembo can quickly identify what parameters work best in terms of output and quality. Instead of stopping production to conduct routine maintenance, engineers can also monitor the performance of the machinery and are supported in predicting when maintenance needs to take place.
Innovation is key
In Brembo’s world, innovation is key. The team is constantly researching and testing the efficacy of materials such as carbon, carbon ceramic and aluminium. After all, efficient, light-weight brakes can reduce the weight of the car, which is important not only from a safety perspective but also for the environment in terms of reduced emissions. Since 2002, Brembo has been working on mechatronics, a new science that merges mechanics, hydraulics and IT. This innovation is now being road-tested.
Safety is key
In everyday life, we take so many things for granted. We assume that when we hit the brake pedal, the car will automatically slow down. The truth is that your life can literally depend on the car brakes responding. And so, I was fascinated to learn that Brembo considers Le Mans the ideal test bench for technical innovations that will later appear in regular road cars. Read more here.
I am proud of the fact that Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions is helping to improve efficiency and drive innovation, supporting Brembo in its bid to develop and manufacture the safest and best performing brakes possible.
Have you implemented IoT in your factory? What has been your experience of industrial automation? Do join the conversation. Follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions Showcase page.I’d love to hear your comments and questions.
View our Brembo video case study here, and learn more about out work in industrial automation at Dell Technologies OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions. If you would like to speak to somebody, please contact us.