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Batch size reduction in automobile manufacturing - a production engineering challenge

: Neugebauer, Reimund; Kunke, E.; Göschel, A.

Dimitrov, D.; Sihn, W.; Westkämper, E. ; Univ. Stellenbosch/South Africa, Institute of Industrial Engineering; International Institution for Production Engineering Research -CIRP-, Paris; South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering -SAIMechE-:
COMA 2007, International Conference Competitive Manufacturing - The Challenge of Digital Manufacturing : 31 January - 2 February 2007, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Stellenbosch, 2007
ISBN: 0-7972-1164-0
International Conference on Competitive Manufacturing (COMA) <2007, Stellenbosch, South Africa>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IWU ()
automotive manufacturing; batch size reduction; forming technology

The automotive industry is of fundamental significance for the German economy since at least every fifth employee is directly or indirectly depending on this economic sector. Two tendencies dominate the development of the German automobile production.
First of all, the diversity of produced automobile types accelerates noticeably while the total automobile turnover stagnates. This leads to drastic changes of the lot sizes in the automobile industry. Vehicle types which can be produced effectively in very big lots with the classic methods of forming technology decline and are replaced by vehicles in marked smaller lots and high individuality.
Secondly, the suppliers recognize tendencies, prognosticated already in 2002, towards noticeably bigger volumes of orders. This development is accompanied by a growing vertical range of production and R&D.
Both trends require a conspicuously higher and at the same time controllable transition to flexible forming and joining technologies.