"Hey ChatGPT, help me in producing the new MMA platform underpinning the next CLA Class," said Mercedes-Benz
Dinesh · Sep 21, 2023 01:59 PM
Well, not in those exact words but Mercedes-Benz did launch a ChatGPT project within its Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations 360 (MO360) digital ecosystem that aims to maximise efficiency for global vehicle production, starting with the new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform that will underpin the next Mercedes-Benz CLA Class.
It’s not surprising that carmakers are turning to AI to reduce redundancy and improve efficiency to maximise profits. On the Mercedes-Benz end, the ChatGPT project will look at optimising production processes and accelerating the identification of defects. With the “democratisation of data”, important production data can be retrieved by many employees. This allows them to evaluate processes and data in real time.
For now, the project will be implemented to plan, retool and ramp-up production of its new MMA platform at its factories in Rastatt (Germany), Kecskemét (Hungary) and Beijing (China), starting from the middle of the decade.
The MMA platform was showcased at the Munich IAA Mobility in September under the guise of the Concept CLA Class that itself previews what the production CLA will look like.
MO360 allows Mercedes-Benz to network around 30 plants worldwide using real-time data to produce electric, hybrid and combustion models on one factory line. This will allow quicker scaling of those models in accordance with market demand.
“Mercedes-Benz is initiating a new era of automotive manufacturing thanks to the integration of AI, MB.OS and the digital twin based on NVIDIA Omniverse into the MO360 ecosystem. With our new ‘Digital First’ approach, we unlock efficiency potential even before the launch of our MMA models in our global production network and can accelerate the ramp-up significantly,” said Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of the Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production, Quality and Supply Chain Management.
The results of MO360 are already evident at the Rastatt as it minimised disruption of existing assembly in the introduction of next-generation vehicle line. The exact position of machines, supply routes and production lines can be determined and simulated in advance without interrupting the production of the current compact cars.
For the plant expansion in Kecskemét, Mercedes-Benz has created a completely digital depiction of the entire hall for the first time. They used the NVIDIA Omniverse, a platform for developing Universal Scene Description (OpenUSD) applications for industrial digitalisation.
The digital twin of the plant includes the entire building and the infrastructure in it as well as break areas and changing rooms for the employees.
In short, Mercedes-Benz can simulate changes on the digital copy before implementing it physically at the plants.
“Better late than never.” Some despise it, others begrudgingly agree with it but he swears by it… much to the chagrin of everyone around him. That unfortunately stems from all of his project cars not running most of the time, which in turn is testament to his questionable decision-making skills in life. A culmination of many wrongs fortunately making a right; much like his project cars on the rare occasions they run, he’s still trying to figure out if another project car is the way to go.