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  • By Lanner
  • In News
  • Posted 05/05/2016

WITNESS, has been deployed to support performance engineering and manufacturing group Cosworth in the design of a new Centre of Excellence for production of its high performance engines for global automotive manufacturers.

Designed to take advantage of a flexible manufacturing system which will be underpinned by a fully automated production line using one robot, the 38,000ft² facility will manufacture over 20,000 products every year. Adopting a mixed-mode model using a highly sophisticated pallet system, Cosworth faced a huge challenge to ensure production is optimised for continuous production of a mixture of parts, irrespective of equipment breakdowns and pallet volumes.

In addressing this challenge, Cosworth, in collaboration with Cranfield University and Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI), selected WITNESS from Lanner to model the factory design in order to test and compare different configurations. The WITNESS model will support crucial decision-making as the project progresses in order to obtain the optimum feasible design for the flexible manufacturing model. In turn this means the designs can be expedited, easily communicated and confident decisions are easier to agree and move forward with. Through demonstrating a range of options, the model helps to optimise processes across both the factory and Cosworth’s supply chain in order to meet stringent KPIs.

Cosworth chief executive, Hal Reisiger, comments,“Cosworth’s Advanced Manufacturing Centre will use state-of-the-art technologies to streamline manufacturing. Our facility will provide unique machining and assembly capabilities to enable global automotive manufacturers to produce some of the most advanced high-performance engines in the world.”

Working with both Lanner and Cranfield University, Cosworth created the model which simulates the impact of variable conditions – from machinery breakdowns and different product mixes - on the complex system, to predict the most efficient, fastest way to satisfy customer demand. Through simulating operational performance on a daily basis, the model alerts constraints and bottlenecks and offers choices to deliver the best possible outcome for Cosworth's customers.

“In pursuing a project on this scale, which stands to promote innovation at the leading edge of manufacturing, the level of risk and complexity is extremely high,” comments Justyna Rybicka, Researcher, School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing at Cranfield University. “Simulation represents a robust means of achieving insight into the impact of scheduling different production mixes, against a range of constraints such as machinery breakdowns, enabling us to make decisions on system reconfiguration with certainty and confidence.

“Innovation has become imperative to the automotive industry as it pursues growth and aspires to lead the way on a global stage – and predictive simulation is a hugely powerful tool in facilitating this.”

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Cosworth supplies powertrain products and engineering services to high performance vehicle manufacturers, motorsport teams and enthusiasts around the world.

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