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Monday, October 07, 2019

Volkswagen and AWS Web Services

Back to how much we can share, remove silos, and get data efficiently to various kinds of analytical engines.

Volkswagen Group’s landmark project with Amazon Web Services will help to connect all its global factories, and eventually the supply chain as well. At the core of the project is a drive to establish a standard software stack that will transform the way production IT is developed and implemented across Volkswagen locations.

At the core of Volkswagen Group’s decision to build an ‘Industrial Cloud’ connecting its production sites and supply chain, is an extreme proliferation of systems, standards and software across its 120 factories. Today, the group uses around 1,500 different IT systems on the shopfloor alone for manufacturing and logistics. It is not uncommon for a single plant to operate with dozens of different systems – hundreds once suppliers and service providers are included.

This “spaghetti connectivity”, as Volkswagen Group CIO Martin Hofmann calls it, is not only confusing and burdensome to manage, but it limits the degree to which investment, innovation and data can be shared across the group. Information exists in pockets of the production network, while software applications are not always compatible across locations.

Volkswagen is not alone in this complexity, although its network of brands with legacy systems and processes makes it something of an extreme case. It has nevertheless increased productivity across its manufacturing and supply chain, thanks in part to many system interfaces and APIs that allow systems to communicate. But that has come with a price tag in individual systems, in extra time required and – perhaps most damaging for the future – in lost visibility. The Industrial Cloud will transform that.  .... "

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