Highly intelligent factory uses the most advanced robotic technology to reduce production time and costs
Geely’s Black Light factory sets standards in automation for vehicle production
Intelligent technology, which includes artificial intelligence and machine learning, is transforming car manufacturing across the value chain – from design to manufacturing, even after production once tires hit the road. In the production phase, robotics and automation allow entire factories to operate with minimal or even no human intervention.
The automotive industry is among the industries that have embraced artificial intelligence and other predictive technologies. According to the research, the global market for automotive artificial intelligence is expected to grow to $ 7,676.92 million by 2028, driven by the need for more efficiency and reduction of human error.
Artificial intelligence helps product developers in the automotive industry design car models that meet the expectations of contemporary consumers. Moreover, it replaces traditional systems, thus increasing cost savings and improving employee productivity.
What is the “Black Light” Factory?
Geely, the largest Chinese privately owned vehicle brand, will soon unveil the most technologically advanced luxury SUV in the region. The exclusive and high-end vehicle is supported by the latest technology, created with passion, precision and the latest safety features.
This leading high-end product is manufactured at Geely “Black Light” Factory in Xi’an, China. Taking automation to the next level, the plant is powered by robots throughout the production process – from design to final assembly. All operations, including transportation and testing, are performed by industrial robots, which significantly reduces production costs and improves its efficiency. This means that the whole process can be carried out without any human intervention in complete darkness – hence the unusual term “black light” or “dark plant”.
The most advanced plant features a 3.2 km test track that simulates up to 21 types of road conditions that users are likely to encounter on a daily basis – including wind turbine testing, intelligent driving testing and more. The goal is to simulate real-world road trips on the road and make design modifications, if necessary, in production. The car is made entirely of robots, which makes it completely error-free and efficient.
All production equipment and tools are online at all times and are supported by the intelligent vehicle intelligence management system of vehicle production. Big data is used to accurately locate each cycle in quality and can stop the line for inspection when needed. Every vehicle also has an electronic file that allows the individual to track down any quality problems.
Furthermore, all vehicle data is uploaded to the cloud in real time, which includes vehicle quality, parts operation, electrical control results, connection results and charging results. The Production Execution System produces 3.6 million pieces of data per year (including images and code) and up to 5,600 terabytes of data.
Fully automated process with 4 stages
The assembly process is the first stage in the four main vehicle manufacturing processes. Geely’s workshop covers an area of 27,000 square meters and approves the “Fully Automatic Printing Process of Five Series”. Furthermore, all tasks, from disassembly to feeding, cleaning, splitting, compressor tracking and finally, assembling parts from the assembly line, are fully automated.
The welding workshop, which is the next stage of the process, is primarily responsible for welding and assembling the white body, including assembling and assembling the doors. This is the most important stage in building the whole body. Geely approves a welding process with industry-leading mechanical assemblies to efficiently complete this phase. The next stage is the coating line equipped with 84 robots to enable automatic spraying of interior and exterior panels with a 75% automation rate.
Geely owns high-precision flexible production lines to perform automatic body and chassis assembly at the same time. As for the final stage of inspection, it is a manual and automatic inspection process to ensure that the vehicle meets all production standards.
Prepare for the future
Dark Geely Factory sets a new standard in domestic and international production. The fully automated production line meets EU standards. And the best part about this is that the automated process ensures that no wastewater, landfill and hazardous materials are discharged during production.
Geely aspires to simultaneously produce electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and fuel vehicles in the future in the dark factory, which will greatly improve efficiency throughout the production line. Furthermore, Geely aims to achieve carbon neutral production processes by 2045, through smart production, green energy, use of recycled materials, etc. This will boost the brand strategy to increase sales to 3.65 million units by 2025, as well as its vision to take advantage of the latest technologies in the automotive industry.