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Digital Throughout

The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud

Greater efficiency, transparency and flexibility – with the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud, the Group is laying the foundation for the digitalization of its production and logistics. Here are the most important questions and answers.

What is the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud? 

In two sentences: The Industrial Cloud will digitalize and connect all the production and logistics data of the Volkswagen Group’s 122 manufacturing sites around the globe. This will create a gigantic network fed by all the machine, plant and systems data from every factory and all production and logistics activities.

What is the aim of the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud?

The aim of the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud is to gain an overall view of all the data. The resulting transparency will lead to different possible types of optimization. Volkswagen will be able to act even more rapidly because the Industrial Cloud will enable smart control in real time – simultaneously in Wolfsburg, Shanghai, Chattanooga and Uitenhage.

Why is Volkswagen investing in this technology?

The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud is laying the groundwork for making production even more efficient and flexible by optimizing processes and procedures. It therefore fulfills a major technological condition for achieving productivity goals.

Is the main aim to save money?

Reducing cost is one result. But the main aim is to become faster, more transparent and more secure.

How will the Group benefit in detail? Are there concrete examples?

The advantages of an overarching network include more efficient control of material flows, early detection and correction of supply shortages and process glitches, and enhanced operation of machines and systems. Some concrete examples: if a truck gets stuck in traffic, a component is defective, or a machine breaks down, everyone involved will know immediately. All the information will be available on the cloud.

What are the technical challenges?

Currently some of the production-level IT for the machines, plants and systems differs from site to site. For the Industrial Cloud this IT will be standardized and networked across all the 122 production sites in the Volkswagen Group.

What does the Industrial Cloud mean for the factories of the future?

The Volkswagen Group is using this solution to go live with Industry 4.0. The cloud-based platform with its streamlined data exchange is a crucial prerequisite for making innovations available rapidly at all sites. Examples include intelligent robotics and data analytics that can evaluate and compare processes on a trans-site basis. The cloud-based platform will enable new applications to be scaled up directly to all the plants.

Is Volkswagen launching the Industrial Cloud on its own?

The Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will be set up together with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Volkswagen has already engaged Siemens as its first major integration partner.

Who is doing what in this collaboration?

Volkswagen is specifying the set-up and strategic direction, and contributing its IT development expertise in production-related environments. The architecture that all the Group’s sites as well as other companies can dock onto will be provided by Volkswagen’s new digital production platform (DPP).
AWS is the expert when it comes to technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning and computing services. In the Industrial Cloud these technologies will be developed specifically for the automotive production environment. 
And Siemens will contribute its expertise in automation, the networking of machinery and plants, and the world of industrial IoT.
AWS ist der Experte, wenn es um die Technologien Internet der Dinge (IoT), maschinelles Lernen und Computing Services geht. In der Industrial Cloud werden diese Technologien speziell für das automobile Produktionsumfeld entwickelt. 
Und Siemens bringt sein Know-how in der Automatisierung, der Vernetzung von Maschinen und Anlagen sowie der industriellen IoT-Welt mit in die Zusammenarbeit ein.

When will development start on the Industrial Cloud?

It has already begun – Volkswagen’s Industrial Cloud is gathering momentum every day!

How many experts are working on the project?

There will be around 220 specialists over the medium term. The companies involved are planning a joint Industrial Cloud Innovation Center in Berlin. Additional Volkswagen experts in Dresden, Munich and Wolfsburg will be supporting the development work.

Is there a road map, and when will we see the first results?

The goal is to have the first concrete services and functions in operation by the end of 2019. Because this project is about creating a steadily growing global ecosystem in the production and logistics environment of the Volkswagen Group, it is expected to take a number of years.

Looking way ahead – what is the long-term goal?

Volkswagen is setting up its Industrial Cloud as an open platform. The aim is to integrate companies from the automotive industry’s entire value chain. The long-term goal is to integrate the Volkswagen Group’s global supply chain: more than 30,000 sites run by more than 1,500 suppliers and partner companies. It is also possible that the cloud platform will be made available to other carmakers. This will result in a continuously expanding worldwide industrial ecosystem.

With such a huge amount of data, from partners and suppliers as well – what about IT security?

Volkswagen will be doing its own additional encryption of all the data compiled in the Industrial Cloud. The company is setting the highest standards for this. The Volkswagen Group and Amazon Web Services have decided to have the Deutsche Cybersecurity Organization (DCSO) in Berlin lead the way in developing the architecture for the cybersecurity solutions needed.

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