Leoni reports that it will join Relayr—an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) company that provides complete solutions for risk-free digital transformations—for joint development work on linking intelligent cable and automation systems with innovative IoT technologies.
A press release said that the initiative will be aimed at enabling carmakers and their suppliers to reduce unplanned downtime of robotic manufacturing lines and raising production efficiency thereby improving overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). “Leoni and relayr will be jointly developing and providing an intelligent solution for predictive maintenance and monitoring of robot lines in car manufacturing based on the LEONiQ technology and relayr’s IoT portfolio,” it said. The research will look provide plant operators “ongoing and deeper insight into the critical areas and components of the whole line.” Initial test installations will begin as early as this year.
Leoni will provide its intelligent, IoT-enabled energy and data management on robot lines, related data analysis skills, and automotive automation and processes knowledge while relayr will contribute its know-how in IoT technology, data analysis and process optimization in industrial production.
Germany’s Leoni, best known for automotive cables, reports that it was won a contract from Volkswagen to equip 1,300 robots with its LSH 3 dresspack solution for production of electric vehicles.
A press release said that Leoni has already fitted a hundred of the robots at the VW Group’s production site in Zwickau. The LSH 3 provides the power for various bonding methods such as welding, handling, laser bonding, clinching and also adhesive bonding. The project also involves the installation of floor cable harnesses, i.e. installing the cabling for the robots or from the stationary tool to the robot control unit. Leoni notes that it has taken a holistic system approach, supporting customers with preventive maintenance, repairs and the adaptation of existing energy supply systems.
In the course of the next two years, several Volkswagen models are to be produced in Zwickau based on the new MEB platform, the release said. The Zwickau site will be dedicated solely to electromobility as of the end of 2020.
The robotics field has very high requirements to ensure mechanical, chemical and thermal product properties as there are challenges posed by powerful acceleration, compression and torsion, for example, as well as millions of flexing cycles. Further, resilience is a must for high temperatures, welding beads, oil and various chemicals.
Leoni’s LSH 3, which is highly reliable, compact and flexible in use, reduces the likelihood of a collision with interference contours. This advantage, combined with extremely resilient materials and tried-and-tested components, provides great freedom while at the same time allowing the dresspack to be ducted closely to the robot arm.
Germany’s Leoni AG reports that the company’s new plant in Kraljevo, which represents its fourth plant in Serbia, should be ready to start ramping up production of wiring systems for Mercedes by the end of January.
A press release said that the 60 million euro investment in Kraljevo is being made in steps, and that the current stage accounts for 6,500 sq m of production space, with some 150 engineers, technicians and workers in the production. The site will not be fully completed until the end of the first quarter of 2020, at which time the plant will be 45,000 sq m. By 2023, it should be in full capacity, employing around 5,000 workers.
The release said that plant, described as the first new one built in Kraljevo in 30 years, will be the company’s largest plant in Serbia. Leoni has been operating in Serbia since 2009, when the German-based company opened its first factory in Prokuplje. In 2014, a factory was opened in Malosiste and in 2017, one in Nis. All the plants manufacture wiring systems for producers of premium cars.
Since setting up its business, Leoni Serbia, in 2009, the company has invested approximately 90 million euros in its facilities, machinery and staff training, the release said. It currently employs around 6,000 people in the country, and once the Kraljevo plant is at full capacity it should have 10,000 workers, at which point Leoni expects to be the largest manufacturing-industry employer in Serbia.
"Serbia has great potential from the human capital point of view and a work culture and ethics that we really appreciate," the release. Over the past 10 years, more than 52 million euros in taxes and contributions have been made to the Republic of Serbia. "We are pleased to be developing our business in Serbia further."
Of note, Leoni AG this year is scheduled to see the opening of a new plant it announced last June in Bulgaria. That plant, which would bring 2,000 jobs to the northern city of Pleven in Bulgaria, would cost an estimated €32 million investment. The plant would be Leoni’s first in the country. It is scheduled to be fully operational by 2020, according to one report citing Bulgaria’s Economy Ministry.
Germany’s Leoni and Diehl have agreed to a strategic partnership covering battery systems for electric and hybrid vehicles.
Leoni is a global provider of energy and data management solutions in the automotive sector and other industries. Diehl is a significant partner to the automotive industry with its innovative solutions for hybrid and electric vehicles. The two companies will in future be working together on energy and data transmission as well as heat management across the entire value creation process. The partnership’s aim is to build on the skills of the two companies and to offer customers system solutions for electromobility from a single source.
Compared with the automotive business as a whole, the market for electrically powered vehicles promises disproportionately strong growth rates averaging more than 30% a year globally through to 2025. Instead of individual components, the carmakers are furthermore increasingly calling for all-in solutions and systems. Leoni and Diehl will be addressing both trends by working together.
“We are confident that we will be offering our customers new, attractive solutions in the growing market for alternative drive systems,” said Martin Stüttem, a member of Leoni AG’s Board of Directors with responsibility for the Wiring Systems Division.
In October, Leoni showcased technologies for autonomous driving at the International Suppliers Fair, where it focused on connectivity, not just for a car, but between vehicles themselves as well as to their surroundings. That requires high rates of data transmission, for which Leoni’s Dacar Ethernet cables offer bidirectional transfer of 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps (Ethernet standard).
Leoni has developed an Ethernet cable design with optimized materials to achieve high conductor symmetry even when exposed to vibration, humidity or dirt. Interference from the outside or mutual impairment of cables running next to each other can thereby be reduced.