Automotive Paint Shop 4.0
The project has been carried out on behalf of a German car manufacturer, in cooperation with ProPoint Sp. z o.o. Sp. k. and industrial partners. The main goal of the research was to reduce the primary bottleneck in the operation of a paint shop, which is caused by frequent changeovers of painting guns. A new type of sequencing problem was studied from both an algorithmic and a practical point of view. The original ‘Car Sequencing Problem’ focuses on determining the sequence before production starts, without the possibility of later change to this sequence. The new problem consists of real-time car sequencing using a buffer for the purpose of considering dynamic changes. After identifying and analyzing the causes of the emerging problems tools like Virtual Engineering and Virtual Commissioning are used for the modeling of an existing production line with a buffer, model validation, and the development of methods to improve the sequencing process. Two heuristics based on a set of simple rules and one more advanced heuristic are proposed in the paper. Their effectiveness has been tested during simulations, based on real data, and compared with current industry solutions. The extensive computational experiments show that heuristics-based proposal outperforms the methods known from the literature in terms of in terms of matching to industry requirements. This indicates that it is possible to improve the sequencing effectiveness, and as a result a smart buffer control system is proposed. Validating the proposed solution in a virtual environment paves the way to implement the Paint Shop 4.0 concept in a real plant in the future.
Further information: Computer & Industrial Engineering, Volume 139, January 2020