Tag Archives: automotive

The Connected Car Is In View


We have seen publicity from IBM about how they are working with the automotive industry (both OEM‘s and suppliers) to created the “Connected Car” It is all about using big data, cloud computing, mobile and social to change the way the automotive industry does business. They have discovered that the “Internet of Things” is laying in wait under the hood or behind the dashboard for sharp businesses to take advantage of. Sensors, processors and actuators are laying in wait to be harvested for their data. Then we have cell phone links, streaming satellite media and advanced navigation services. A vehicle is now as well connected as the driver’s home is. Let’s take a look at some of the projects underway:

The realities of today’s IoT market


The Internet of Things (IoT) is being touted as the next frontier for manufacturers that want to connect not only with their physical resources but also with their customers. By tying into the IoT, companies can instantly access real-time information on assets halfway across the globe and make faster and better-informed decisions. But despite the potential benefits of the IoT, industry analysts suggest that the technology may not be a good fit — or even fit at all — for the average manufacturer.

 Growth — or lack thereof — of radio frequency identification (RFID) as a parallel to IoT’s adoption challenges. Industry hype around RFID has lasted for years, but factors such as cost and project size have prevented adoption from climbing as fast as vendors suggested. Manufacturers are still asking, “Why can’t we just keep using barcodes?” In light of this, the onus really falls on vendors to prove the value of IoT investment to their customers.

It’s a classic market problem: Vendors who are interested in [IoT] have this notion that, ‘why wouldn’t you want to instrument everything you have?’ The buyers, however, are still unsure why they should change how they detect and respond to problems. They’re wondering if they really need to be able to monitor things in real-time”

Most companies who are consumer focused — manufacturers, distributors, retailers — certainly see it as an eventual opportunity, but, right now, a lot of [IoT] is very experimental. IoT has the most potential in asset management and production monitoring.

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

You already know that IoT is a term used to loosely identify items that have been imbued with enough intelligence and communication abilities to send messages across the internet. First of all, this means that these items are not human in the ways we normally think of humans using computers to send information via the Internet. But that doesn’t mean that some of these ‘things’ can’t be humans, or at least humans carrying with devices that do the communicating for them. The connections and the information are triggered by conditions as they change.

That information is transmitted using some kind of message format. It’s likely that the vast majority of those messages will not be in EDI X12 format. Some will exist in proprietary formats created to meet the specific needs of the devices, and I expect a larger portion will use some sort of XML format simply because of the ease of creating the content. But there’s no reason that ‘things’ that are already part of the supply chain and would normally be encoded in X12 format documents could not be produced in exactly the same format and thereby easily incorporated into existing processes.  See more on EDI and IoT

What’s the difference between tracking individual items using IoT technology and RFID technology? Aside from the costs associated with each – Oh wait! It’s the costs of each that ‘s keeping both from gaining ground. Both technologies can provide item level identification but RFID can now be considered ‘old’ tech while IoT (Internet of Things) is the current darling of the development world. Here’s what I see happening over the next few years.

RFID has been around for a while and has always (still does) had a slow uptake with regard to supply chain integration. That’s both sad and understandable. RFID came along before current connectivity options were widely available. It requires specialized readers, and has very short distance requirements for communication. But most importantly, consumers were still afraid of what it meant. Some even went so far as to call it the ‘mark of the devil’ believing it would become embeded in every person and allow unwanted tracking and identification.    See more

The automotive industry especially seems to have a lot of promise because of the number of cars that are sold and in terms of the value of having connectivity. Watch for more on this and how the “Battle for the Dashboard” is progressing.This contest sounds like the “Battle of the Bands”. See the kickoff to this contest with Apple’s Entry



APPLE as an Automotive Supplier


Apple‘s business plans always call for grand scale market penetration, but they quietly got into the car “infotainment” (buzz word for broadcast material which is intended both to entertain and to inform) sector. Now they are attracting the of attention of the automotive world — especially from Tier-1 suppliers that would directly compete against Apple.


Right now, CarPlay, Apple‘s proprietary “iOS” (operating system for mobile devices for automotive infotainment), is already showing up in cars. The “available as an option” list includes Ferrari, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. Other major carmakers are expected to put their toes in the water.

Users get to sync their iPhones with their dashboards in cars that offer CarPlay. The dashboard touchscreen has the CarPlay iOS interface so that users can email, check Facebook, navigate the car with an iPhone app; stream music, and probably other things before they are through.

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10507-apple-as-an-automotive-supplier#ixzz318kN0guN

Automotive EDI – Tying The Strings Together


In our article on “EDI Goes Deep”, we first encounter the concept of “regional” networks. These developed over the years, but now that everybody is going global, how has the auto industry adapted? Like instead of everybody having to join all these regional groups, how have they “gone global” How do we bring these regional centers together?

Everything starts with Industry Associations. The automotive industry has developed a number of industry associations. These associations provide standards for how automotive companies exchange information electronically with each other. With global expansion in recent years, the industry associations around the World now work closely with each other so that automotive companies can set up new plants and onboard new business partners as quickly as possible.

Read more: http://www.ec-bp.com/index.php/articles/industry-updates/10487-automotive-edi-tying-the-strings-together#ixzz2zsZxrtRb


Automotive EDI Goes Deep


EDI has been used by the automotive industry for over 40 years. The watch-like precision of a car production line relies on the lightning-fast and flawless exchange of EDI and other business documents between the car manufacturers (OEMs) and their huge supply chain.

A lot of the business processes used around the World to manufacture cars started out with a production system developed by Toyota and W. Edward Deming. The two best known practices are Just-In-Time (JIT) and Lean Manufacturing. Both depend upon EDI to quickly transfer business documents, provide visibility of inventory levels and notification of when shipments are due to arrive.

The automotive industry is very global. Does not matter where in the World the suppliers are, they must be onboarded VERY QUICKLY. So EDI must stretch around the World. This means not reachable only by sophisticated EC providers, but also by providers with simple tools for small suppliers. The communications and document standards vary by country. Thanks to several regional EDI networks, all is possible.

And now, for the rest of the story about Automotive EDI

Automotive Calls For High Class EDI


Automotive suppliers are EDI veterans and have been into EDI for a long time. But it used to be relatively uncomplicated because of the industry’s business model: just ship a lot of a few assigned parts, on time, without defects. The OEM ran huge assembly plants and put the whole vehicle together. But things have changed. Many first-tier suppliers are now responsible for “systems” (really sub-assemblies) and rely on lower-tier suppliers. As their role changes, so does the complexity. Let’s look at a typical supplier who used to manufacture just rear-view mirrors.

Automotive Supply Chain Connections


In designing Supply Chain Control Towers, we have been heavily concerned with visibility into outsourced and/or offshore finished products suppliers. But the Manufacturing function itself depends on it’s own critical parts suppliers. We have to realize that success is more than just assuming Manufacturing’s ERP/MRP will handle everything for us. Let’s take a look at the automotive industry and what it takes to create an integrated manufacturing process.

What do we mean by integration? It starts with complete visibility both up and down the manufacturing path. This path must be solid as a rock, high speed and able to support CAD/CAM as well as EDI.