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MHP presents the digital quality assurance tool paint_it

Smart Factory: the paint shop of the future

  • Digital monitoring system paint_it MHP’s first own SaaS product (Software-as-a-Service)
  • paint_it can be used as a manufacturer-independent quality control system
  • Digital paint quality control system is in use at Volkswagen's main plant
  • The management and IT consultancy now offers cloud-based SaaS products that make industrial production processes more efficient and data-driven

Ludwigsburg / Hannover – With an eye on their resource use, energy expenditure and carbon footprint, car manufacturers worldwide are striving to optimise coating thicknesses of paints on their vehicles. However, more elaborate paint coatings are also more susceptible to quality defects. That’s why the work put into quality control is increasing and with it the amount of data that is collected. In order to be able to record and process such a large amount of data efficiently, the Porsche subsidiary MHP has developed the paint_it monitoring system.

Moritz Gessner is a product manager at MHP and jointly responsible for the technology in the ICS cluster: "With paint_it, customers benefit from a flexible application, which can analyse the three most important quality parameters, regardless of the measuring device manufacturer. Our analysis and processing of this data optimises the painting process and makes it future-proof.”

Cloud-based quality control for paint

The cloud-based system offers a hardware-independent solution. With this monitoring system, information generated in production can be evaluated more easily. Specifically, this means data on various quality criteria in the coating process, which include the thickness of the paint layer, the colour tone - experts speak of colour matching - and the surface quality of the paint (orange peel effect).

The monitoring system analyses the collected data and compares it with general, company-specific tolerances and references. The information needed to do this is stored in the cloud and as is the data supplied by the system. That means quality defects can not only be detected within a very short time, but to some extent, even predicted. This is because the system recognises trends and uses this ability to predict increasing deviations of individual quality criteria from the permissible tolerance values. Consequently, countermeasures can be taken in good time in the upstream processes before excessive surface roughness occurs in the paint finish, for instance. As a result, the number of quality defects is reduced. This in turn increases the production throughput - while at the same time reducing costs and keeping rejects to a minimum.

Already in use at Volkswagen

There are two conceivable scenarios for using paint_it. In scenario one, the sensors are operated by employees to record data on the car body. In the future, however, a second scenario, in which this task is delegated to industrial robots in so-called automatic measuring cells, is also conceivable. This will enable quality control in the paint shop to be fully automated.

At Volkswagen's main plant in Wolfsburg, paint_it is already being used on the joint production line for the Seat Tarraco, Volkswagen Touran and Volkswagen Tiguan.

SaaS product paint_it is part of MHP's new business area strategy

As a technology and business partner, MHP not only guides its clients through the industry’s transformation, the management and IT consultancy itself is also constantly developing. In keeping with its role as a full-service provider for digital transformation, MHP is launching its cloud-based SaaS solutions (software-as-a-service solutions) with immediate effect, together with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the technology partner and Volkswagen as the industrial partner, with the aim of making production processes more efficient. At MHP, the largest subsidiary of Porsche AG, these services are bundled under the "Industrial Cloud Solutions" (ICS) cluster.

This means that - in addition to existing services – these digital SaaS products will supplement the MHP service portfolio. This is necessary because the production of the future is data-driven and operates largely autonomously. Production networks are highly cross-linked via cloud architectures, enabling fast data exchange. The paint_it, Sounce and FleetExecuter products now expand MHP's business field. They and all subsequent products are based on extensive project experience in cloud strategy, cloud architecture, cloud development and migration, and cloud operations. There are currently ten teams totalling over 90 developers working in parallel on building these software products

MHP's new business area - Industrial Cloud Solutions – is based primarily on the comprehensive experience gained from years of IT and management consulting in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. MHP uses the technology and process know-how gained from this experience to offer cloud-based software solutions for engineering, production and supply-chain digitalisation.

Premiere: MHP presented paint_it at the Hannover Messe

Porsche subsidiary MHP has been presenting its new business area ICS and the first product, paint_it, at the Hannover Messe #HM23 for the very first time. Around 4,000 companies from the mechanical engineering, electrical and digital industries, as well as from the energy sector, were using the world's leading trade fair for industry (from 17th. to 21st. April in Hanover) to showcase their technologies and solutions for a networked and climate-neutral industry.

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