In this post I would like to talk about two other plants that we visited as part of the Van of Nerds in France. One is a railway repair and maintenance plant by SNCF, and the other is a body shop and final assembly by the well-known French car maker Renault. Both offered interesting insights. I am personally quite familiar with automotive assembly. The railroad repair facility, however, was something quite new to me. Let me show you.
This post looks at two plants we visited during our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022. Both plants are in areas in which I have little experience. The first one was SLB, specializing in sensors for oil field exploration. The second one was the Thales Group, where we visited the location manufacturing military sensors. In both locations we had a deeper look at internal logistics. This is (from the point of view of car manufacturing) a low-volume but definitely not a low-cost business. Let’s have a look.
This post looks at more plants we visited on our Van of Nerds tour in France in 2022. The focus this time is the aircraft industry, in particularly the engines. We visited a major maker of aircraft engines, or their nacelles and thrust reversers to be more precise, Safran in Le Havre. But we also visited two suppliers for engine components. LISI specializes in high-performance bolts and screws for aircraft, but also has some highly advanced digital displays on their shop floor. JPB makes well-designed inspection ports for aircraft engines, for which they developed some really clever digital solutions, which they now also provide to others. It was definitely a set of highly interesting visits. Let me show you!
In 2019 I organized an Industry 4.0 tour through southern Germany for a few friends. We called this the “Van of Nerds,” and you can read all about it in a series of blog posts starting here. The participants liked the van trip so much that we wanted to repeat this experience… and then came COVID. We held two online Van of Nerds mini-conferences (organized by our Nerd Torbjörn Netland), and finally, on September 5–9, 2022, we were able to take another real-world tour with our van of nerds, this time in France. The tour was organized thanks to nerds Franck Vermet and Michel Baudin.
To round up our tour of a van full of nerds to study Industry 4.0 in Germany, here is the report on different presentations and tryouts. These were not plant visits, but different demonstrations by some smaller and one not-so-small (Bosch) companies. The first four were at the Arena 2036, a research collaboration to explore the future of the automobile. The other three were at the respective companies locations. Also quite insightful.
As part of our van full of nerds tour through southern Germany to study Industry 4.0, we also visited two companies, Kärcher and Siemens. Siemens is probably well known to all of you. We went to their Amberg plant where they make programmable logic controllers. Kärcher is a smaller company that makes pressure washers and industrial cleaning machines. Let me show you what we found.