Renault unveils its industrial metaverse

On the occasion of the Tech Industry Days, Renault unveiled its industrial metaverse, where all the group’s factories are digitally reproduced. Which generate more than a billion data a day to optimize their operation. This translates into lower costs: 780 million euros have already been saved by improving quality.

Renault has invested 225 million euros over 5 years to create this industrial metaverse.

On the occasion of its “Tech Industry Days”, the Renault group presented an industrial metaverse project started in 2016 at the Flins plant (78). The manufacturer also presents it as a world premiere. All of its factories around the world now have double digital and over a billion data rises every day in a European Google cloud.

To realize this virtual reality, Renault has invested 225 million euros in 5 years and the results are already palpable with 780 million savings already made. But as the data, more and more numerous, so will the economies.

By 2025, Renault estimates that this new world will save over 320 million euros on overall costs, especially manufacturing, and 260 million euros on inventories. A device that will also be a means for the brand to reduce the CO2 footprint per vehicle by 50% and to speed up delivery times by 60%.

With quality improvement also part of the equation, the manufacturer also hopes for a 50% reduction in warranty costs and, from an industrial point of view, faster implementation of new technologies for 40% less.

Sell ​​the data collection solution to other manufacturers

All the objects that make up a factory, in fact, are connected but above all they speak the same language, as soon as the data is collected. For example, 8,500 pieces of equipment ranging from a simple screwdriver to a welding robot, but also 107 presses, 172 machining centers or even 15 air extractors from the paint booths power the cloud.

This metaserver appears to bring production monitoring into a new era with constant optimization. Possible applications are still very numerous to come with the addition of a dose of artificial intelligence, which will develop rapidly with the multitude of data collected. Quality control will gain as training.

Renault has partnered with Atos to sell its data collection solution to other business sectors such as rail, aeronautics, etc. Called ID @ Scale, this solution has been “on sale” since June 2022 and Atos says it has already signed with a customer. By 2027, the Renault-Atos association hopes to achieve a turnover of 49 million euros with 18 active customers.

Fast track thanks to the metaverse

But this metaverse doesn’t stop at the factory gates. In fact, the supply chain is also scrutinized. The control center, currently in Vélizy (78) but which will soon join the Technocentre in Guyancourt (78), also checks 6,000 trucks a day to better anticipate certain supply and therefore production problems. This “surveillance” will extend over the months and the builder hopes to be able to follow the boats soon.

But this data forest doesn’t stop upstream. In fact, the downstream data is also used, up to the delivery of the vehicle to the dealership. For example, this affects delivery times, which are getting faster and faster. The first concrete thing done in this area is the implementation of Fast Track. Indeed, Renault offers Arkana or Captur in fast deliveries based on this system. But it is impossible to know how many days have been won.

Real-time energy management

More generally, on the subject of reducing energy consumption, also at the center of this virtual world, Renault recalled the calendar for its decarbonisation. If the European carbon neutrality target is set at 2030 (2050 worldwide), the ElectriCity cluster will be neutral thanks to the use of 75% renewable energy starting from 2025.

The Douai site (59) will be able to count on a deep geothermal system (4 km, built with Engie) with water at 130 degrees. Maubeuge (59) will use biomass (with Dalkia-EDF). These two systems will cover 70% of the thermal needs of the two sites and, for the remaining 30%, Renault will use methanisation with biogas.

In this energy management too, the metaverse has its uses. In fact, with EcoGy, a software that allows you to track all the consumption data of 24 plants, Renault can plan consumption (and buy energy at a lower price) but also monitor anomalous things. For example, in a factory, the dashboard allows you to see the consumption of identical machines in real time and if one consumes more than the others, a warning is given to adjust them so that they all consume the same thing.

Consumption management which has already made it possible to save 12% in 2022 and the goal is to reach 30% in 2025. To conclude this chapter on energy, Renault is expected to soon announce a photovoltaic system in France that will cover 50% of the requirement. A project like the one already signed in Spain, with Iberdrola, which covers the needs of the Spanish sites with 600 gWh of carbon-free electricity thanks to photovoltaics.

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