Can staff take a break while the line is running? What happens in such a situation?
We have teams made up of ten people plus a floating coordinator. When a situation like that happens and one of the team members needs, for instance, to pop off to the loo, they are replaced by the team coordinator, who is properly trained in all of the required operations.
Looking ahead, what lies in store for conveyor belt production? More extensive use of robots?
Things are developing rapidly here. The welding shop is a good example: you will hardly find any manual point welding operations in our production system today. The new welding shop that we are now building for electric cars will be equipped with over 1,000 robots, with automation nudging 85%. And this process is not only about eliminating hard physical work. We also deploy automatic control systems, and artificial intelligence is already knocking on our door, too. The first area to be covered is that of check-up operations: for example, the surface of bodies painted in our paint shop is already checked by automatic scanners. We use Augmented Reality and failure prediction systems for maintenance operations. We will always need people, though. Believing that car production will do without people one day is like believing that at some point articles similar to this one will be generated by an automatic system.