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Pioneering the Factory of the Future: Insights from Audi

Sumit Dhawan

Since the birth of the car more than a century ago, innovation has been a driving force in automotive manufacturing. Today, as electric vehicles go mainstream, the auto industry is pushing harder than ever to reinvent manufacturing for a low-carbon future.

Audi is at the forefront of this push to create the factory of the future, and the auto giant has joined forces with VMware to power their production site in southwest Germany, as the two companies co-innovate to meet bold goals for sustainability and efficiency.

During VMware Explore Barcelona, I hosted a fascinating conversation with Dr. Henning Loeser, Head of the Audi Production Lab. Henning has long been a prominent voice in the automotive industry, with a reputation for leading breakthrough innovation via his mantra: Progress through Technology.

Henning described Audi’s ambition to transcend today’s conventional wisdom and take manufacturing as we know it to new heights. A big focus for Audi is innovation at the Edge, with an emphasis on breaking down old, rigid structures that have impeded progress and negatively impacted product reliability.

"There are several technologies that enable our approach,” said Henning. “For example, we're leveraging VMware's Edge Computing, virtual storage, and digital workspace solutions in order to centralize and orchestrate all real-time and non-real-time compute requirements." He went on to explain how this software foundation helps Audi optimize their manufacturing processes, using real-time data analysis and swift decision-making at the edge to produce vehicles in a more secure, efficient and flexible environment.

Audi's commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation doesn't stop here. As Henning shared, "We're exploring how AI and machine learning can further enhance our manufacturing processes.”

The collaboration between Audi and VMware is core to building a manufacturing future that is significantly greener and more energy efficient. Through our work together, we're not just producing cars more efficiently; we're setting new standards for precision, customization, and sustainability.

As Henning said, "We look forward to pushing the boundaries of innovation together." I could not agree more. The road ahead is filled with innovation, and Audi and VMware are leading the way towards a promising future for manufacturing.

Learn more about our many innovations announced at this year's VMware Explore.