Delivering a detailed benchmarking study to inform JLR on best-in-class practices for managing machining, assembly, and testing operations involved in battery pack and electric drive unit (EDU) manufacture.
WHO WAS THE CUSTOMER?
JLR is a British multinational automobile manufacturer which produces luxury vehicles and sport utility vehicles under their ‘house of brands’: Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar. Globally, they operate 7 vehicle assembly and 2 engine plants, with the majority of operations taking place in the UK.
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF?
As part of JLRs reimagine strategy, ambitious targets have been set to be a pure electric brand by 2025. As such, significant resources are being invested in the development and manufacture of next generation electric powertrains, with a key focus on the battery pack and Electric Drive Unit (EDU) subsystems. As JLR continue their transition to electrification, and to ensure they remain an internationally competitive automotive manufacturer, members of the powertrain manufacturing team (PTME) sought to conduct an industry wide benchmarking study into manufacturing best practices based on key metrics against other OEMs in the market.
HSSMI were enlisted to work in close collaboration with the Advanced Manufacturing team. Benchmark data was collected against key metrics such as: Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), Right First Time (RFT), rework/scrap %, station count, product complexity and levels of automation. The results are expected to feed into where JLR decide to best position themselves when developing and operating their own manufacturing facilities for Battery pack and EDU manufacture.
WHY WERE HSSMI BROUGHT IN?
HSSMI have extensive expertise in EDU and battery pack manufacturing, accrued from the delivery of various R&D programs and consultancy projects. These have taken place with a range of global manufacturers, from emergent tier 1’s to established OEMs, all with varying technologies, scales and customers. This holistic understanding of where other manufacturers sit in terms of EDU and Battery pack manufacture is what the JLR team were looking to tap into in order to help benchmark where they should best position themselves. Moreover, the HSSMI and JLR teams have a successful history of delivering past projects together, particularly in the electrification space. These positive relationships would be leveraged on this project to ensure the project runs smoothly and is delivered to the right quality.
WHAT DID HSSMI DO TO DELIVER THE RESULTS?
HSSMI’s respective battery module, pack and EDU experts first sought to understand JLR’s planned manufacturing operations, test strategies, associated KPIs and costs. A thorough comparison of the JLR operation could then be made with other OEMs and best-in-class facilities the HSSMI team have experience in collaborating with.
There are a wide variety of technologies employed across battery modules, packs and e-motors as the industry takes strides towards improving efficiency and reducing cost. The key to a fair and holistic comparison was to understand the differences in end product and identify suitable benchmark operations that best reflected JLRs ambitions.
With appropriate benchmark operations and products selected, the HSSMI team extracted data that would best evaluate how competitive the planned JLR manufacturing strategies are. The team collated data on assembly, machining and test strategies for numerous OEMs and provided detail on how specific KPIs were achieved. One of the fundamental aims of the study was to confirm whether JLR were not only operationally competitive but cost competitive. Facility wide costs were reported, accompanied by a station-by-station analysis of equipment installed and cost associated; providing JLR the means to evaluate value for money of their operation.
The HSSMI team took a cross functional approach to the project. Working closely with the JLR Manufacturing team allowed HSSMI to feedback on progress, discuss project direction, and ensure the project was delivered on time and to a high standard.
WHAT IMPACT DID THIS MAKE?
Comprehensive reports were generated to document all the findings throughout the JLR Benchmarking projects. The data enclosed enabled the JLR Manufacturing team to assess whether their current manufacturing strategy and process was competitive financially and operationally. The reports sought to inform on best-in-class strategies for machining, assembly, test and complexity management across the EV industry, and advised actions JLR might consider to optimise their planned manufacturing operations.
JLR are now using the benchmark reports to drive their future strategy in electrification by assisting in their current decision making. The cost comparison included is also being used to evaluate vendor quotations and expected budgets.
HSSMI look forward to continue supporting JLR in 2023 and 2024 in their transition to electrification and drive towards Net Zero.
JLR HAVE SET OUT AMBITIOUS TARGETS TO TRANSFORM THEIR BUSINESS UNDER THEIR ‘REIMAGINE STRATEGY’, SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS ARE BELOW:
- Aims to become carbon net zero by 2039.
- Reduce greenhouse emissions by 54% across entire supply and operations chain by 2030 compared to levels in 2019.
- By the end of the decade every vehicle model will be available with full battery power.
- Launch 6 pure-electric models across the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender brands by 2026, starting with the all-electric Range Rover in 2024.
- Jaguar will be a pure-electric brand from 2025.
(REIMAGINE | JLR Corporate Website.)
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