Home Technology Small-batch EVs and loads of robots—Hyundai’s new innovation middle

Small-batch EVs and loads of robots—Hyundai’s new innovation middle

Small-batch EVs and loads of robots—Hyundai’s new innovation middle


A Hyundai Ioniq 5 on the production line
Enlarge / Hyundai’s newest manufacturing unit eschews the manufacturing line for cells.


SINGAPORE—The Hyundai Motor Group appears to have figured it out. Whereas different automakers are pulling again on EVs, the Korean automaker continues to introduce EVs that individuals like and are buying.

It is not rocket science that for those who supply good EVs at comparatively cheap costs, the gross sales will observe. Or perhaps it’s; I do not wish to faux I perceive the thoughts of an automotive CEO.

As HMG gears up for extra fashions in its lineup and falls for the attract of elevated EV gross sales, it is constructing extra amenities, together with the Georgia Metaplant that Hyundai is speeding to begin manufacturing in 2024. As soon as at peak manufacturing, Hyundai says it is going to spit out about half 1,000,000 EVs a yr.

I visited one other plant. The Hyundai Motor Group’s Innovation Heart in Singapore (HMGICS) is not concentrating on giant numbers. As a substitute, it is a facility constructed to determine make that Metaplant extra environment friendly whereas piloting applications to supply up personalised, low-run EVs.

The machine that builds the machine

In Singapore, HMG is working towards the machine that builds the machine. As a substitute of making an attempt to place it into observe at a significant manufacturing unit the way in which Tesla did with the Mannequin 3, it is making an attempt out alternative ways to include extra robots and AI (yeah, AI) to cut back the variety of people on the road. Effectively, probably not even a line. HMG has eliminated that side of automotive constructing at this facility.

I have been lucky sufficient to go to fairly a couple of car meeting strains. Exterior of some small variations right here and there, they’re all just about the identical, with people and robots working collectively, every with its personal activity, to construct a car. One factor that is for essentially the most half a human job is putting in the sprint and seats. Even when a robotic strikes the gadgets into place, a human adjusts and secures them to the car.

Hyundai’s Innovation Heart has put robots accountable for that total activity. One robotic locations the sprint whereas one other swings in and secures it to the car. A formidable feat, as a result of this activity is stuffed with always altering variables.


Whereas manufacturing has turn into extremely environment friendly at pumping out autos, there are slight variations between each single body that comes down the road and the location of the car itself inside an area. When you will have people who’re in a position to regulate to teeny, tiny variations on the fly, it is not a difficulty. Robots have a more durable time figuring this out.

To resolve these points, the robots themselves are nothing particular, however they’re geared up with pc imaginative and prescient and sensors. Then there’s AI thrown in in order that the machine understands when issues do not at all times line up completely and adjusts to the atmosphere. The system just isn’t fairly the place Hyundai needs it to be but. The objective is to find out calibration for each single car through 3D scanning after which have every robotic take the data and regulate itself on the fly.

Hyundai factors to elevated high quality in manufacturing and the flexibility to rapidly regulate the robots due to the superior instruments that energy them. If it might probably pull this off at scale in a spot just like the Metaplant, it might be a recreation changer, saving money and time within the manufacturing of autos.

Robots move the car from cell to cell.
Enlarge / Robots transfer the automotive from cell to cell.


As for the manufacturing unit line, that does not actually exist right here. As a substitute, Hyundai is utilizing workstations referred to as cells. A car sits on a robotic service and is transported to every cell to have a part of its meeting fulfilled. Every cell has a time restrict based mostly on how lengthy it ought to take to finish a activity. That is true for each robot-only and human-robot partnerships. Which brings us to the robots.


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