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Changan Unveils Innovative Integrated Virtual and Physical Factory Model, Reducing Costs by 20%

By YUTING CHEN|Feb 26,2024

Chongqing - Changan Automobile's upgrade project in Yubei District's Frontier Science and Technology City has recently achieved 95% production line installation completion, signaling that the start of official production is near.

The official at Changan Automobile described the project as a showcase for integrating digital intelligence and green technology to modernize traditional manufacturing. They aim to establish a globally leading, digital new energy vehicle smart factory.

Launched in January 2023 with a 10 billion yuan (USD 1.39 billion) investment over 1,159 acres, this factory is set to produce advanced digital intelligence New Energy Vehicles like QiYuan E07 and Avita E15.

Changan Automobile Global R&D Center. (Photo/Changan Automobile)

According to the person in charge, the factory utilizes 5G technology, connecting over 12,000 devices to its digital base for a complete digital twin of its production process. It digitally models 54 lines and 1,222 workstations across seven workshops, involving 2,524 equipment sets in a "virtual factory."

The "virtual factory" mirrors the actual production of new energy vehicles by encompassing all manufacturing stages, from die-casting to stamping, through the integrated use of cloud-native and micro-service technologies. This approach creates a novel construction model blending the virtual with the physical.

Numerous display panels in the workshop are linked to the "virtual factory," showing a range of production metrics and enabling live control over the production process.

The factory has developed 16 standardized, adaptable, smart scenarios, including intelligent production and logistics, to solve common issues like "data silos" in traditional factories. This innovation is expected to significantly increase per capita output efficiency and reduce costs by approximately 20% after beginning mass production.

Workers assembled vehicles in a smart factory of the Changan Auto in Chongqing, southwest China. (Photo/Wang Quanchao)

The Changan Yubei factory prioritizes sustainability, featuring a 260,000 square-meter solar power station with a 37MW capacity, covering 19% of its energy needs. Additionally, it employs eco-friendly practices like water recycling, waste heat recovery, and efficient equipment to reduce carbon emissions by 194.7 kilograms per vehicle produced.

(Deng Yawen, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)


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