Insight on electric-vehicle innovation

July 29, 2019
"Companies can gather this knowledge and bring it to life in their own factories."

Rockwell Automation recently opened its Electric Vehicle (EV) Innovation Center in San Jose, California. Located within Rockwell’s Information Solutions development facility, the new center will provide live manufacturing demonstrations, hands-on trials utilizing new technology and events showcasing collaboration with industry experts and Rockwell Automation partners.

Rockwell's Electric Vehicle Innovation Center

Utilizing augmented and virtual reality modeling, the EV Innovation Center provides automotive start-ups and established manufacturers an environment to learn new technologies and standards, enabling them to deliver electric vehicles to market faster, with less risk and at lower cost.

We wanted to learn more, so we connected with John Kacsur, Rockwell Automation’s president of automotive and tire industries. Take a look…

Rockwell Automation's John Kacsur

Smart Industry: What are the goals of the Electric Vehicle Innovation Center? 

John: It provides a place for customers to learn what’s possible in electric-vehicle production and how to make their electric-vehicle production the best it can be. It is a venue for automotive manufacturers to learn about digital technologies and capabilities that will help get their offerings to market faster, with less risk and lower cost.

Smart Industry: Who will perform trials, attend demos, etc.? 

John: Both automotive start-ups and established manufacturers can use the center. The center has an immersive learning experience with live manufacturing demonstrations of Rockwell Automation and partner technologies, including hands-on trials of augmented reality (AR) that can completely change how production workers do their jobs. Imagine, for example, operators getting step-by-step digital instructions to quickly perform maintenance on a piece of manufacturing equipment. As another example, visitors can learn how to build electric-vehicle powertrain-production lines that can ramp up with demand. Additionally, the center will host events that will showcase collaboration with industry experts and Rockwell Automation partners.

Smart Industry: Why is Rockwell participating in this initiative?

John: The electric-vehicle market continues to grow quickly as consumers adopt new vehicle offerings. According to the Bloomberg Electric Vehicle Outlook, in two decades, it’s estimated that more than half of all new car sales and one-third of the global fleet will be electric. How companies will meet challenges of this demand will depend on where they are in their production journey.  

Rockwell Automation opened the Innovation Center to help provide manufacturers a place to learn about technologies and capabilities that will help them overcome launch challenges, meet aggressive production timelines and operate more efficiently and at the lowest cost. The center showcases strategies that companies can utilize to address their top business needs, including creating more connected operations, maximizing production rates, reducing start-up risks and mitigating security risks. At the center, manufacturers can actually see the solutions and associated benefits for themselves before deciding what they should invest in for their operations.

Smart Industry: What element of this initiative most excites you?

John: It will showcase solutions for a range of companies. From mature automakers to startups, there will be solutions demonstrated that allow for an immersive learning experience, especially for those with little-to-no production exposure. These companies can gather this knowledge and bring it to life in their own unique way, in their own factories.

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