SEAT is trialling receiving car components by drone and shaving 75 minutes off the traditional hour and a half delivery time, the carmaker announced in a press release.
The Spanish company is linking Grupo Sesé’s logistics centre in Abrera, Spain, with the SEAT factory in Martorell using drones.
The first parts delivery service between two production plants is to include deliveries of steering wheels and airbags to the SEAT assembly lines. The pilot project is being carried out under the supervision of the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) and will go forward in an experimental phase with several flights per day.
The business said the addition of drones would improve flexibility on the production lines by connecting the just over two-kilometre distance that separates both facilities for just in time fast deliveries in only 15 minutes, a process which is currently done by truck and takes 90 minutes. With this move, every time a part is needed on the production line, delivery will be made quickly, thus improving efficiency.
This innovation is framed within SEAT’s commitment to Industry 4.0 aimed at making the Martorell factory smarter and further digitalised and connected in order to boost efficiency, flexibility and sustainability. Delivery using drones represents a reduction in CO2 emissions compared to truck transport and in addition, the drone’s batteries are recharged using renewable energy.
SEAT Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer, who brought this idea to SEAT, emphasised that “today’s flight is the first step in transforming the supply chain in the automotive industry. Delivery using drones is going to revolutionise logistics, as for example in the case of SEAT it will reduce delivery time by 80%. With this innovation we are boosting Industry 4.0 and we will become more efficient, agile and competitive, as well as much more sustainable.”
Furthermore, Grupo Sesé CEO Ángel Pueyo indicated that “this project that SEAT presented to us a few months ago is a clear example of our intention to be at the forefront of innovation and process development that can optimise and improve our clients’ supply chain and that positions us in the market as a global, comprehensive logistics operator.”
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