Think luxury, think British innovation.  Aston Martin is a byword for excellence and is a premier example of UK manufacturing.  As it celebrates 101 years of automotive production, its high performance sports cars, including the Rapide S, Vanquish, DB9 and Vantage, ensure its place as a global brand.

To further reinforce its position as a sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin and Siemens UK & Ireland have developed and installed a SCADA plant intelligence system that underpins the company’s reputation for efficiency and performance.  Its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire has been enhanced with the installation of Siemens SIMATIC WinCC SCADA as a scalable process visualisation system to control and monitor all aspects of the site’s processes from the production line to the paint shop and beyond.

Aston Martin’s senior controls engineer Steve Davis explained some of the background: “Our Gaydon manufacturing facility is modern, flexible and efficient but we are always looking for improvements. We felt that the introduction of a plant-wide integrated control and monitoring system would be beneficial. We spoke with Siemens and developed a solution which had SIMATIC WinCC SCADA at its heart. We can now access status, data and reporting from up to 50 terminals across the site.”

The factory-wide control system operates all equipment and provides immediate access to operational critical data such as trend logging of temperature curves in the paint shop’s curing ovens through to control and visualisation of activity on the two primary production lines.  Equipment data can be monitored and presented as live operator-relevant information which can be integrated into KPI reports which can then be used for strategic management decision-making.  In addition, with access to downtime reporting capability, fault-finding and even spotting potential faults, issues can be quickly identified and corrected leading to a tangible reduction in downtime and an increase in overall equipment effectiveness.

Daniel Smalley, product manager for Siemens UK & Ireland believes Aston Martin is reaping real benefits from the expansion of the control and monitoring system at Gaydon and the enhanced intelligence it brings to the manufacturing process.  He said:  “The Gaydon site is now seamlessly joined via the user-friendly WinCC SCADA system so all elements of the production process are easily accessible via the touch displays that are strategically positioned in production areas.  Visualised realtime plant and production information at the touch of a button means the operational teams are on top of situations quickly and can respond without delay.  From a proactive perspective enhanced and predictive maintenance strategies are being implemented and, with these, reductions in downtime are actively managed meaning operational efficiencies have been further improved.”

Steve Davis concluded: “We are happy with the benefits we have seen since installing the new system.  We have an integrated and plant-wide transparent control and monitoring capability for our essential processes all from a single source.  It also allows for historical archiving of results achieved, downtime alarm logging and daily build logs, which is the type of critical data that can aid strategic planning and improve our already impressive efficiency record.” 

Aston Martin is a company with a long tradition of the finest craftsmanship and cutting edge design, positioning its cars as some of the most desirable on the market. With the automation technology support of Siemens it is well placed to ensure future demand can be met as efficiently as possible.