How resource-intensive is it to develop a new generation of heavy trucks? Probably more than anyone outside the industry can imagine. Truck manufacturer Scania’s CEO, Henrik Henriksson, offers some compelling figures. “The new generation of trucks has become increasingly complex,” he said pointing at the volume of systems, embedded software applications, sensors, engine, cabin and material options that have grown from a trickle to a torrent.
“We are not just launching a new truck range,” he explained, “But also a unique, ingenious toolbox of sustainable solutions in the form of products and services that Scania is the first in the industry to deliver.”
Demands on the PLM System
It is hard to find any truck manufacturer in the world with the same high margins per truck as Scania. They are not number one in terms of quantity–Daimler is the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy trucks, followed by Volvo Group and Volkswagen Group, containing both MAN and Scania–have an average annual production of around 60,000 trucks. However, the interesting part of this story is that during 2015, on average 1.2 trucks had the same configuration. The variations in how a truck can be configured are almost unlimited, and clearly, more than 50,000 variants place huge demands on the IT support systems. So it’s no surprise that the PLM system plays a leading role in this process.
Designed in Dassault’s CAD solution CATIA V5, the system features a proprietary database and configurator called OAS, with Dassault’s ENOVIA playing a minor part as a CAD vault. In principle, all design is done in CATIA, including the engines. What about BOM management? The eBOM’s (engineering Bill of Materials) are produced in OAS, even if some subassemblies are produced in Enovia. The BOM structures are then moved to a system called MONA for production preparation and building structures. This can be compared with what we would describe as mBOM’s (manufacturing BOM’s). MONA does have some limitations in its ability to manage variants, an area at which Scania is taking a closer look and still hopes to solve.
The MES (Manufacturing Executions Systems) has a minor role at Scania in regards to OAS’ and MONA’s capabilities. However, for the parts where they use MES, the tool is a modified version of Dassault’s Aprisio that deals with information from OAS and MONA. Furthermore, Scania’s sales model is a unique interwoven solution combining product development, modular manufacturing processes and sales into a holistic system. Take a look at what fantastic job has the Polish tuning atelier Carlex Design done for the Scania-R model. The Polish tuning atelier Carlex Design specializes mostly in designing custom car interiors. Their portfolio includes a number of really cool projects, but one of them stands out among others. We're talking about Carlex's interior for Scania-R – a heavy truck produced by the Swedish automaker.
A truck is like a family member, often the only one, to any long-distance driver, and it seems the owner of this haulier decided to add more comfort and style to his favourite cabin. Well, the guys at Carlex know their job perfectly as you can see from the before and after pics below.
With premium leather trims, wood inserts, and LCD display, this ordinary commercial truck became a dream for any hitchhiker. We'd love to cross the country a couple of times in this Scania-R, what about you?