In Toledo, Ohio there is a highly automated plant that builds the entire body of a Jeep Wrangler in 82 seconds—using an intelligent system powered by Windows Embedded. The Toledo facility is operated by KUKA Systems Group and they are able to produce more than 700 Wrangler bodies each day. Keep in mind that the plant operates 20 hours a day, and IT processes have to run without issue. The intelligent manufacturing system is anchored by Windows Embedded and Microsoft SQL Server that controls the factory’s 246 assembly-line robots, along with multiple devices, applications and back-end systems. The robots on the shop floor are connected to 33 controller points, managed by one primary controller on a SQL Server cluster running Windows Server. In all, those 33 controller points connect with 1,444 nodes capable of interfacing with approximately 60,000 devices on the shop floor, such as welding and sealing equipment. Pretty wild! Take a look at the video below to see how the iconic Jeep Wrangler is built thanks to Microsoft technology!
“With Windows, we have a relatively open system that we can customize to communicate with the other IT systems around it,” Haag says. “The idea was to use a mainstream technology that was developed for other domains, like the consumer industry, and drive service-oriented technology into the automation world. This is exactly what Windows gives us.”