Which Role Will Human Workers Play in Future Production?

An Analysis of the Car Industry

Studienarbeit, 2018

40 Seiten, Note: 2,0


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Industry Revolution 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0
2.1 Industry Revolution 1.0
2.2 Industry Revolution 2.0
2.3 Industry Revolution 3.0
2.4 Summary and criteria’s of the first three revolutions

3. Industry 4.0
3.1 The current state

4. The status of the car industry in Germany and its development

5. The company Audi

6. Competitors in Germany
6.1 BMW
6.2 Daimler
6.3 VW

7. Core processes - before and after
7.1 Product development before
7.1.1 Concept development in the automobile industry
7.1.2 Series development in the automobile industry
7.2 Product development after
7.3 Customer order process before
7.4 Customer order process after
7.4.1 Cyber-physical system
7.4.2 3D-Printer
7.4.3 Big Data
7.4.4 Sensitive robots
7.4.5 IT-Security
7.4.6 Real-time Enterprise
7.4.7. Production systems
7.4.8 Assistant systems

8. The factor of human labour
8.1 Change of the work world
8.2 Interaction between humans and machines
8.3 The new areas of activity

9. View on the future

10. Conclusion

11. Bibliography

Management Summary

The digitalization and its growth in influence through the forth industrial revolution changes the production in the automobile industry. Assistant systems like 3d-printers or sensitive robots play a huge role in that topic. An upcoming question deals about how the role of the employees will change in the future. Will they get completely replaced in future productions or will they only get supported through assistant systems? This scientific paper deals about the question which role the human workers play in future production. The determination of the questions happens through literature sources which mainly deal about the forth industrial revolution, its abilities, measures and also the expectation of automobile manufactures. The company used for the scientific paper is Audi. An exact and definitive determination of the new areas of activity of the employees is really hard because of the really rough and small information which the company itself provides. Also, because they need to guess which assistant systems in the future will be feasible. This scientific paper suggests that through the influences of the forth industrial revolution and the digitalization the factor human regarding the production and installation activities will fade away and will be replaced with the responsibility to do more surveillance and controlling activities.

Illustration Directory

Illustration.1 Audi is testing AR-Gesture control for the virtual Assembly

Illustration.2 Example for 3D-Printer by Audi

Illustration.3 Use of sensitive robots in the final assembly

Illustration.4 Robots are moving cars at Audi

Illustration.5 Audi Chairless Chair

Illustration.6 A new kind of Assistant systems by Audi

1. Introduction

The history of the car development is long. The first cars were produced nearly by hand and hard work. Furthermore, it doesn’t give much selection and the cars were much expensive because of a long time of production. With the development came the relief. Industry 2.0 makes the car production easier. For example, vehicles could be mass- produced for a wide range of the population. Cars were now more affordable for the most people. However, the diversity and individualization of the vehicles were still limited. Henry Ford, for example, one of the founders of mass production said: "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black” (cf. Schulz, 2014, p.7 i.a.w. Ford, 1922, p.72).

With the begin and the establishing of the 3rd industrial revolution in the production and the company, it became possible to take the first steps in individualized mass production. Vehicles are still made on the assembly line but now with a few individualizations like for example the interior or the colour selection.

Now the 4th industry revolution is facing in which factories become more digital and self- governing. Production lines should find themselves according to the order. This raises up the question, will human labour still be necessary, in the future?

2. Industry Revolution 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0

This chapter is about the individual industrial revolutions and their characteristics.

2.1 Industry Revolution 1.0

The first industrial revolution started round about the 18th century through the invention of the steam engine by Thomas Newcomon and through the further development by James Watt. Further leading inventions were the mechanical loom and the new process of obtaining iron were. But the reason why the steam engine is mostly in the focus and is named as the starter of the industrial revolution is because the steam engine affected quite a few fields. One thing that not many could claim for themselves at that time. For example the train rides and the ships benefited of the steam engine because it was now possible to distribute and transport the goods way faster. Due to the drastically increasing population and the increasing amount of goods also the necessity became bigger of the named technologies (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.39 i.a.w. Schubert & Klein, 2011, *).

Till the date in which these developments pushed the standard of living, the gap between the working-class and the capitalists increased. Also the capitalists were the ones who had the needed production resources and capital. Through the creation of factories there seemed to be a societal change. The society switched from an agricultural society to an industrial society and the people who lived to that date in the country side moved into the cities in which the factories were. The upcoming exploits in the factories and the social impoverishment lead to a political change and created labor unions and worker parties (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.39 i.a.w. Schubert & Klein, 2011, *).

2.2 Industry Revolution 2.0

Almost 100 years after the first industrial revolution, the second path-breaking change came its way. Most literature points the beginning of the 20th century as the exact date in which the second industrial revolution started. The reasons were the fusion of mechanic and economic with the basic idea of division of labor. With that work steps should be divided into very small units. One example would be the by Henry Ford established assembly line production which made it possible to produce the cars his company made in huge amounts and also lower the costs at the same time.

Additionally, it was possible to reduce the assembly time from 12,5 hours to 1,5 hours. The individual manufacturing got replaced by the mass fabrication. From now on the products were all the same and identical but also much cheaper and affordable for the huge public (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.39 i.a.w. Warnecke, 1992, *).

The combustion engine, the electric motor and also the production of synthetic materials made the conditions for the second industrial revolution and are known as a crucial factor for technologies and resources. The impact of these technologies were because of the unlimited usage of resources the thread to the ecology. For example, by the usage of: coal, oil and later nuclear power (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.39).

It was observable that the society had increased income and the price for products went low through the second industrial revolution. The results were a worldwide prosperity gap which caused tension and ecological issues (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.39 i.a.w. Warnecke, 1992, *).

2.3 Industry Revolution 3.0

The third industrial revolution started in the 1970s and has still its impact today (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.40 i.a.w. Rifkin, 2011, *).

The cause was the fusion of mechanics with tax and electronic components. Through this fusion it was now possible to introduce programmable controls and power semiconductors which got developed based on drive regulators. An automatization of the products was now able through control technics, communication, sensors and actuator technology (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.40 i.a.w. Rifkin, 2011, * and Mikl- Horke, 2007, *).

Further technological progresses and achievements were made in the aerospace and satellite technologies. Also, the created IT-sector of the microelectronics experienced a boom. The resulting technical achievements are ranging from the personal computer, mobile phones to the internet. These achievements lead to a huge change of communication in the society. Additionally, these products lead to an increasing globalization and are part of the biggest changes through the third industrial revolution (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.40 i.a.w. Rifkin, 2011, * and Mikl-Horke, 2007, *).

Besides the introduction of automated installation systems, industrial robots and computer protected installation processes one must mention the rationalization. Also, the ecology experiences a change. Besides common energy sources there were renewable energies which got established. The cause was a stronger awareness of the limitedness of fossil energy resources and the impact of accidents like Chernobyl 1986 and Fukuschima 2011 (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.40 i.a.w. Rifkin, 2011, * and Mikl- Horke, 2007, *).

2.4 Summary and criteria’s of the first three revolutions

In the first three industrial revolutions one can summarized name a few characteristics which all revolutions have in common. The start was always a big technological change in the form of new achievements or new discoveries. These new achievements or discoveries had always impact on different fields like the: Work and social order, energy supply, communication and politics. These named impacts also lead to a further change of the society level (cf. Andelfinger & Hanisch, 2017, p.40).

3. Industry 4.0

The term Industry 4.0 first got used on the Hannover Fair in 2011 and describes a fully IP-based production and installation. In the year 2012 the German government received implantation suggestions of the work group Industry 4.0 from the promoter group communication of the research union. The content of the first position paper contained massive changes of production in the industrial countries which got created through the introduction of the internet of things or the internet of services within the production (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.1).

The internet of services describes a generally internet compatibility which could for example connect systems with plants. Through the guaranteed internet compatibility of plants now occurred Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) which made it possible that plants had now the possibility to further develop themselves and solves issues themselves (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.1 i.a.w. Kagermann, Wahlster & Helbig, 2012,*).

The fourth industrial revolution deals with the global competition in which through an increasing connection of the market the competition gets increased through the free option to choose future production locations. Germany could potentially take the leading role in this competition because of its strong middle-class, its hidden champions and the research landscape which are good conditions (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.1 i.a.w. Schafer & Pinnow, 2015, *).

Success factors for the development of the German industry are especially the active standardization system, a practice-oriented engineer training and a good infrastructure for the cooperation between industry and research (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.1 i.a.w Schafer & Pinnow, 2015, *). The German industry is known for its high quality and the increasing plant and work productivity. The demand to the industry is a high variant diversity with the same plant configuration. This contradicting demand is only possible through the flexibilisation of the installation processes (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.2).

3.1 The current state

At the moment are the topic fields installation and production processes the ones with the highest participation rate. The basis for the current state of technology and also used for the observation of the still to solve challenges is the OSI-Model (Open Systems Interconnection - Basic Referende) (cf. ITU, 1994, p.ii). The OSI-Model already owns a few wired and wireless alternatives in some topic fields but its main task is to create a plant crossing connection and a same understanding for all communication participants regarding the data and its interpretation (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, S.6). That’s why it would be useful if all participants had a standardized language area with the exact same knowledge (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.6 i.a.w. Fay, Diedrich, Thron, Scholz, Puntel Schmidt, Ladiges & Holm, 2015, *).


The role of Germany seems to be really positive so that one can assume that a leading role is possible but it still requires Germany to act fast. To guarantee a further economic success for Germany it’s important to transfer the current research results into practice and to transfer that into their products (cf. Pinnow, Schafer, 2015, p.7).

The in chapter 3.0 mentioned work groups see summarized in eight fields still an urge for action. The fields are the following: a standardization and reference architecture, to mastery of complex systems, to build a comprehensive broadband infrastructure for the industry, safety, the work organization and design, training and education, Legal framework, Resource efficiency (cf. Kagermann, Wahlster & Helbig, 2012, p.2).

4. The status of the car industry in Germany and its development

The automobile industry in Germany has the biggest share to the value which is much bigger compared to other countries. 2016 there were 808.491 people employed by car manufacturers or suppliers in Germany (cf. Statistisches Bundesamt, n.d.).

Last year the total turnover was 400 billion which means that every fourth Euro comes from a product of that work field. Round about % of all produced cars from these locations: Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and Munich got exported abroad. 7,7% of the whole economic performance comes directly or indirectly from car production. 1,8 Million jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on car manufacturing. In good times these mentioned numbers are advantageous and promising, but in bad times these numbers could become a huge danger. The automobile industry is an economic cluster risk like big banks. In this field the danger of the domino effect is always present because of its dependency (cf. Seiwert, 2017, p.1).

For example, a lot of suppliers are in danger because of the further development and replacement of combustion engines to electro engines. Dangerous for 600.000 jobs and a gross value added of 48 Million Euros. Additionally, the research would suffer immense if this field collapses. 1/3 of all investments into the research and development comes from automobile companies. That results in 41 Billion in 2016 (cf. Seiwert, 2017, p.2).

5. The company Audi

Audi is part of the biggest automobile manufacturers in Germany. In 2014 they were present in 50 markets and sold 1.741.129 cars (cf. Huber, 2016, p.118 i.a.w Audi, 2015, *). Audi produces worldwide at 15 locations, 12 different models with the tendency to increase (cf. Huber, 2016, p.118). Audi dealt since the beginning with the Smart Factory, which contained for them the following topic fields: Big Data, Variant management, Digital Manufacturing, Mobile Devices, Cloud Computing and Digital factories. Also a part of that are: Intelligent products and equipment, real-time value networks, constant information availability, changeable and connected production systems, vertical integration and real-time connected production systems, horizontal integration through value networks, companywide cooperation in processes, worldwide integration of suppliers and internal connection for special processes (cf. Huber, 2016, p.119 i.a.w Nagel, 2015, *)

The vision from Audi can be described in 3 points. One point is the custom-fit print of the car body with a 3D-Printer. Another point would be an autonomous transport system which moves the car between stations to the next free installation site. The last point would be sensitive robots which help the employees in activities. In this process the robots have the information which step is the next and which materials he’s going to need (cf. Huber, 2016, p.119 i.a.w Melfi, 2015, *). With that rigor production lines get replaced by dynamic production processes. That means that cars from Audi get produced at competence islands and not from assembly lines- That’s why Audi speaks from Smart Factory and not from Industry 4.0. Also the employees should get relieve from their monotone and hard work (cf. Huber, 2016, p.119 i.a.w Melfi, 2015, *).

But also the location should experience a change, the goal is a CO2 neutral location. The implementation should be possible through energy efficient planning and production location and logistics, the deactivation of machines in rest periods and the department for the production for the model R8 switches to LED-lights to reduce energy usage by 75% (cf. Huber, 2016, p.119f. i.a.w Melfi, 2015, *).

6. Competitors in Germany

The automobile market consists knowingly of a few competitors. In this chapter the competitors: BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen will be presented.

6.1 BMW

The company BMW contains the brands: BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce and owns over 30 production locations which are spread across 14 different countries and a distribution network that contains 140 countries. The revenue of the company was in 2014 at round about 80 Billion Euro which contained profits amounting to 9 Billion Euro (after taxation).

In the same business year the company employed 116.000 employees worldwide (cf. Huber, 2016, p.130 i.a.w Schillmoller, 2015, *). They also produced worldwide 2 Million vehicles. For comparison in the previous year 2013 over 1 Million vehicles were only produced in Germany. The carpool should constantly get extended. Additionally the company is active in the motorcycle market which sold in the business year 2014 over 110.0 units (cf. Huber, 2016, p.130).

6.2 Daimler

The company Daimler contains the brands: Mercedes-Benz (which also contains Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Maybach), Smart, Western Star Freightliner FUSO, Bharat-Benz, Thomas Built Buses and the brand Setra. In the business year 2014 Daimler employed round about 280.000 employees. Also all the mentioned brands produced 2,5 Million vehicles. This lead to an annual revenue in the business year 2014 of 130 Billion Euro. The EBIT, or "earnings before interest and taxes” was 11 Billion Euro. Besides pure passenger cars the company also produces commercial vehicles like trucks, Buses and Vans. Of the whole 2,5 Million produces vehicles were nearly 1,7 Million vehicles only passenger transport cars which was a plus compared to the previous year 2013 of 16,5% (cf. Huber, 2016, p.142 i.a.w Daimler, 2015,*). Like the biggest automobile manufacturers in Germany also Daimler has a wide built and worldwide production and distribution network (cf. Huber, 2016, p.142).

6.3 VW

The company contains besides the own brand Volkswagen also 11 further brands like: Seat, Audi, Bentley, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ducati, Porsche, Scania, MAN and VW-commercial vehicles. The whole carpool is worldwide produced on 100 different production locations (cf. Huber, 2016, p.162 i.a.w Volkswagen, 2015, *). Measured on sold units in the business year 2014 Volkswagen were the biggest automobile manufacturer worldwide (cf. Huber, 2016, p.162). In the same year the company achieved a revenue of 203 Billion Euro which compared to the previous year increased 2,8%. Also the operational results increased a Billion to 13 Billion Euro. Additionally, the amount of produced vehicles increased compared to the previous year 2013 to 10 Million units, which is a plus of 4,2%. The number of employees was in the business year 2014 at 600.000 which also had a growth of 3,5% (cf. Huber, 2016, p.162 i.a.w Volkswagen, 2015, *).

7. Core processes - before and after

In this chapter the focus lays on core processes like production development and customer order processes. These both processes are two of the four core processes which define the automobile industry. First the processes get describes before and then after the impact of the Industry 4.0.

7.1 Product development before

The development of new industrial products are the start of every lifecycle of these products and are also normally described through a systematical production development process (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.9 i.a.w Vajna, Weber, Zeman & Bley, 2009, p.22). In the production development process different company fields take over different tasks and responsibilities. Fundamentally the process contains a few milestones with which the company fields can always synchronize themselves with the goal. Because it’s always necessary to reach a certain level of development to continue working on a product (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.9f.).

For the description and definition of this production development process are a few different models existing. One thing these models have In common is that they connect core tasks like construction and development of a new product with market analyses and scientific and legal factors. The traditional product creation process is known process in which the development steps are taken step by step one after one. This approach results in a long development time of the product (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.10). The reduction of this time could be established if the processes are happening simultaneously (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.10 i.a.w Schappi, Andreasen, Kirchgeorg, Rademacher, 2005, p.16).

The results would be a synchronous implementation of different processes which are not dependent of one another and a parallelization of processes which are dependent of one another (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.10 i.a.w Huang, 1996, p.1).

7.1.1 Concept development in the automobile industry

The concept development starts after the pre-development in which one deals mostly with the development of new technologies. After that the focus lays on developing new cars. The starting point of this development with design-oriented cars starts with the design which gets evaluated by information from technical development, marketing, sales and the design department. Through the addition of these information’s a property model gets created. A part of this information’s are the targeted group and also the possibility to copy properties from already existing cars like the pre-model (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.11).

The previously collected information’s are noted in a product profile additionally there are coming information’s like the result demand, the rough positioning of the product family and a Segment and competition analyses (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.12).

The concept design is divided into four operating points. At the start a lot of designer hand over their design suggestions which are noted on a vision draft. After that a car package gets created which contains data like technical product description, engine data and innovative equipment. The third operating point would be to create highly detailed design drafts with the design suggestions and data’s. Last but not least the number of potential designs gets depleted through a selection process.

To get a cost estimation, they use the product description because it contains data regarding the cost and concept determining components (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.12).

7.1.2 Series development in the automobile industry

After the connect development the series development starts. The series development starts with the implementation of the previously finished design drafts into a CAD-Model. CAD-Models are computer-aided graphic settings of products in this case of cars. After the refinement of the model through design changes and simulations it not creates a three dimensional point cloud with the help of photogrammetry which finally creates a Strak-Model (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.12f.). All for the customer visible surfaces in the interior or exterior are made with the Strak-Model with the help of construction data. After that it’s possible to create a virtual assembly of the components through a Digital Mock- Up (DMU). In the process of the DMU-Model it’s possible to observe the installation and to make car properties safer through a simulation.

The series development gets finished through a milestone which checks all the surfaces which are visible for the customer through visual and physical models, the quality, impression, functionality and part-fitting gets checked too and if the car passes the model gets a release. The final quality check is necessary because after the release of the product tools need to be created. If mistakes occur after the creation it would have immense time and financial consequences because it’s really hard to change tools (cf. Rademacher, 2014, p.13).

7.2 Product development after

The product development had after the impact of the forth industrial revolution the biggest influence with the digital factories.


Ende der Leseprobe aus 40 Seiten


Which Role Will Human Workers Play in Future Production?
An Analysis of the Car Industry
Macromedia Fachhochschule der Medien Hamburg
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
Industrie 4.0
Arbeit zitieren
Benjamin Beholz (Autor:in), 2018, Which Role Will Human Workers Play in Future Production?, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/511402


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