Nikola Iveco Europe GMBH builds zero-emission trucks as part of energy transition
The transition to a carbon neutral world is well underway. Many countries are setting clear targets that, in turn, are driving carbon reduction activities in every industry sector.
The automotive sector is, by definition, one of the main contributors to CO2 emissions but is also one of the most innovative sectors in creating technologies to reduce those emissions. However, within the automotive industry, the truck sector is one of the most difficult to decarbonize because of the highly customized use cases and many different customers that make up this market.
To address this, a joint-venture between the Iveco Group and US-based manufacturer Nikola was set up to build highly innovative zero-emission trucks using a factory in Ulm, Germany, which was chosen due to the regional advances in zero-emission technologies. However, prior to building a truck, the companies needed a new, innovative factory. The client engaged Capgemini to design and build a completely digital assembly process that guarantees full traceability of all the assembly.
Partnering to place innovative technology at the core of manufacturing
Functioning as one team, the partners set about building a roadmap to success. This would ensure innovation and sustainability were placed at the heart of the project and, by extension, at the heart of Nikola Iveco Europe GMBH.
The joint venture worked with Capgemini to deploy a variety of digital capabilities. Together, the organizations designed the next generation of digital transformation built on SAP S/4HANA, including SAP EWM for warehouse management and SAP MII for the management of manufacturing and quality processes. Nikola Iveco Europe GMBH and Capgemini then designed a new business model powered by artificial intelligence, where all the engineering processes are digitalized and all the equipment and products are connected through IoT, Edge, and 5G technology. In doing so, the partners created an organization in which data flows smoothly between planning, procurement, and production, maintaining a lean and flexible application infrastructure.
“From the very beginning, we supported Iveco Group with the aim of developing an innovative ERP model”, says Eraldo Federici, Automotive, Manufacturing, Life Science, Aerospace & Defence Director at Capgemini.
Paving the way towards intelligent industry and sustainability
Working together to establish this pioneering manufacturing facility is part of a larger plan that Nikola Iveco Europe GMBH aims to build with Capgemini, which will place the intelligent industry paradigm at the heart of the company’s ethos. By redesigning products, processes, and operations to make them intelligent, the factory of the future maximizes “ERP to machine” integration, adopting an Intelligent Industry approach that is expressed in new scaling mechanisms that exploit opportunities to improve operational performance and accelerate innovation.
Ultimately, a collaborative approach that included diverse stakeholders proved to be a key component of Nikola Iveco Europe GMBH’s successful execution of this project, which now provides the necessary infrastructure for zero-emission truck production and brings the automotive industry a step closer towards sustainability.
“The heterogeneity of the team was fundamental for success, with the presence of our people and consultants, women and men, people with long experience and new hires, American and European, with the decisive support of Capgemini and SAP”, says Giorgio Bonnet, Head of ICT for Truck Business Unit, Iveco Group.