Car manufacturer SEAT, in collaboration with Grupo Sesé, has launched a parts delivery service using drones.
The company says it will guarantee ‘just in time’ delivery of parts in 15 minutes and increase efficiency and flexibility at Martorell, the first Spanish plant to receive components via drone delivery.
The parts delivery service is between two production plants in Spain and will continue with deliveries of steering wheels and airbags to the SEAT assembly lines.
The pilot project is being carried out under the supervision of the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) and will go forward in an experimental phase with several flights per day.
The addition of drones will improve flexibility on the production lines by connecting the just over two kilometre distance that separates both facilities for just in time fast deliveries in only 15 minutes, a process which is currently done by truck and takes 90 minutes.
SEAT says that the move means that every time a part is needed on the production line, delivery will be made quickly, thus improving efficiency.
SEAT vice-president for production and logistics, Christian Vollmer, who brought the idea to SEAT, commented: “Today’s flight is the first step in transforming the supply chain in the automotive industry. Delivery using drones is going to revolutionise logistics, as for example in the case of SEAT it will reduce delivery time by 80%. With this innovation we are boosting Industry 4.0 and we will become more efficient, agile and competitive, as well as much more sustainable.”
Grupo Sesé CEO, Ángel Pueyo, added: “This project that SEAT presented to us a few months ago is a clear example of our intention to be at the forefront of innovation and process development that can optimise and improve our clients’ supply chain and that positions us in the market as a global, comprehensive logistics operator.”