Innovative automotive technology company’s global REEcorner and EV platform production supported by cloud-based manufacturing execution system. Best practices to be shared across multiple plants.
Rockwell Automation, Inc. (NYSE: ROK), the world’s largest company dedicated to industrial automation and digital transformation, today announced that REE Automotive, an automotive technology leader and provider of electric vehicle (EV) platforms, has adopted Plex Manufacturing Execution System (MES) to underpin its highly digitalized manufacturing operations as the company prepares for full-scale production in 2023.
The five-year contract will see cloud-based Plex MES rolled out at REE Automotive’s highly automated and flexible UK-based integration center at Coventry, which will have an initial capacity of 10,000 vehicle sets (40,000 REEcorners) this year. More sites are expected to follow, based on the company’s global expansion plans, with REE’s Austin, Texas, integration center operational next year for a total capacity of 20,000 vehicle sets in 2023.
The digital and cloud capabilities delivered by the Plex Smart Manufacturing Platform create an ideal foundation for REE Automotive, not only for this first UK plant, but also for its global operations, as the UK plant will be used to fine tune fabrication parameters and procedures, which can then be rolled out to all other plants.
REE’s ‘corner technology’ packs critical vehicle components into a compact module between the chassis and the wheel to enable a fully flat and modular chassis that supports all class 1 to class 6 commercial EVs. Its design is highly efficient in terms of chassis real estate, delivering maximum space for passengers, cargo, and batteries. A configurator allows customers to tailor payload capabilities, battery capacity, drivetrain, steering, operating speed and environment, and dimensions to their specific requirements.
According to Malte Dieckelmann, regional vice president, software sales, EMEA at Rockwell Automation: “REE Automotive is benefitting from using Rockwell Automation for its line-side controls and is now looking to create even greater efficiencies and savings through this MES deployment. Plex delivers full visibility into production operations and seamless connectivity with ERP systems, making it a highly capable single-plant solution. Its cloud-based nature will really come to the fore in driving increased benefits across multiple sites and countries.”
Josh Tech, REE’s chief operating officer, explains: “We are fortunate to be starting with a clean slate in terms of our integration centers and their digital infrastructures, so early access to a platform that supports our connected manufacturing plans for REEcorners and EV platforms globally is essential. The cloud capabilities of Plex MES will be the digital backbone for our assembly lines and give us the local capability to manage our customer-bespoke manufacturing operations, while also allowing us to quickly share and scale best practice internationally across all plants.”
The companies’ shared vision of future mobility underpinned the agreement and will reinforce the ongoing relationship, which will also see the Rockwell Automation team supporting the UK roll out with a series of workshops, so the REE Automotive team can exploit the full capabilities offered by Plex MES.
“The automotive industry is evolving,” Dieckelmann said, “and a complete ecosystem is needed to enable and accelerate commercial vehicle electrification. REE is here to lead the industry with a turnkey solution and mission-specific vehicles for greater fleet efficiencies. With Plex, sharing best-practice operational data has never been this easy.”