The Valeo production and development site in Ath (Belgium) has transformed its DNA by changing the focus from standard metal based lighting products, towards LED’s combined with high finish plastics. Producing a basic, easy (fog cloud) lighting products for many years, Valeo nowadays produces a complete range of complex, high value added interior and exterior lighting products today.
The last 5 years, production heavily focused on automation and standardization. The robot density in on the production floor increased from 0.5 to 3 units per employee . Moreover , as from 2016 onwards, the Industry 4.0 principles (cobots, AGV’s) were adopted and more than 20M Euro of investment money has been allocated to the Belgian plant since. Process times have decreased from 300 sec to 120 sec. Expectation is that soon a further breakthrough towards 95 sec can be achieved.
Recently some new design-in projects were won, meaning that business the coming 8 years will grow strongly resulting in a step-change forward wrt Valeo’s market share. Valeo is well positioned to take benefit of the increased amount of lighting internal in a car. The main issue nowadays is finding enough (60!) qualified engineers to make this growth happen.