System's savings help Sunderland win Micra

Nissan UK's Sunderland plant has won production of the Micra thanks to savings resulting from the installation of a data storage...

Nissan UK's Sunderland plant has won production of the Micra thanks to savings resulting from the installation of a data storage system.

Antony Adshead

The Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9960 subsystem installed in Nissan's S/390-based platform has enabled significant savings through increased efficiencies. The 9960 is eight times faster than its predecessor.

Neil Melville, manager of Nissan's European datacentre, said, "Round-the-clock processing enables an increase in the data turnover.

"That increases the efficiency of the entire plant - including the turnaround time for the manufacturing of each car."

Liam Clifton, account manager for Hitachi, said, "Acquisition and maintenance costs will be paid back in 18 months or less. The high speed uptime of 100% and the ability of Nissan to upgrade without bringing the system down are the major reasons for this."

Money saved by more efficient data storage outweighed the detrimental effects of the strong pound and won Micra production away from the company's French plant.

"The Sunderland plant is the most efficient car plant in Europe and the Lightning 9960 will clearly contribute to that efficiency," Melville said.

The previous EMC cluster system had to be shut down regularly for maintenance. A dramatic growth in sales had brought about a demand for increased storage capacity to house manufacturing as well as dealer and ordering information.

The mission-critical all-Europe data had to be ported from the existing EMC cluster to a completely new system. "The implementation was totally painless," Melville said.

"Engineers from Nissan and Hitachi Data Systems worked closely together on the project. The combination of good planning and team work enabled the entire project to be completed in six to eight weeks - including the planning stages," Melville added.

Batch processing times for end-of-day manufacturing data have been reduced and all plants and sales forces now have round-the-clock access to the 37 terabytes of data held at Sunderland.

antony.adshead@rbi.co.uk

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