It smells like uninformed paint, and a mobile platforms on that workers are convention cars are not nonetheless regulating during full speed. A dilettante from a systems builder walks behind a tiny programmed car that is navigating by a gymnasium to learn a approach around. Soon it—and many of a “colleagues”—will be delivering components on their possess to a particular open stations.
This is what a world’s many complicated automotive prolongation plant looks like in late Jun 2019. It is located in one of a automotive industry’s many historically poignant sites—Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, a domicile of a Porsche sports-car maker. Here is where a Porsche Taycan, initial presented to a open on Sep 4, is being built.
From an romantic viewpoint it creates a lot of clarity for both a iconic 911 sports car and a potentially iconic new Porsche car to be done during this bureau so abounding in story and tradition. From a receptive viewpoint of Porsche’s planners and prolongation experts, however, a thought was daring. And that’s putting it mildly. The association could have had it easier. As Zuffenhausen site manager Christian Friedl put it, “We’re already creation glorious use of a capacities, we have frequency any room for expansion, and we’re building cars in a core of a city right subsequent to residential areas.”
The fact that a devise was though put into use has a lot to do with bid and enthusiasm. The planners began by building a judgment that also elicited unrestrained on a partial of a board. “Not a singular block scale of additional belligerent was paved over for a new facility, and all of it was commissioned on a existent site,” reports Friedl with pride. Moreover, make a trickery engaging from an mercantile viewpoint as well, Porsche offering a site package to pierce a possess workforce on board. “All a employees have contributed during slightest indirectly to this project,” explains Friedl. “If it becomes as successful as we consider it will, they too will distinction accordingly.” The preference was done during a finish of 2015. Then a time started running. As formulation executive Wolfram Kirchert remarks, “We had usually forty months to devise and build a new plant.”
“While there was still a twenty-five-meter construction array on a grounds, we could put on headsets and already see a finish prolongation hall.”
This was usually done probable since a Porsche planners initial combined a “digital twin” of a plant. All a data—for a building shell, prolongation equipment, extensive building technical systems, and a car itself—were gathered into a singular model. Reiner Luth, afterwards a conduct of a Taycan plant devise and now in assign of a e-car segment, recalls, “It was positively fascinating, including for gifted planners. While there was still a twenty-five-meter construction array on a grounds, we could put on headsets and already see a finish prolongation hall.” That was not meant as a pleasing diversion. It saved a lot of time by enabling a group to establish how they would implement a prolongation and circuit systems, with minute specifications right down to a final inch. “Collisions” and formulation mistakes were immediately evident. “It enabled us to minimize a unavoidable risks endangered with a new prolongation system, new car, new drivetrain, and many new employees,” says Kirchert.
The new plant was finished in a record time of usually seventeen months: twelve for a building itself and 5 for a systems. In together to that, a initial cars in a rough array were already being done during a commander center. “We deliberately enclosed people who would after be operative on standard-series production, and also a doing systems we’d be regulating after on like a programmed guided vehicles (AGV) and doing equipment,” Luth explains.
Standard-series prolongation is now underway. Because space in Zuffenhausen is limited, a Taycan is being done on 3 levels. Visitors to a Taycan prolongation trickery competence be astounded to see that people have not been transposed by robots. As Friedl reports, “We have hired and intensively lerned 1,500 new employees for a Taycan and a derivative a Cross Turismo.” The underlying element of Porsche Production 4.0, as a stream prolongation judgment is called, continues to stress a concentration on people. “As distant as we are concerned, a aim of Industry 4.0 is to support workers. It will make primer processes some-more effective and raise their peculiarity even further. What we are doing here is perfecting a prolongation system.” The early stages of building a judgment with Porsche Consulting are really transparent in his mind. “Many of a ideas we came adult with afterwards have now turn reality.”
The many apparent creation in a Taycan open trickery is a deficiency of a bound automatic circuit system. “This is a universe premiere in automotive upsurge production,” says Luth. The cars are fabricated on programmed guided vehicles, or AGVs, that pierce on their own. Materials are granted by around fifty smaller AGVs. The judgment offers extremely larger flexibility. When a new chronicle of a car physique is added, a same open complement can be used. And even when a Taycan gets a inheritor some years down a road, a complement will not need to be transposed or restructured. “The open module is even eccentric of a drivetrain,” says Kirchert. “We can use this judgment to furnish all from battery-driven electric vehicles to all forms of cars with explosion engines, since we hang to a customary open sequence. We don’t use takt times, though we always follow a same order.”
The open line can positively breathe, so to speak. If one step takes longer for a car, a AGV moves some-more solemnly and catches adult later. In addition, a workers can accompany “their” cars over a series of open stations. As Friedl notes, “It’s critical to us that a rarely lerned employees do sundry work and can see their results.”
Friedl goes on to report how that also relates to other prolongation lines, such as those for a two-door sports cars in Zuffenhausen. They too are being brought adult to a latest technical standards and have perceived some innovations even earlier. He gives a following example: “Final inspections embody creation certain a back spoiler extends and retracts correctly. The workers used to get into a car, extend a spoiler, and afterwards get out to inspect a operations and visuals. Today they simply activate a routine on their smartwatches, that saves time.” The judgment was initial practical and optimized in a existent sports car prolongation system, and is now being used for a Taycan. The record is also able of most more. Instead of regulating outmost inclination to exam automotive functions, workers record onto a car’s on-board electronics. Production and car information will one day merge. As Kirchert explains, “We’re going to have a cars’ electronics, or intelligence, exam themselves, regulate themselves, and forewarn us of any irregularities. Artificial comprehension systems will also come into play here.” Moreover, a factory’s digital twin will see serve use. In a future, a ability to benefaction practical versions of opposite scenarios is approaching to support production- associated decisions.
The unrestrained and honour of a devise leaders are transparent to see. Over a duration of 4 years, 200 planners and as many as 2,000 construction and plant experts were involved. Now a initial upsurge prolongation trickery to arrange cars on programmed guided vehicles has started adult on schedule. This is a intelligent bureau enlightenment in pristine form—in other words, a Porsche Production System 4.0—which will be serve grown and extended to other sites.
Text: Gerald Scheffels
Photos: Jörg Eberl