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Change of Process Improves Long Term Vehicle Durability at Porsche

Porsche AG has developed a new production process at its headquarters in Zuffenhausen, Germany in collaboration with Tesa SE. Using this process, the holes in the car body, which are necessary for corrosion prevention, can now be sealed much more effectively; these holes are required so that all of the body cavities can be accessed in the paint shop. The innovative solution: sealing patches instead of plastic plugs. The all-electric Porsche Taycan is the first car in the world to use this new process. A robot places more than 100 sealing patches automatically, quickly and reliably, thereby sealing the holes in the body and optimising efficiency in Porsche production.

“Innovation has always been the driver of our commercial success,” says Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG. “New innovations have to be mastered. This requires courage and creative freedom. It is management’s role to ensure that this atmosphere is fostered in the day-to-day operations of the company.” Porsche Innovation Management saw to the adoption of the sealing patches, and by July 2020 more than two thirds of the approximately 150 plugs in the Taycan paint shop had been eliminated. The paint shop at the Leipzig plant will also make the switch by summer 2021.

“It’s important not to confuse our adhesive solution with Tesa tape, which everyone knows from their office supplies,” explains Dirk Paffe, who is responsible for the implementation of innovations as Head of Planning for Paint Shop Processes. “Once the special Tesa sealing patches have been applied, they can only be detached again with a great deal of effort. They provide a durable solution that can also withstand the stresses caused by the motion of the vehicle, and last longer than the lifetime of the vehicle.”

Above all, this innovative solution relieves considerable strain on employees: the adoption of the Tesa patches has eliminated a strenuous process step whereby up to 3,600 plugs per shift had to be pushed into the holes. This process also involved overhead work. In addition, the new patches offer logistical advantages and reduce complexity, since one patch size can be used to cover all four hole types. Moreover, with a thickness of just one millimetre, the patches barely protrude at all, whereas the plugs extend up to six millimetres outwards from the body. The patches are reliably positioned by a special robot.

“At Tesa, we incorporated more than 20 years’ experience in the manual adhesion of sealing patches in assembly to the development of the Tesa applicator for automated hole sealing,” explains Dr Ute Ellringmann, Market Segment Manager responsible for hole sealing at Tesa. “We can therefore ensure perfect application of our sealing patches for maximum quality and process efficiency.”

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