The factory of the future is already a reality at Porsche in Leipzig and Zuffenhausen – as the new engine plant shows particularly clearly. Porsche has invested 80 million euros in the Zuffenhausen plant. Up to 200 engines per day can be installed here. Around 100 technical innovations are used in production alone. The foyer is more reminiscent of a technology centre. Bright as daylight, illuminated by modern LED lamps. The functions of the precision machines are checked by monitors. White floor, state-of-the-art technology: A futuristically oriented factory that sets standards and points the way to the future.
Porsche Production 4.0 is a natural evolution of the existing production system – a continuous improvement with the help of new technologies and methods. Applications from the digital world are networked with the physical world. To this end, Porsche has defined six fields of action that are continuously being further developed: Production system, resource efficiency, work organisation, new technologies, digitalisation and communication.
Focus on People
The modern single-line concept – a typical Porsche manufacturing philosophy – focuses on the human being. Each employee should carry out as many work steps as possible, and in principle each step should be able to be deployed throughout the entire plant. Porsche lives the concept of manufacturing and uses robots specifically where absolute repeatability is critical. In the ergonomically optimised assembly of the engine plant, all tools and processes are designed to support people in their work. In addition, wireless EC screwdrivers are used that know the exactly defined torque characteristics – even if they are taken to another workstation.
But ‘smart’ does not just mean computer-based or robot-controlled. A so-called quality control loop – with employees from all areas relevant to production – ensures that in the event of anomalies, the assembly processes are intervened upon at an early stage, thus avoiding an increased error rate.
What’s more: Porsche Production 4.0 is not only innovative, but also sustainable. Through the careful use of resources in production, around one million euros and 2,254 tons of carbon dioxide were saved in 2016, for example through standby operation or environmentally compatible logistics. The goal is an emission-neutral factory.
Really Augmented – Really
Porsche is experimenting intensively with augmented reality at its quality centre in order to obtain even faster and more precise information about individual components. Concretely, that means: Work steps or product details can be displayed directly in the tablet and supplemented by computer-generated information. Even the smallest deviations from the standard are detected immediately in this way and it becomes clear where vehicle body components fit together perfectly or not yet ideally.
The quality of body components is checked quickly and precisely using special optical technology. Each component is completely digitalised and measured three-dimensionally. Up to 16 million points are recorded per scan. In this way, the entire component geometry can be represented in a high-resolution point cloud. In the quality process, deviations of each individual body point from the CAD data can be determined in the shortest possible time. Using the digitised measurement data, the deviations are also precisely visualised in a full-surface 3D representation.
Many things work digitally – but not everything. Physical vehicle models will continue to be necessary in the future in order to finally test and assess the properties of a vehicle and individual components. Only they can provide holistic, realistic impressions. Cubing is a process in which true-to-original models are used that offer extensive testing and analysis options. All production parts are displayed, assembled, tested and harmonised in their original size. The model is fully electronic. For example, side mirrors can be folded in, windows opened and closed, the function of the light or the position of the rear wing can be checked.
For more information: www.porsche.com