Sports car manufacturer Porsche and forming specialist Schuler are to build an innovative press shop together for the car factory of the future.
The contract for the foundation of a corresponding joint venture was recently signed, and the European Commission has already green-lighted the joint undertaking. The objective of Schuler and Porsche’s joint venture is to create a so-called Smart Press Shop as part of a networked Industry 4.0 approach. The new press shop’s pioneering technologies will enable the highly flexible production of complex car body parts; whereby the focus will be on aluminium body panels and small batch production.
“Porsche wants to use the joint venture to lay the foundations for the future of sports car manufacturing,” says Albrecht Reimold, member of the executive board for Production and Logistics at Porsche AG. “We plan to exploit future technologies and innovations in order to make our processes even more efficient. By dovetailing design, development, car body planning, tool making, and production within the Porsche Group, we can significantly influence the quality of our sports cars.”
Schuler CEO Domenico Iacovelli stated: “Porsche and Schuler will be using a press shop that sets new standards in two respects – in terms of manufacturing performance, as well as the digital networking and readability of data streams along the entire production process. Not only Porsche will benefit from this major step forward, but ultimately other manufacturers as well.”
The systematic further development of process know-how in the field of metal forming will be achieved in part by the end-to-end networking of production data and the use of machine learning. Porsche and Schuler aim to set new standards in the field of predictive maintenance and intelligent production control.
The joint venture will utilize Schuler’s new Servo 20 Technology. It raises maximum output from 18 to 20 strokes per minute while reducing energy consumption per stroke and part. A newly developed die-changing concept makes it possible to produce small batch sizes with a high degree of economic efficiency. Further features of the new line include an optimized servo drive in the downstream presses and a reduced footprint.
The joint venture will operate as an independent company (GmbH & Co. KG) held in equal proportions by Schuler AG and Porsche. Each of the two companies will invest a double-digit million euro amount in the joint venture. Over 100 highly skilled jobs are to be created. The location of the new company has not been finally decided yet. However, its location is expected to minimize logistics distances for car body parts – thus significantly reducing CO2 emissions.