Porsche to implement flexi-line production system for new Taycan EV

Article by Christian A., on October 16, 2018

The new Porsche Taycan is considered as revolutionary at the German sports car maker as the upcoming model is its first all-electric vehicle. Nonetheless, the new Taycan four-door EV will also be the starting point of a new revolution in the company. As Porsche is committing itself to electric mobility, it also has to undergo a significant change, especially in terms of production.

Porsche is currently building its conventionally powered vehicles, including its 911 sports car, using the traditional principle of an assembly line. But when it commences the production of the Taycan, Porsche will be implementing major changes for the production and assembly facilities of the new EV.

Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche, remarked that starting 2025, more than 50 percent of the Porsche models delivered are expected to be electrified. While this will require substantial investments in development, production, and staff training, Porsche believes that the carmaker will still be able to achieve a target profit margin of at least 15 percent.

To start off, Porsche is injecting around EUR6 billion in investments. This won't just be for matters related to only the Taycan but also for other future operations of the carmaker, including the ongoing development of Porsche Production 4.0 and a knowledge sharing campaign across the whole company.

For the Taycan, Porsche Production 4.0 will be implemented, and the company is building a “factory within a factory” at its main site in Zuffenhausen. This factory will do away with assembly line production and will instead implement a flexi-line production system that will employ driverless transport systems in a continuous series production process. Such new system will combine the advantages of continuous production and the flexibility of versatile assembly. Porsche believes that a flexi-line production system will allow it to increase the number of work cycles in the same amount of space.

Porsche is claiming that the Taycan production process will be carbon neutral, thanks to its pursuit of resource-friendly production.

With the start of Taycan production, Porsche will be creating 1,200 new jobs at its Zuffenhausen site. Not all 1,200 new workers are for the production of the Taycan, as some of them will be assigned for the assembly of two-door sports cars. The entry of more than a thousand new employees at the site will entail a large-scale training initiative, which would employ a digital learning platform.

Furthermore, the sharing of knowledge between motorsport and series production will continue to be an important part of Porsche’s future. One such example of these is the transfer of innovative 800 V technology from the Porsche 919 Hybrid racer to the Taycan. This allows the lithium-ion battery of the Taycan to be recharged in just four minutes, which would be enough to allow the EV to have an extra range of 100 km (as per NEDC).

In terms of charging infrastructure, Porsche -- as part of the joint venture Ionity -- will build 400 high-power charging stations across Europe by end of 2019. VW Group’s Electrify America initiative entails the installation of charging infrastructure at 300 motorway stations across the United States starting 2019. Porsche will also install over 2,000 AC charging points at destinations like hotels in up to 20 markets before formally launching the Taycan to the market.

Press Release

Porsche definitively enters the electric era with the new Taycan

Stuttgart. Six billion euros in investments, 1,200 new employees for the launch of the Taycan alone, the ongoing development of Porsche Production 4.0 and an unparalleled knowledge campaign rolled out throughout the entire company: in firmly committing to electric mobility, the sports car manufacturer is undergoing a process of major change and once again reaffirming its ability to safeguard its future.

“We predict that over 50 percent of Porsche models delivered from 2025 will be electrified,” states Lutz Meschke, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Member of the Board responsible for Finance and IT at Porsche. This will involve substantial investments in fields such as development and production, as well as staff training. Despite this, the target profit margin of at least 15 percent remains unchanged. "In addition to efficient processes, the revenue from digital products and services should also increasingly contribute to our economic success," says Meschke.

One example of an efficient approach is the new Taycan production and assembly facilities currently being built as a “factory within a factory” at the main plant in Zuffenhausen. This development signals Porsche’s move away from the traditional principle of an assembly line. Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board responsible for Production and Logistics, explains: “By applying flexi-line production, Porsche will become the first vehicle manufacturer to use driverless transport systems in a continuous series production process.” This will enable the sports car brand to combine the advantages of the traditional principle of continuous production with the flexibility of versatile assembly. It will also allow the number of work cycles to be increased using the same amount of space. Following the concept of “smart, green, lean”, Porsche is also pursuing resource-friendly production. The Taycan production process is carbon neutral, with the future goal in production being to establish a complete zero-impact factory, a factory with no environmental impact.

The introduction of the Taycan is generating 1,200 new jobs in Zuffenhausen. “The Taycan is one of biggest creators of jobs in the history of Porsche,” emphasises Andreas Haffner, Member of the Executive Board responsible for HR and Social Affairs. Not all of these new employees will be producing the Taycan; they will also build two-door sports cars. Porsche’s aim for the Taycan is to create a team with a healthy mix of experienced sports car manufacturers and new staff. This development will also see a large-scale training initiative take place in a specially created production hall built on the training centre premises in Zuffenhausen. A digital learning platform, which contains over 1,400 training units on issues related to digital transformation and allows users to study independently and according to their needs, will also be available for the entire workforce as they join Porsche on its journey into the electric and digital era.

The close working relationship between motorsport and series production highlights just how important it is to share knowledge. Like the Porsche 919 Hybrid, which has multiple Le Mans victories under its belt, the Taycan is powered by innovative 800 V technology. This was one of the most essential decisions for the 919, as the voltage level effectively sets the course for the entire electric drivetrain: from the battery to the layout of the electronics and the e-machines to the capacity of the charging process. In adopting a pioneering approach and specifically developing suitable 800 V components, Porsche pushed the limits of what is technically feasible – including with regard to the liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery. Amid the intensely competitive environment of motorsport, Porsche has continued to develop its technologies. The brand has now achieved a power density the likes of which have never been seen before. For the Taycan this means the 800 V architecture in the vehicle guarantees that the lithium-ion battery can be recharged in just four minutes, providing enough energy to drive 100 kilometres (according to NEDC). This transfer of knowledge will reach a whole new level when Porsche enters Formula E in the 2019/2020 season.

Quick charging processes call for powerful charging systems. That is why Porsche E-Performance covers all areas of infrastructure with solutions for on the go and at home. With a capacity of up to 22kW, Porsche Mobile Charger Connect is a quick, convenient way to charge the Taycan at home overnight. It can also be charged using inductive technology. As part of the joint venture Ionity – which also involves BMW, Daimler and Ford – Porsche will build 400 high-power charging stations with a capacity of 350kW per charging point across Europe by the end of 2019. In the USA, the VW Group initiative Electrify America will see the installation of charging infrastructure (capacity of up to 350kW) at 300 motorway stations from 2019. Porsche is also planning to install more than 2000 AC charging points at destinations such as hotels in up to 20 markets in the run-up to the Taycan’s launch. Customers will be able to gain access to the Porsche charging network via the Porsche charging service. This is a Europe-wide solution with access to a huge array of charging stations managed by different service providers. Porsche will take care of all billing centrally.

Source: Porsche

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