Even if the current V8 engines might be the last we are going to see in Volkswagen Group, Porsche is investing heavily in building this units the right way. The Germans jut opened a new engine plant for eight-cylinder engines.
The factory at the main site in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen has at full plant utilisation its 400 employees to produce around 200 V8 engines daily. The sports car manufacturer has invested nearly 80 million euros in the new production facility.
Assembly of the innovative eight-cylinder V-engines will at first only be used in the new Panamera. Around 100 innovations were incorporated into the production system concept. For instance, Porsche implemented industrial transport vehicles that are user-programmable. The electric transporters, which are powered by lithium-titanate batteries, navigate over a grid network of 16,000 magnets that are mounted in the floors of the two plant levels. Their flexibility makes it possible to readily adapt production processes to potential product changes and new methods later on.
The EC tools are just as adaptable. Their presets for torque or speed, for instance, can be modified at any time via the electronic production network. This means that they are not limited to a specific place of use, but can essentially be used universally in assembly and only need to be mounted at the new work location.
The new engine plant, whose construction was started in early 2014, is located in the western expansion zone of the main Porsche production site. The building floor area comprises around 10,000 square metres. The factory is subdivided into two levels, with logistics on the ground floor and engine assembly on the upper floor.
Among other things, a photovoltaic system on the building’s roof generates up to 242,500 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy annually. That represents savings of 105 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide that would be emitted by conventional electrical generation. Moreover, large sections of the roof are landscaped with plants and contribute towards improving air quality.