A new production line in parallel with ongoing productionThe new production line at the main Porsche plant in Zuffenhausen was a special challenge. The production facility for the new Taycan eCar was constructed amid the existing factory in the shortest possible time, despite sportscar production running at full speed in parallel.
The main plant at Zuffenhausen represents tradition for Porsche. That’s where the move toward electromobility begins with the Porsche Taycan. But space for the new construction was seriously limited by the existing buildings, which had to be partly cut back.
Building upwards was therefore the order of the day. But there are also height restrictions for buildings in Zuffenhausen, to minimize the impact on air flow in Stuttgart. The result is a unique manufacturing concept that makes the most of every level and doesn’t waste a single centimeter of height.
Zuffenhausen is the heart and soul of the Porsche brand. Setting up a manufacturing plant like this in downtown Zuffenhausen is a major challenge on its own.Albrecht Reimold, Member of the Executive Board of Porsche AG
Customization is very important for Porsche customers, and that also goes for the new Taycan. Customers want a car that meets their personal expectations, both inside and out. That means Porsche also had to ensure every station in the plant still offered the necessary flexibility when it came to the Taycan – a huge logistical challenge, since production is spread over several floor levels .
Porsche explores new directions with the FlexiLinePorsche leaves the conveyor belt far behind with the production of the Taycan. Building requirements and the need for maximum flexibility resulted in a new approach to production: Autonomous guided vehicles take the car bodies from one processing station to the next.
The new FlexiLine
To achieve the necessary flexibility, Porsche decided against fixed conveyor belts and opted for a highly flexible system involving autonomous guided vehicles (AGV) using Siemens technology. Utilizing FlexiLine makes it possible to adapt operating cycles to actual needs and, for example, stop an AGV to perform automated tasks and then speed it up to move on to the next processing station. To ensure everything functioned smoothly from the outset, the entire system underwent virtual simulation and testing in advance to prevent clashes and optimize workflows.
Tilt EMS hangers facilitate ergonomic operations
Conveyor technology solutions from Siemens are used throughout the vehicle assembly process. In addition to the automated guided vehicles and the door conveyor system, tilt EMS hangers are used to ensure ergonomic working conditions. These enable the car bodies to be rotated 110 degrees in both directions so Porsche employees can access all parts without difficulty. Finally, heavy EMS hangers carry the full weight of the vehicle, including motor and high-voltage battery, to the final acceptance point, where it is transported using a conveyor belt. The entire final assembly was automated based on the SIMATIC portfolio from Siemens.
The conveyor technology skills offered by Siemens are the perfect match for an automobile plant. We made extensive use of Siemens technology in the assembly shop.Reiner Luth, Project Manager Production Porsche AG
Maximum flexibility in the automotive industry
Automotive industry is still focusing on conveyor belts and rigid processes, which were developed and built before the beginning of production. However, there’s an increasing demand for individualized products and production with a lot size of 1. In the video you’ll learn how Porsche together with Siemens was able to design the production of the Taycan in a flexible and space-saving way that a customized and individual manufacturing is ensured.