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 Digitization and Automation
New Drive
Text GERALD SCHEFFELS / Photos JÖRG EBERL
Porsche is presenting the Taycan— its first fully electric car for the roads. Also new is the production concept. The decision not to use a fixed assembly line is just one of many innovations and premieres.
It smells like fresh paint, and the mobile platforms on which workers are assembling cars are not yet running at full speed. A specialist from the systems maker walks be- hind a small automated vehicle that is navigating through
the hall to learn its way around. Soon it—and many of its “colleagues”—will be delivering components on their own to the individual assembly stations.
This is what the world’s most modern automotive produc- tion plant looks like in late June 2019. It is located in one of the automotive industry’s most historically significant sites— Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, the headquarters of the Porsche sports-car maker. Here is where the Porsche Taycan, first presented to the public on September 4, is being built.
From an emotional perspective it makes a lot of sense for both the iconic 911 sports car and the potentially iconic new Porsche automobile to be made at this factory so rich in his- tory and tradition. From the rational perspective of Porsche’s planners and production experts, however, the idea was dar- ing. And that’s putting it mildly. The company could have had it easier. As Zuffenhausen site manager Christian Friedl put it, “We’re already making superb use of our capacities, we have hardly any room for expansion, and we’re building cars in the middle of a city right next to residential areas.”
The fact that the plan was nevertheless put into practice has a lot to do with effort and enthusiasm. The planners be- gan by developing a concept that also elicited enthusiasm on the part of the board. “Not a single square meter of additional ground was paved over for the new facility, and all of it was installed on the existing site,” reports Friedl with pride. More- over, production of the Taycan will be entirely CO2 neutral. To make the facility interesting from an economic perspective as well, Porsche offered a site package to bring its own workforce on board. “All the employees have contributed at least indi-
64 Porsche Consulting The Magazine
rectly to this project,” explains Friedl. “If it becomes as suc- cessful as we think it will, they too will profit accordingly.” The decision was made at the end of 2015. Then the clock started running. As planning director Wolfram Kirchert remarks, “We had just forty months to plan and build the new plant.”
This was only made possible because the Porsche planners first created a “digital twin” of the plant. All the data—for the building shell, production equipment, comprehensive building technical systems, and the car itself—were compiled into a single model. Reiner Luth, then the head of the Taycan plant project and now in charge of the e-car segment, recalls, “It was absolutely fascinating, including for experienced planners.
Pure Energy
The drivetrain is mounted on automated guided vehicles (AGVs).
Two permanently excited synchronous motors combine to generate
440 kilowatts (600 hp). The battery pack ensures a range of 500 kilometers.
 


















































































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