Audi builds electric motors in Hungary
To insert as much of the thin enameled copper wire as possible into the casing: the tighter the winding, the more efficient the power delivery.
The company itself speaks of a “new era.” Audi has started series production of electric drives in Gy?r, north-western Hungary. The production concept is new as well. The employees work modularly in production islands.
The Bavarian carmaker Audi has been producing in Hungary for more than 25 years, with around 1.9 million engines running off the line in 2017 alone. Around 100 employees now produce electric motors in the new department . They will be used in the first all-electric Audi model e-tron, which is going to be built at the factory in Brussels in the future.
Audi is also breaking new ground in the production of electric motors. The corresponding systems, robots, and measuring stations are no longer linearly coupled, even though they are in fixed positions. The use of production islands enables a predefined sequence in the assembly, but at the same time offers more flexibility in the production process, according to Audi Hungaria.
Audi Hungaria’s Gy?r factory has begun the series production of electric motors. The electric motors are produced using modular assembly.
The current production capacity is for approximately 400 electric axle motors each day and can be gradually increased.
At present, about 100 people are employed in this new area, to be increased to more than 130 by the end of the year. Production is with one?shift operation, but will soon change to three shifts.
The electric motor from Gy?r offers numerous new features. With the stator – one of the core components of the motor – the aim is to insert as much of the thin enameled copper wire as possible into the casing: the tighter the winding, the more efficient the power delivery.
A new winding and inserting centre at Audi Hungaria makes it possible to wind the optimal amount of enamelled copper wire particularly compactly and then insert it into the casing.
The electric axle consists of other large components such as the power electronics, which are located in their own housing, the gearing and two flange shafts that transmit the power to the wheels.
The employees produce two electric axle drive systems for each Audi e-tron, as both the front and rear axles are driven – in good quattro tradition.
The production equipment, the robots and the bolting and measuring station are set out in fixed positions but are not linked together by a linear band.
Instead, the employees produce the drive systems according to a modular method in production islands. Despite a predefined assembly sequence, the modular system allows branched paths and more free scope in the production process.
Driverless vehicles, controlled by an intelligent IT system, transport the parts to the workstations.
In parallel to the production facility, Audi Hungaria has installed three test benches for electric motors in the engine/motor development department, for testing and continuous load operation.
The employees have undergone further training to become electrical experts in the production technology centre for electric motors.
Audi Hungaria produced 1,965,165 engines last year, making the company one of the world’s largest engine producers.
At the plant in Gy?r, six different gasoline engines and three different diesel engines were produced in 2017 with power output ranging from 63 kilowatts (86 horsepower) to 470 kW (639 hp).
Approximately 6,000 employees produce about 9,000 engines each day for 32 production plants of the Volkswagen Group.
The starting signal for series production at Audi can be seen as a further indication that electric drives are becoming increasingly popular as compared to fuel cell. The latter will hardly have a chance, reported “ Süddeutsche Zeitung ” as the development of batteries and charging infrastructure for electric motors is progressing rapidly. Fuel cells are “a billion dollar grave” for automakers.
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