Porsche and Schuler announce plans to build a press shop together for the "car factory of the future." Representatives of both companies signed the contract last week for the foundation of a corresponding joint venture. The European Commission has already green-lighted the joint undertaking. Approval from further anti-trust authorities is still pending. The objective of this Schuler and Porsche joint venture is to create what is termed the “Smart Press Shop” as part of a networked Industry 4.0 approach. The new press shop’s technologies hopes to enable the flexible production of complex car body parts, where the focus will be on aluminum body panels and small batch production.
“Porsche wants to use the joint venture to lay the foundations for the future of sports car manufacturing,” said Albrecht Reimold, member of the executive board for production and logistics at Porsche. “We plan to exploit future technologies and innovations in order to make our processes even more efficient. By dovetailing design, development, car body planning, toolmaking and production within the Porsche Group, we can significantly influence the quality of our sports cars.”
“Porsche and Schuler will be using a press shop that sets new standards in two respects – in terms of manufacturing performance, as well as the digital networking and readability of data streams along the entire production process. Not only Porsche will benefit from this major step forward, but ultimately other manufacturers as well," said Schuler CEO Domenico Iacovelli.
The further development of process know-how in the field of metalforming will be achieved in part by the end-to-end networking of production data and the use of machine learning. Porsche and Schuler aim to set new standards in the field of predictive maintenance and intelligent production control.
The joint venture will use Schuler’s new Servo 20 Technology. It raises maximum output from 18 to 20 strokes per minute while reducing energy consumption per stroke and per part. A newly developed die-changing concept makes it possible to produce small batch sizes with a high degree of economic efficiency. Further features of the new line include an optimized servo drive in the downstream presses plus a reduced footprint.
The joint venture will operate as an independent company (GmbH & Co. KG) held in equal proportions by Schuler and Porsche. Each of the two companies will invest a double-digit million Euro amount in the joint venture. Over 100 highly skilled jobs are to be created. The location of the new company has not been finally decided yet. However, its location is expected to minimize logistics distances for car body parts – thus significantly reducing CO2 emissions.