I visited the Broadmeadows factory of Ford Australia in 1979. At first glance, I found it to be a noisy, dark, dirty place, with dirty sweaty workers. Compare the 3 pics below – the middle one is Ford Australia and the others are the Volkswagen Bratislava Slovakia plant (LHS) and the Volkswagen Wolfsburg plant (RHS)
Fast forward to 2013. I had the opportunity to visit the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany and the Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche factory in Bratislava. My opinion? Very clean, but still a little bit noisy. Not so noisy that our group needed to wear earmuffs, but noisy all the same. So when I saw this video of the Porsche Taycan being assembled in Zuffenhausen Germany, the first thing that struck me was the lack of assembly line workers and relatively low levels of noise.
Porsche Precision – robots don’t take breaks and just do the job – exactly the same job over and over.
Yet with all the robots, Porsche only relies on humans to clean and check the finish at various stages on the production line. The line workers are just looking for small faults – less than ideal panel fit and then after painting, for any debris that may have got through the painting process.
I found the manufacturer of the electric motor the most intriguing. After all, whether its an ICE vehicle, a Hybrid or an EV, the body of any car is remarkably the same from a manufacturer point of view.
However, the engine is a different thing altogether
If you think handmade is better, think again. People have greater tolerance – whether it’s a Mazda3 or a Rolls Royce. Robots don’t have any of the sort generally – robots do what they’re programmed to do whether it’s building a car or assembling an engine
Of course, the assembly of an engine needs a bit more human input – hoses, harnesses leads, wiring and the sort, but there still aren’t too many on the line
All the tools are station-specific and any bolts and screws are torqued to the correct specification. And don’t for a minute think that a worker can forget a bolt altogether. Laser-based ‘auditors’ will scan the component and not let the line move forward until it’s fully completed.
And we only see ‘workers’ when it gets to feeding the extensive electrics. Even these advanced robots can’t run leads, bolt up seats and things such as that.
And the ‘marriage’ no longer just represents the coupling of the traditional drivetrain of engine and transmission. The Porsche Taycan marriage also includes the battery pack in that process
And the final thing in this marriage is the placement of the Porsche ring (or badge) to complete the build.
And all that before the finished car is ‘rolling road’ tested to make sure that everything that should happen happens.
And the last step? A keen-eyed ‘final finish’ human carefully inspects the finished vehicle before this Porsche Taycan heads for shipping to somewhere around the world.
If you’re into all things cars, you’ll enjoy this video.
Get in Touch with Car Business
As a licensed motor dealer for over 40 years, I’m legally able to buy and sell all new and used motor cars. So if you’ve got a trade-in, I can help with that too.
It’s easy to get in touch.
Address: 2/265 Oxley Avenue, Cnr Duffield Rd, Margate QLD 4019
Mobile: International +61 418 748 498
Australia 0418 748 498
Email: [email protected]