New facility will serve as a new centre of excellence for electrified mobility
Schaeffler is expanding its existing electromobility development and manufacturing campus by adding an 8,000 square metre building to ‘significantly up-scale its activities in electromobility and acquiring major customer projects’.
In 2021, Schaeffler posted more than a billion euros in sales of electrified powertrain solutions and secured new electromobility projects worldwide, valued at 3.2 billion euros.
This was followed by a further 3.2 billion worth of new orders in the first half of 2022, meeting the target for full-year, and many of these highly complex customer projects will ultimately be handled at the expanded electromobility campus.
The new facility is part of Schaeffler’s Roadmap 2025 strategic programme and represents a key milestone in the expansion of the company’s e-mobility capabilities.
Construction will get underway in September 2022, with completion scheduled in the autumn of 2024.
The new complex will consist of two buildings connected by a bridge, will have a total floor area of 15,000 square metres and provide space for 400 employees to work together on customer projects and develop new systems for electric powertrains.
“Going forward, Schaeffler is eager to acquire more projects involving integrated mechanical, electronic and software systems,” says Dr. Jochen Schröder, the head of Schaeffler’s E-Mobility business division.
“To optimally manage these complexities, we are building strong project teams and a future-oriented work environment.
“Therefore, the facility will feature workspaces for interdisciplinary teams, extensive collaboration and networking zones as well as laboratory and workshop areas. There are also plans for a conference centre.”
The new complex will complement Schaeffler’s three existing buildings where the company is already developing and manufacturing components and systems for electromobility, and the connecting bridge will be further enhancing communication and dialog between the different teams based at the site.
Environmental aspects and sustainability will be central, so the complex will generate most of its electricity using solar installations.
Sustainable cooling and heat generation will be provided by heat pumps, and an onsite collection tank will harvest rainwater for use in various applications, such as irrigation and sanitary flushing.
The new complex will be built in accordance with the DGNB Gold Standard (German Sustainability Council).
In one of the existing buildings at the site – a production hall used for the manufacture of transmission components – Schaeffler is currently building an ultra-modern plant for electric motors known as the UltraELab.
This global flagship plant is being built in accordance with the principles of the ‘ultra-efficient factory’ concept developed by the federal state of Baden-Württemberg in partnership with Schaeffler and others.
“As well as raising the bar for efficiency and productivity, our aim with the UltraELab is to make a real contribution to greater sustainability,” Schröder added.
These objectives will be achieved primarily through the agile and flexible production of electric motors, the heart of every electric powertrain.
Instead of using fixed production lines, the company will manufacture the motors using flexible digitalised technology modules that can be re-arranged and re-scaled as required.
Thanks to standardised interfaces, as well as state-of-the-art IT integration, the modules will be much simpler and quicker to set up and configure than conventional systems.
This innovative manufacturing concept is being developed under the AgiloDrive2 project led by Schaeffler, alongside 17 other consortium partners, with funding support from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
“Our goal is to achieve flexible and efficient production of innovative electric motors,” Schröder continued.
“A pilot plant in which experts can test the agile production facility already exists at the site and paired with a digital twin, it will serve as a blueprint for the planned industrial-scale manufacturing facility.
“By closely integrating electric motor development and production at a single location, we are leveraging key synergies for continuous product improvement.”
Information on Schaeffler products, fitting instructions, labour times and much more can be found on the REPXPERT workshop portal, the REPXPERT app, or by calling the Schaeffler REPXPERT hotline on 0872 737 0037.
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