Porsche and the Importance of Tooling
Yesterday we looked at the addition of apprentices at Audi in Germany.
Which brings to mind something that happened at another of the Volkswagen Group companies last month, Porsche.
And we don’t mean Porsche beating Audi at Le Mans.
No, Porsche acquired the toolmaking division of Kuka Systems GmbH.
This is “toolmaking” as in things like stamping dies.
Porsche is getting more than 600 employees in two locations, Schwarzenberg, Germany, and Dubnica, Slovakia.
Explained Dr. Oliver Blume, Member of the Executive Board – Production and Logistics at Porsche AG, “Innovative tool concepts are enabling us to implement the emotional design typical of Porsche with the maximum possible quality. The employees of our new subsidiary are distinguished by their very high level of expertise across every step of the toolmaking process. We are especially able to profit from this expertise in complex aluminum parts relevant to lightweight design.”
And the criticality of tooling was amplified by Matthias Müller, president of the Executive Board of Porsche AG: “By taking over the toolmaking division, Porsche is making important moves for the sports car production of the future. From a strategic point of view, the integration is a major step for us.”
While most automotive OEMs look to outside companies to provide resource like toolmaking, and while toolmaking is one of the sorts of things that is far from being as sexy as, say, autonomy, it is hard to imagine something that is more curvaceously appealing—at least in an automotive sense—than this:
Which comes back to tooling.
Generally, pictures of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) are along the lines of this: Not this: But that second shot is important, in that it is taken on the inside of the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, where the vehicle is being built.
As vehicle manufacturers look for the ways to save mass in vehicle structures, the amount of advanced high-strength steels used is increasing.
Automotive components could see significant process improvements.