March 04, 2009

New ecological solutions for cars and car manufacturing

Valmet Automotive is developing new technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles and for the manufacturing process. The development projects include new ecological solutions for power sources as well as light weight body structures and materials. These new solutions will be part of the service providing of Valmet Automotive.

Product engineering teams create light weight and safe body structures and new electric systems of the cars. At the same time, new PDM (product data management) solutions are developed to manage engineering and manufacturing processes.

“Our long experience in engineering and manufacturing of different cars creates a good basis to develop new methods and processes for electric and hybrid cars”, says Jyrki Nurmi, Vice President manufacturing engineering.

Light weight body structures and new materials need new joint techniques and create challenges to the paint process. In the final assembly, battery technology and requirements of power-current must be adapted to the assembly process. Quality, safety and environmental issues are key elements in the process development.

Valmet Automotive has anticipated the future challenges in designing the current layout and production processes.

“In recent years we have engineered a state-of-the-art manufacturing process for the simultaneous production of different cars. We manufacture each car model according the highest demands of the automotive customer. Furthermore, we can easily build individual production lines for e.g. to manufacture small quantities of specialty cars. The multi-skilled personnel is inevitable to carry out flexible solutions”, Mr. Nurmi emphasizes.

Valmet Automotive’s current production process can be easily adapted to the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles.

For the Fisker Karma hybrid car a new body welding line is built, but the painting and final assembly is carried out on the same line with the current production. The painting process has been developed for treatment of new light weight materials and various car models. For the electric Garia golf car, a new production line will be designed to meet the demands of lower-volumes and top quality.