Supporting FEV to deliver critical manufacturing expertise to a Global OEM automotive client to enable them to make decisions about where to best position their future EV powertrain technology.
WHO WAS THE CUSTOMER?
FEV Group are a leading independent international service provider of vehicle and powertrain development for hardware and software. They also run a successful consultancy business that offers a range of engineering solutions for the global automotive industry. HSSMI and FEV have a collaborative relationship and have worked closely together on past projects, bringing each other in to support clients where necessary. On this project, HSSMI were subcontracted by FEV to provide expert manufacturing engineering services to support their Automotive OEM client.
WHAT WAS THE BRIEF?
The client needed support on manufacturing engineering tasks that covered the areas: make Vs buy, vehicle integration, failure prevention and safety considerations in a high voltage manufacturing environment for electric vehicles and their powertrains. HSSMI has been working closely with FEV consulting in situations where both organisations can deliver better value to their customers through collaboration.
WHAT DID HSSMI DO TO DELIVER THE RESULTS?
Based on HSSMI’s strengths and experience, the team focused on delivering Make vs Buy and Vehicle integration strategies for the client through FEV. This was focused on the following subassemblies:
- Battery pack, BMS, battery cooling + AC compressor.
- Traction motor + Traction.
- Fuel Cell system (Stack + BoP+ Boost converter).
- H2 cylinders, H2 piping, valves, regulations.
The Vehicle integration tasks of the project focused on benchmarking aggregate suppliers and EV/FCEV manufacturing, pre-pilot production and low volume to high volume migration scenario planning. This also included a review
into industry standards in process and end of line testing strategies.
WHAT WERE THE OUTPUTS?
The outputs from this activity resulted in the delivery of a comprehensive report which focussed on global benchmarking for the 4 types of subassemblies requested. This included an analysis of make vs buy opportunities, definition of a high level Bill of Materials (BoM) and Bill of Process (BoP).
With regards to the vehicle integration strategy, HSSMI looked into best practice of how the client could optimise the transition from ICE to EV manufacture. This was completed by conducting benchmarking studies on what practices similar global OEMs employ. This featured solutions to managing product portfolio complexity, hybrid EV/FCEV Production lines, reliability testing and how to leverage power recovery during battery discharging.
WHAT IMPACT DID THIS MAKE?
The results of this project gave the client a clearer idea as to how other OEMs have tackled similar challenges and contributed to helping the client to make decisions on what solutions they will implement and how to best manage EV production as they transition from ICE vehicles.
TO WHAT EXTENT CAN EXISTING ICE POWERTRAIN OPERATIONS AND EQUIPMENT BE REPURPOSED FOR EV POWERTRAINS?
- Between 70 and 80% of machining equipment can be typically repurposed or reused directly.
- Most of the transportation and automation equipment can be reused for assembly operations.
- We analysed the required manning strategy for the new EDU manufacturing lines and found that it requires significantly less resources compared to traditional ICE lines.
- Broadly speaking, producing an EDU requires less space than producing an internal combustion engine and so, in the transition, some space will be made available, which could be used for production expansion, new product manufacture, or as turnaround space during product changeovers.
- EDU manufacturing requires less parts and movement of materials and so material flows can be optimised to achieve a much leaner production operation overall.
- As EDU production volume increases, more areas of the plant can be used, and the ICE equipment can be repurposed. This provides a great advantage in terms of timing in contrast with the traditional approach of building brand new facilities for EDUs.
(Repurposing vehicle manufacturing equipment in the transition to electrification (2022) HSSMI.)
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