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ces a high demand (through state subsidies or regulation, but also
customer requirements). Accordingly suppliers must also position
themselves regionally. The prerequisite for the producing enter-
prises is not only a good understanding of the technological requi-
rements of their customers (other suppliers or OEMs) locally, but
rather a good understanding of the type of collaboration and the
rules for dealing with the respective business partners, as well.
For a definitive decision on production locations, in the future, as
shown in Fig. 19, several aspects will need to be considered. In
addition to a qualified workforce, factors such as the proximity of
resources and transport routes, as well as the potentially very high
level of automation and the resulting increased reduction in labor
costs of a manufacturer in low wage countries will play a role [Ro-
land Berger (2011b)].
PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY AND COMPETENCES
The production technology of the newly required system compo-
nents differs in many aspects from the requirements that previous-
ly dominated in the automobile industry. Accordingly, companies
that currently have a high ranking in the automobile industry are
not automatically placed in this sector. Entirely new technology
fields are arising that previously were not in the competence focus
of the automobile companies, such as coating processes for the
manufacturing of electrodes. In these areas, the possibility arises
for new companies from other industry sectors to move into the
automotive world.
Here, an advantage due to production competences gained in an
area outside of the automobile industry may have the potential
to be transferred into the automotive world. One example of this
could be the electric motor and a number of German producers
could profit from their many years of experience in this area.
Naturally, in this case, production technologies must be adapted
to the automotive requirements, which in terms of cost, install
space size, as well as (malfunction) safety differ significantly from
the previous requirements in other industry sectors.
Moreover, there is a shift in the weighting of previous production
technologies. For example, if the production technologies of an
OEM for the combustion engine are currently in the area of me-
tal processing, it must be assumed that due to the move toward
electric motors, installation activities will predominate for such
an OEM [Franke (2011b)]. Whereas the manufacturing times of
the production steps, turning, milling, drilling and grinding have
increased by 1 to 26 percent for hybrid propulsion systems (st-
arting from a conventional combustion system), the pure electric
combustion system will result in a reduction of between 47 and 78
percent [Abele (2009)].
The ELAB research project „Effects of electrification of the drive-
train on employment and location environment“ (see www.elab.
iao.fraunhofer.de) examines these changes in an in-depth analysis
of the changing processes, production technologies, competen-
cies and resources. Within the framework of the research work
the central question needs to be addressed, namely what are the
effects on employment, in terms of quality and quantity, resulting
from the trend towards alternative propulsion concepts in a typical
ideal automotive drivetrain production? The project, funded by the
Hans-Böckler Foundation, IG-Metall BW, and Daimler AG, will be
executed by the Fraunhofer IAO in collaboration with the DLR and
the IMU Institute. The results will be published in early 2012.
The trend towards electronic/electrical systems through increa-
sed substitution of electrical components for mechanical compo-
nents, and a general reduction in the number of components (for
example, replacement of the combustion engine and the transmis-
sion, with approximately 1400 parts, by an electric motor with ap-
proximately 200 parts [Bain (2010a)] will be extended. However, it
is still unclear how the positioning of the OEMs and suppliers will
be organized, and which main task areas and associated produc-
tion technologies must be built up for the respective companies.
»I am convinced that further technological developments of
the product will only lead to economic success if the produc-
tion technology for these developments is built-up in parallel.«
Dr.-Ing. Gisela Lanza, Management Board, Institute of Production
Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)