Electromobility is not only shaping our production, but is also playing an increasingly important role in our development activities. Our Technical Development is AUDI AG’s third-largest development hub and also the center of competence for design, simulation and acoustic and strength analysis testing. Our employees follow electric drives from the pre-development phase through series development up to the support provided for series production. The area carries out the testing and inspection of electric drives, among others, with the help of back-to-back (i.e. B2B) benches and acoustic test benches.
The perfect interplay of the electric motor, the gearbox and power electronics is necessary for the operation of an efficient and reliable electric drive. One of the tasks of the specialists in Powertrain Development is therefore to responsibly design the components and subsequently test and approve their operation. Their activities also include the validation of electric drive systems in the pre-production phase and providing support for series production. To ensure this, detailed measurements are carried out on various test benches under extreme thermal, electrical and mechanical conditions.
The set-up used on the B2B test benches consists of two electric drives, half shafts and two spur gear drives. During the testing process, one of the electric engines takes over the drive function, thus driving the other electric drive through the spur gears, so that the latter becomes the test machine in a classical sense. The main feature of the device is that it can be operated without a braking device, so that two drives can be tested simultaneously. This way, one of the electric drives operates in motor mode and the second in generator mode, in alternating mode. This, on the one hand, allows approval procedures to be performed extremely efficiently and fast and, on the other hand, the optimum design of the test bench allows a higher torque or speed to be easily reached by simply modifying the spur gear.
The B2B test bench can also stand up to the test of the weather: the pallets used in B2B tests, on which the electric motor is preassembled by the staff and transferred into the test chamber, can also be operated in a conditioning cabinet. The conditioning cabinet allows the drives to be tested under extreme weather conditions, from the Arctic cold to the Sahara heat and beyond: technicians can test the drives in temperatures ranging from -70°C to 160°C, allowing them to even model various, quite extreme driving environments in which the drive can later be used daily by our customers. In addition to the external temperature, the temperature of the electric drive’s coolant can also be adjusted independently in a range of ‑40°C and 80°C. A wide range of test profiles can be run with the combination of the B2B test bench and the conditioning cabinet, including, for example, life cycle tests in different climatic conditions as well as experiments at temperature limits.
In the two years ahead, Audi Hungaria will be spending a double-digit EUR million amount (billions of HUF) on Audi Hungaria’s Technical Development unit. The investment project focuses on the further development of electromobility and digitalization, for instance, by commissioning state-of-the-art test equipment for high-performance electric motors and drives.
Join us and develop the drives of the future from Győr: www.audi.hu/emotor.
Since 2018, we have been producing electric power units for Audi e-trons in Győr, but to complement our decades of powertrain production expertise, we needed new competences and new technology to produce electric drives.
An important part of the construction of pure-electric Audi models is the state-of-the-art equipment used to produce the power units for the electric models—the copper winding machine. At one of the very first and most important points in the production process, the machine winds the copper for the stator of the electric motor. This is an automatic winding machine that builds a copper coil into each stator. The entire 7.5-hour production process consists of three phases. After the copper winding machine created the first phase of the stator and its terminals have received the insulating tubes, the stator goes into a forming press, which shapes and folds out the copper wire strands pulled into the plate pack so that the next phase can be pulled in without any problems and without machine breakdown. The previous processes are repeated for the second phase, and after the third phase, the coil winding is finished. To use these new technologies, our employees have successfully mastered the requirements of a well-planned training strategy, acquiring the necessary skills to produce e-motors. As a result, we have produced more than 300,000 electric motors since 2018. The production of this generation of powertrains requires a high level of expertise and precision, which all our employees have.
A new production area has been created at Audi Hungaria for the e-motors of the future, where the company has installed a range of production equipment and tools needed for series production. The electric drives, which are based on Premium Platform Electric (PPE) developed in collaboration with Porsche, will be built in Győr. The production of stators and gearbox components and the assembly of the drives will start on 15,000 m2. The future three-shift production model will provide jobs for nearly 700 employees. But what exactly is new in production with PPE? The gears will be produced in a completely new three-step process. The process starts by forming and pre-cutting the simplest teeth, then heat treating all the pieces for wear resistance, then grinding and honing the teeth.
A unique feature of the design of the new production area was that it was the first time that Audi Hungaria had used VR glasses to design a production line. Thanks to new 3D image processing technologies, engineers are able to better plan and design the production process, resulting in a more efficient production area and more ergonomic workplaces. But this is not the only novelty compared to the production of conventional combustion engines. Another difference is that, while the complete gearbox for internal combustion engines is built in by the car manufacturers, in the case of electric drives it is assembled with the power unit. So the experts of Audi Hungaria first make the components, which are then assembled with the e-motor and delivered to the assembly shop.
Join us in designing the next generation of production lines at Audi Hungaria and be part of our team bringing the production lines of the world's largest powertrain factory to life! Find out more about the position here: www.audi.hu/gyartastervezes.