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Skoda Mlada Boleslav plant close to new press line trials

By Graeme Roberts | 15 December 2016

Skodas new press line is almost at the trials stage

Skoda's new press line is almost at the trials stage

Skoda is building a new press shop at its main plant in Mladá Boleslav and installation of the press line for the main production line is currently under way with trial operation due in a week.

"The new press shop is another important element of our 'Green Future' environmental strategy, which focuses on resource-efficient and sustainable production and energy-efficient vehicles," said Michael Oeljeklaus, Skoda production and logistics chief. "The system is one of the most modern of its kind in central Europe. In addition to its exemplary energy efficiency, it also enables a particularly flexible production process and significantly shorter changeover times thanks to decentralised servomotors."

The time required for changeovers has been reduced to only three minutes.

Innovative servo technology is used for the new PXL II press line. The energy required to produce the pressed parts is generated directly by the 14 servomotors on the press line. In contrast, the conventional mechanical press drive utilises the energy accumulated in a flywheel. Unlike this system, the conversion energy can be flexibly adjusted and regulated as required with the new system. A further advantage is that the energy released during pressing can be partially recovered. Compared to conventional systems, the new press line consumes up to 15% less energy in continuous operation and is also characterised by its ease of use. It is one of around 20 facilities of its kind in the Volkswagen Group, and also enables the pressing of large aluminium parts for the first time. The PXL line uses the latest technologies to control the transport of pressed parts between the individual process steps. This increases the total capacity to 80,000 parts in the XL category.

The optimisation phase with limited production commences on 20 December, 2016. In February, 2017, Skoda's first press line for aluminium body parts will be in full operation– where up to 23,000 press parts will be produced for several models every day. On this project, Skoda has spent EUR 86.4m (US$108.3m) and created 140 new jobs. The automaker will be operating the new press shop in 12-hour shifts around the clock, seven days a week, with more than 1,000 employees.

The try-out press was completed before the putting the main production line into operation. It is being used to prepare tools for the new press line.