Innovative overmolding technology makes lighter and more robust transmission control units
After just two years of construction, the newest Vitesco Technologies plant in Debrecen, Hungary, went now into operation. In the future, the drive specialist will produce high-tech electronics and transmission sensor technology for all types of drive systems in an area of around 7,000 square meters – from all-electric vehicles to plug-in hybrid vehicles and electrified combustion engines. Vitesco Technologies is thus further expanding its international presence in order to be able to meet the global demand for clean drive solutions. The company has invested a total of around €100 million in the plant.
“We are systematically aligning our company to the growth market of electronics and electrification,” explains Andreas Wolf, CEO of Vitesco Technologies: “With our new production facility in Debrecen, we are expanding our European production network and are able to competitively handle our customers’ increasing demand for efficient and clean drive technologies with high quality standards.”
One first large-scale production to be manufactured in Debrecen, is the transmission control unit with overmolding technology. Compared with conventional devices, it is not only more robust and lighter, but it also requires considerably fewer production steps. This is thanks to an innovative process known as overmolding. Here, the electronic components, which are arranged on a printed circuit board as in classic control units, are embedded in plastic. Vitesco Technologies uses new, high-precision injection molding processes as well as new, particularly resistant plastics.
In addition to the electronic control systems, the production plant in Debrecen also covers further components in the fields of electrification and electric mobility, including 48-volt belt starter generators for mild hybrids.
LEED certified: Clear Focus on the Environment and Sustainability
“This high-tech plant is already showing what the factory of tomorrow will look like – intelligent, lean and green,” explains Dr. Hans-Jürgen Braun, Head of Operations, responsible for Vitesco Technologies’ global production network: “With the latest Industry 4.0 solutions in all production areas and with a clear focus on the environment and sustainability, we are actively shaping the future of production at Vitesco Technologies.”
Vitesco Technologies is also striving for LEED certification for the new plant: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a system for classifying ecological construction, developed by the US Green Building Council in 1998. The internationally recognized gold category is awarded exclusively to projects that meet strict requirements and standards for environmentally friendly, resource-efficient and sustainable construction. For example, by having its own solar panels for energy generation and consistent recycling. In addition, the facility has fully integrated building and energy management systems which control the building parameters based on real-time requirements. In May 2019, the design and structure were pre-certified. Final certification is intended by the end of March 2021.
In line with the Industry 4.0 concept, the plant is flexibly designed with autonomous transport robots in the production hall, an intelligent warehouse management system, computer-assisted maintenance systems, and other automated building functions. All new employees complete a tailor-made mentoring and qualification program in the company’s own training center within the first six months.