The basis of Volkswagen's electromobility offensive is its Modular Electrification Kit (MEB), a technology platform developed specifically for electric vehicles. For this project, which is crucial for Volkswagen, GROB delivered a rotor and a stator line to Salzgitter, and a components assembly line for manufacturing the final engine to the VW plant in Kassel, Germany. The project started in September 2017, launched in October 2017, and GROB delivered the first stations in the summer of 2018.
The MEB project, for which all machines delivered by GROB were designed and manufactured in Mindelheim, Germany, was GROB's first large-scale project for stators/hairpins. The order includes complete production lines, including high-grade automation solutions.
A hallmark of the robot line is its high degree of automation with robot cells. The balancing and magnetizing stations and heating technology were purchased. Implementing the stator line was an even greater achievement for GROB engineers than the rotor line. The 12 bending machines are fully equipped with NC bending stations, and copper wire ends are stripped using lasers. Hairpins are press-fitted into laminated stator cores in one working stroke. The hairpin welding process step was fully developed and delivered by GROB. The components assembly line was set up in Kassel. Due to limited hall space, the line had to be set up on three levels. Elements such as automation, transport systems, and lifts were provided by GROB.
Implementation of Volkswagen's MEB project was a huge feat for all GROB departments involved. Due to the completely different assembly sequence, the rotor and stator processes (e.g. heating and magnetizing), and the high proportion of purchased components for the assembly line (welding, pressing, measuring stations, etc.), the requirements differ significantly from GROB's previous core competences. The information gained during the implementation of the VW projects benefited GROB engineers and facilitated a consistent improvement process resulting in successful implementation.