The planning process for the motor production project for Opel, still GM-Europe at the time, began at the end of 2012. During the bid phase, a highly flexible complete line concept for producing a range of petrol and diesel engines from the General Motors "CSS" module (three- and four-cylinder) was developed in close collaboration with the planners at Opel. In mid 2015, GROB was awarded the order for the complete cylinder head and cylinder block production, as well as motor assembly. The GROB advantage: As a complete system supplier, GROB-WERKE stands against the competition with valuable synergy effects. With just a few exceptions, GROB supplied the plant in Tychy with practically every machine and system required for motor production.
Comprising around 150 assembly stations, 28 G520 machines, 21 G500 machining centers and eight highly automated assembly and leak test stations for metal cutting operations, the total value of the complete system is almost 100 million euro. The system was originally designed to produce 300,000 parts per year. And the motor assembly dimensions are enormous: the line is almost 180 meters long and 90 meters wide. Together with the metal cutting lines, the motor assembly operation requires 25,100 square meters of space. Equivalent to about three and a half football pitches.
PSA takes over Opel in a surprising move
The first machines had barely been delivered to Tychy when Opel was taken over by PSA. The metal cutting systems had indeed already been finally accepted in the customer's plant. Apart from just a few stations though, that were already on their way to Tychy, the manufacturing line for motor assembly was still under construction at GROB-WERKE. The short-lived concern as to how this project would now proceed was finally dispelled in summer 2017 when PSA awarded the contract to convert the complete systems to the PSA motor (EB) to GROB. However, this came with the request, shortly after the contract was awarded, to reduce the lead time by another six months to allow start of production in early 2019. Despite the tremendous challenge for all parties involved in terms of deadlines, costs and processing, all timings were ultimately respected by implementing a number of special measures.
"The PSA project is extremely important for GROB for several reasons," explains Thomas Neubert, GROB Departmental Head of Key Account Management (international). "The takeover of Opel by PSA mid-way through the contract presented our colleagues with numerous new challenges, and these manifested themselves first of all in the very different corporate philosophies of General Motors and PSA. However, because we had already brought several projects for PSA to a successful conclusion and traditionally enjoyed a good relationship with Opel, we were able to use many synergies to realize this project. The fact that our GROB branch in Poznań, Poland, established in 2015, makes us a dependable service partner in the region is also significant."
The PSA Group (Peugeot Société Anonyme – Peugeot AG) is a French motor vehicle manufacturer that owns the Citroën, DS Automobiles, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall brands. In terms of sales figures, PSA is the second largest carmaker in Europe