The claim “Vorsprung durch Technik” takes on a new dimension with the Audi e-tron. The vast experience in building premium automobiles is uniquely combined with electric mobility’s passion for innovations. One example of this are the developers and production specialists at Audi Hungaria. The electric axle drives for the Audi e-tron are produced at the world’s largest engine factory.
With the electric drive assembly plant in Győr, the drive experts are taking a significant step toward the intelligent factory – digitally networked and without the classic assembly line. The axle drives are produced in a modular assembly shop, which allows the greatest possible cycle flexibility. Production systems, robots, and bolting and measurement stations for the production of the electric motors are arranged in so-called production islands. Automated guided vehicles transport the axles and components to the stations. This is made possible by machine learning, controlled by a smart IT system in the control room. Even without the order of a traditional line, people and machines always have an overview of all the systems, transport systems and the product itself. The advantages for the customers: Higher quantities and new variants of the electric axle can be implemented more quickly.
The production of the electric drives demonstrates the advantage of an established team of innovators. Electric Motor Development, Production Planning and the Engine Startup Center in Győr worked hand-in-hand. That ensured a head start for technically optimized production. Furthermore, Electric Motor Development in Győr provided targeted assistance with environmental testing, acoustic optimization and the design of sub-components. Examples include the castings for the housing and the end shield.
As the core component of the electric motor, the objective for the stator was to incorporate as much of the thin enameled copper wire into the blank as possible. An innovative modular machine winds the wire particularly compactly. The tighter the winding, the more efficient the power development. In the next step, the blank is pressed into the gray cast iron casing. The rotor and attachments follow the stator. Once they are installed, the housing can be closed. Tightness and high-voltage tests plus a test bench run verify proper function of the electric axle unit following assembly.
The electric axle consists of three further large components: the power electronics, located to the side in its own housing, the gearbox and two flange shafts that transmit power to the wheels. Two electric axles are produced for each Audi e-tron. Following installation of the speed sensor and the coolant circuit for the rotor, a die carrier automatically places the gearbox on the engine. This is followed by the power electronics and finally the flange shafts.
To sustainably ensure the quality of the electric drive, three new development test benches specifically for the electric motors were commissioned at Technical Development parallel to the start of series production. There the electric axles must repeatedly demonstrate their peak performance levels – in testing and continuous load operation.
Audi Hungaria quality assurance staff also put the finished electric axles through numerous tests. Optical 3D measurements, computer tomography, special robots and digital microscopy measure the exactness of the parts down to the tenth of a millimeter and check material quality. Here, too, the Audi e-tron benefits from the vast experience with production methods for drive systems.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.