Porsche has RE-ENGINEERED THE PANAMERA for 2017, turning the pudgy, oft maligned sedan into a family car that can handle a day at the track as easily as a trip to the grocery store. And to crank out the best seller, Porsche also re-engineered its Leipzig, Germany, production facility. The $500 million expansion includes a 20,000-square foot quality center for testing parts, augmented reality, a computer-optimized system for just-in-time delivery of parts, and more.
The $98,300 Panamera may make 911 fans roll their eyes, but it makes Porsche piles of cash, so the Germans don’t hold back when it comes to making the cars just right. From the quality control room to the paint shop to the test track, here’s how Porsche builds the Panamera.
Quality Control Comes First
Before parts go to the assembly line, they go through the 20,000-square foot quality center. Here, engineers test and tune parts from suppliers to ensure they will fit precisely and consistently when it’s time for installation. The new strategies developed for the Panamera will eventually be initiated for the Cayenne and Macan models, as well as for other Porsche models built elsewhere in Germany.
Start with a Perfect Model
The Panamera can be based on a zero-tolerance chassis—essentially a perfect prototype—to which all the production pieces either manufactured in the factory or brought in from suppliers can be affixed. It’s used to identify and examine fitment, surface quality, and accessory functionality, like door releases and sunroof operation.
Augment your reality
Engineers use a tablet-based augmented reality tool to instantly gauge whether parts are interfering with each other, if the surface finish meets specifications, and other potential issues with all the components in position. The app can also operate the controls within the vehicle—like lights and power windows—to ensure everything functions properly.
Porsche factory workers digitally measure the exact position of things like body panels and taillights, to make sure they’re within the automaker’s strict limits.
And Make Your Mark
The engineers still use hand-written markings, a holdover from the time before the process was digitized. The stickers provide the measuring tools with reference points as they scan the components.
Articles Credits: Eric Adams, Wired