New competence centre for large castings for VW Kassel

As Götz Fuchslocher reports on (Media-Manufaktur GmbH), VW Kassel has opened a new competence centre for large castings. The portfolio includes a rear end and a high-voltage battery housing. The VW plant will be the most important centre for the electric drivetrain.

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Large castings, which replace numerous individual parts - such as those made of steel - are currently highly apreciated. Tesla and Volvo are already producing such body components using gigacasting or megacasting processes. With the increasing electrification of the powertrain, this process can also be used to produce e-mobility components. Volkswagen also confirmed the serial production of a large cast part.

Housing from a single mould instead of 122 individual parts

This component is a high-voltage battery housing. Previously, it consisted of 122 individual parts, which were mainly manufactured from extruded profiles. Using the giga or megacasting process, the component can now be produced in a single casting. This is done using a three-plate mould with sprue from the centre, which according to Volkswagen is a further development on the previous large castings. The Kassel site is very experienced with casting technology. "The successful cooperation with the battery developers of the components and the cross-production area concept of the foundry and the completion in hall two emphasise the innovative strength of the site," according to the official statement from VW. The use of the site expertise in Kassel also reduces logistics processes. The focus on future projects, in particular the planned start of production in 2026, consolidates the plant's position as a pioneer in the component production network, the statement continues.

Kassel strengthens role for the electric powertrain

According to the Group Components performance programme, VW Kassel is to become the most important Group centre for the electric drivetrain. Kassel has developed from a transmission plant into a system supplier for electric drives and will ultimately become the leading centre for power electronics, according to the components experts. Among other things, the site will focus on the further development of power electronics. According to Volkswagen, the prototypes of the pulse inverters for the upcoming e-drives will be produced on site. Development processes are being optimised, production times shortened and the expertise of the entire component plant strengthened.

Kassel as a central driver of electromobility in the VW Group

"Together, we have succeeded in developing one of the largest transmission plants in Europe into a fundamental Group centre for electric drivetrains," states Gunnar Kilian, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG for Human Resources and Truck & Bus. Jörg Fenstermann, Plant Manager Volkswagen Group Components in Kassel, also referred to the expertise in Kassel: "Our goal is to further establish ourselves as a central driver of electromobility within the Group."

Exhaust system production transforms into stator assembly

The VW plant in Kassel is also preparing for the phasing out of combustion engines and is driving forward the development of e-mobility. VW employees are being trained for this, such as for the production of active components and the assembly of stators for future e-drives. In addition, the first production lines are being built on the exhaust system production area. With this step, VW is sending a clear signal in favour of a future-proof and sustainable orientation of the company. The Group has also launched the goTOzero environmental programme to make production CO2-neutral by 2040. Kassel - as the largest component location - is also cooperating with the University of Kassel, where individual development plans are being drawn up for the production areas.

Source: (Media-Manufaktur GmbH)