Innovative adhesive technology
No customer ever sees these holes, yet they are immensely important for the durability of each and every vehicle. The anticorrosive coating flows through the deliberately constructed holes into the body cavities in the paint shop. However, following this process step they must be sealed so that they are watertight, as otherwise pockets of rust may develop. The standard technical solution for this problem is to insert precisely fitting plastic plugs – except on the Porsche Taycan. The all-electric sports car is the first car in the world to use an innovative adhesive technology: 106 out of 143 holes in the Taycan body are now initially sealed with sealing patches in this automatic, quick and reliable process. The firm Tesa SE is the technology partner behind the innovation.
The sealing patches offer additional advantages beyond their core function. These include first and foremost the reduced strain on employees: previously, each employee would have to push up to 3,600 plugs into the holes per shift, which required a thumb pressure of 70 newtons every time – in other words, the exact force required to move a weight of around seven kilograms. Complexity is also reduced, since all four hole types, with diameters of up to 20 Millimeters, can be covered with one standard patch size. The sealing patches overlap the edges of the holes by a minimum of 6.5 millimeters as standard, though adhesion is guaranteed from an overlap of just two millimeters – this has been shown through extensive testing. Moreover, with a thickness of just one millimeter, the patches barely protrude at all, whereas the plugs extend up to six millimeters outwards from the body. An additional benefit is that the patches are applied using a special robot, which eliminates errors during sealing. The robot looks a bit like a larger version of the type of price gun that you might see at the supermarket. “The key feature of the solution is not just the sealing patch itself,” says Dirk Paffe, “but the automation of the process. We can apply the sealing patches in large quantities and at high speed with absolute precision using a robot.” This process step now takes three minutes, whereas it used to take employees more than seven minutes. The paint shop at the Leipzig plant will also make the switch by summer 2021.
Further information: www.porsche.com