The Spanish giant SEAT has completed a new 3,000 m2 building that will unify all processes and activities prior to mass production of a new model. This new building marks the transformation of SEAT’s Prototype Development Centre (PDC), located in the heart of the SEAT plant in Martorell. This space will be equipped with virtual reality applications in the machining facilities. Additionally, the company revealed that a large space will be dedicated to additive manufacturing projects! The brand has integrated multiple 3D printing solutions in-house in order to print state-of-the-art parts for the automotive sector but also for the development of prototypes and pre-series models. By transforming the PCD, the brand confirms its commitment to 3D printing. A commitment that we’ve seen from other car manufacturers such as Porsche or BMW.
Since its inauguration in 2007, the PCD has become the link between the company’s R&D and production departments. Throughout the years, the centre has developed a total of 13 concept cars, the IBE (2010), the Cupster (2014), the Leon Cross Sport (2015) or the CUPRA Ateca (2018), among others. Likewise, and to date, it has worked with 5,235 pre-series models, 2,472 test prototypes and 224 technical models. Therefore, investing in a new building is a way to ensure the expansion of these activities. The investment to transform the PCD has been valued at €5 billion.
The new building also includes the Design for Manufacturing room, where different areas of the company, such as R&D, quality, processes and manufacturing work together with the more than 250 professionals of the Prototype Development Centre to analyse and improve products in their early stages of conceptualisation. This collaboration is key to reducing and improving the launch times of future cars and boosting efficiency in processes and resource management. To this end, new technologies such as virtual reality are implemented, simulating mass production processes, 3D printing and other 4.0 Industry technologies.
“The transformation of our Prototype Development Centre enables us to work with total efficiency in the development and launch of new models” said Anabel Andión, head of SEAT’s PDC. “We’ve been working with virtual reality and 3D printing for more than thirteen years. With these new facilities and the unification of the PDC, we intend to invest more than ever in the development of digital and electronic solutions adapted to the car of tomorrow.”
Having understood the benefits of using additive manufacturing technologies in the development process, SEAT is well-aware that investing in this technology will be of great value to prototyping for car parts but also manufacturing end-use parts for its future models. The company explains that it will pay particular attention to the field of electrification, which it has made one of its main pillars. You can find more information HERE.