18 APR. 2024

HORSE reveals its pioneering fully digital ‘Matrix Flow’ production process

– HORSE unveils its innovative and fully digital Matrix Flow production line

– Cutting edge autonomous platforms replace traditional conveyor belt production line

– Pioneering technology used to build Power Electric Boxes for HEV and PHEV vehicles

– Advanced systems deliver greater flexibility and productivity in the move to electrification

– Huge energy savings of up to 50% as a result of faster and more streamlined processes

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HORSE, a global leader in innovative and low emissions powertrain systems, is pioneering an advanced, fully digital automated production process aimed at enhancing productivity, quality and sustainability in its factories.

Known as Matrix Flow, the new process debuts in HORSE’s Aveiro plant in Portugal. It replaces the existing, sequential conveyor belt-based production system with a highly efficient fleet of autonomous platforms and work stations known as Mobile Programmable Cobots (MPCs).

Already used in the manufacture of electronic goods and by multi-national logistics firms, HORSE is one of the first companies to tailor the process for automotive powertrain production using it to construct the Power Electronic Box (PEB) that manage the electric motors in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV).

Antonio Vaz, Chief Process Engineering Officer at HORSE said:Our new Matrix Flow Assembly line at Aveiro is a hugely significant moment for HORSE. This exciting development confirms our place as a global leader in powertrain development and production. By delivering unrivalled flexibility and efficiency, this fully digital production method allows us to be agile and responsive while continuing to deliver the highest quality products and meet our commitments to sustainable mobility.

Developed in partnership with automated production specialists Prolynk (a project by OSE Group), these MPC can deliver the precise components and sub-assemblies needed to factory staff and robots at each stage of the production process. Up to 30 smaller MPC effectively act as mobile workstations and components kitting, ensuring employees always have the right parts and tools at the right time.

Managed by a carefully programmed fleet controller hub, the MPC wirelessly communicate with each other and can quickly adapt to changes in parts supply and production needs, delivering greater flexibility in the production process as well as huge reductions in costly downtime. It can also be quickly scaled up or down, allowing the factory to react quickly to changes in demand.

Production of PEB at the plant will start in the coming days, with an initial target of 150,000 units a year, rising to 200,000 by the end of 2024.

Enhanced Efficiency

By using the autonomous MPCs instead of a traditional sequential flow production line, HORSE has been able to reduce the physical footprint of its factory floor by 25%, and the size of the building overall by 30%.

With a smaller facility and streamlined production, HORSE has been able to slash energy use at the site by a significant 50%. Paper labels are also no longer required for any component as each is digitally identified, delivering more accurate and sustainable production.

Ready for an electrified future

HORSE’s Matrix Flow concept puts it at the forefront of production technology as the automotive industry transitions to a fully electrified future. Without the need for a fixed production line, HORSE can quickly and efficiently scale production up or down to accept updated components or even a completely new product.

The Aveiro facility has been designed to deliver a clean, sterile and electro-static discharge (ESD) environment, crucial to the production of high technology electric powertrains. Effectively creating a ‘cocoon’ around the production line, this approach ensures the quality of the products and the safety of the staff.

HORSE has also invested heavily in its production staff, providing training that allows them to adopt the latest techniques and technologies. For instance, the use of virtual reality goggles and bespoke software allows employees to quickly and safely adapt to any changes in the Matrix Flow production processes before they’re implemented.

HORSE: a leader in Innovative Powertrain Solutions

HORSE was created to provide highly efficient, low-emission engines, transmissions and technologies to meet the varying power generation needs around the world. HORSE is a truly global company, with eight production plants across seven countries, three R&D centres and a head office based in Madrid, Spain. The company produces 3.2 million units per year for its customers around the world.

Since its creation less than a year ago, HORSE has maintained an upward trajectory, thanks to its strong focus on R&D and cutting-edge technology as well as its ability to form new commercial partnerships.

16 APR. 2024

HORSE commences power electronics box production at Aveiro

– Production of Power Electronics Box begins today in Aveiro, Portugal, with production expected to reach 230,000 per annum from 2025.

– Power Electronic Box – redesigned with fewer wiring harnesses – integrates power inversion, conversion, control, and cooling systems into a single unit.

– New assembly line uses state-of-the-art technology for full digitalisation and innovative industry 4.0

 

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HORSE, a global leader in innovative and low emissions powertrain systems, today announces the start of production of its Power Electronics Box (PEBs) at its plant in Aveiro, Portugal.

The PEB is a major component in the value chain for hybrid vehicle powertrains and is responsible for managing the two electric motors in all of HORSE’s hybrid (HEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) systems. The device, which has been redesigned simplifying components for increasing robustness and reliability, integrates several critical systems into a single unit, encompassing:

  • Power inverter/converter, converting direct current (DC) from the High Voltage battery into alternating current (AC) for driving the electric motors of the powertrain.
  • DC/DC converter, converting high-voltage DC battery energy into low-voltage DC to the 14V network for use in various sub-systems across the car, including lights, radio, and charge for the smaller 12V battery.
  • Control electronics, providing real-time regulation for power distribution across the vehicle based on velocity and acceleration.
  • Cooling, with the PEB ensuring that all components avoid overheating, maximising the unit’s service life and improving efficiency.

Patrice Haettel, Chief Executive Officer of HORSE, said:The start of Power Electronic Box production in Aveiro marks a significant milestone as it signifies the transition towards electronic component manufacturing for HORSE in Portugal. Additionally, we are using an innovative production process which it enables us to have a significant competitive advantage. This substantially increases our production capacity, ensuring that we can deliver key hybrid vehicle technologies to our customers worldwide. The Aveiro production line enhances our flexibility and productivity while serving as a beacon of Industry 4.0, reaffirming our position as a leading provider of low-carbon combustion and hybrid powertrain systems.

Production at Aveiro

HORSE’s plant in Aveiro, Portugal, was chosen to be the company’s site for PEB production owing to its industrial performance. With more than forty years of operational excellence in manufacturing gearboxes and engines, this new venture marks Aveiro’s first step into producing electronic components. It has a number of sustainability projects that reduce its carbon footprint, including having the largest private photovoltaic field in Portugal, as well as being situated in close proximity to its customers.

Raynald Joly, Plant Director at HORSE Aveiro, said:With a 1,300-strong workforce, the Aveiro plant is an outstanding centre of skills and technology that’s ideally placed to serve customers as the primary site for manufacturing such an important product within hybrid vehicles. With over forty years as a world-leading automotive manufacturing site, this new production along with our ongoing transformation plan will confirm the status of HORSE Aveiro as a new innovative technology business unit for and beyond automotive industry.

HORSE expects the Aveiro facility to produce 60,000 units on its new assembly line this year. The assembly line is the first at the plant to be converted into an electro-static discharge protected area (EPA), designed to minimise electro-static charge and ensure quality and safety. In 2025, HORSE expects the line to increase production to 230,000 PEB units. The project is the culmination of significant investment by HORSE, with the PEB project team having transformed a former warehouse into a cutting-edge electronics manufacturing site in less than one year.

In anticipation of production, HORSE has invested in state-of-the-art training for staff in Aveiro. Along with training for ESD-safe environments, staff working on the PEB assembly line have also trained on virtual reality (VR) simulations. The line itself leverages a range of modern industrial innovations: autonomous geolocation-powered platforms to carry parts across the workshop, full digital control of all operations, and real-time monitoring of all critical parameters.

HORSE: a leader in Innovative Powertrain Solutions

HORSE was created to provide highly efficient, low-emission engines, transmissions and technologies to meet the varying power generation needs around the world. HORSE is a truly global company, with eight production plants across seven countries, three R&D centres and a head office based in Madrid, Spain. The company produces 3.2 million units per year for its customers around the world.

Since its creation less than a year ago, HORSE has maintained an upward trajectory, thanks to its strong focus on R&D and cutting-edge technology as well as its ability to form new commercial partnerships.

28 MAR. 2024

HORSE supplies low-emission engine to Chilean innovative electric bus manufacturer, Reborn Electric Motors

– HORSE has supplied its first engine to REBORN Electric Motors, one of the leading electric bus factories in the region

– 1.0-litre engine will power Range Extender technology within the vehicle, to be used across South America

– HORSE selected as supplier due to expertise in local Curitiba production facility

– HORSE and REBORN Electric Motors share the goal of helping to accelerate decarbonisation of the transport industry

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HORSE, a global leader in innovative powertrain solutions, has delivered the first engine to REBORN Electric Motors aimed at making transport more sustainable in South America.

HORSE was chosen because of its local-market expertise and volume production that can guarantee long-term supply to REBORN Electric Motors, which builds and renovates buses for Chile.

The 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbo petrol engine, produced at the company’s Curitiba, Brazil facility, has been fitted to a 24-seat bus with Range Extender technology.

The engine has peak power of 86kW @ 5,000 rpm and reaches maximum torque of 200Nm @ 1,750 rpm. The range extender takes energy from the engine and charges the on-board battery, with the battery providing electricity to power the electric motor which drives the wheels.

Patrice Haettel, Chief Executive Officer at HORSE, said:This is an incredibly important moment for our business as we’re going beyond supplying our core automotive partners and entering another exciting mobility sector in South America. We’re creating tailormade, low-emission solutions that support the pace of change, and the technical needs of global markets as we transition to a more sustainable future. REBORN is benefitting from our global footprint that delivers both world-class production and testing facilities.”

The HORSE Curitiba plant encompasses a powertrain plant and foundry, one of the largest industrial bases in South America. It produces both 1.0-litre (BR10) and 1.6-litre (HR16) powertrains, as well as crankshafts, cylinder heads and engine blocks. The on-site foundry die-casts aluminium engine blocks and cylinder heads.

Felipe Cevallos Becker, Chief Executive Officer at REBORN Electric Motors, added: “Our goal is to accelerate the migration to a more sustainable mobility, creating new solutions for the Latin American market. HORSE was the perfect partner with its local market knowledge and ability to quickly respond to this exciting opportunity to create a new low emission vehicle for the market.”

HORSE: a leader in Innovative Power Solutions

Since its creation less than a year ago, HORSE has maintained an upward trajectory, thanks to its strong focus on R&D, and its ability to form new commercial partnerships.

HORSE was created to provide highly efficient, low-emission engines, transmissions and technologies to meet the varying power generation needs around the world. HORSE is a truly global company, with eight production plants across seven countries, three R&D centres and a head office based in Madrid, Spain. The company produces 3.2 million units per year for its customers around the world.

REBORN Electric Motors

REBORN Electric Motors specializes in sustainable transport for commercial vehicles and public transport in Latin America. The company pioneers a novel electromobility solutions tailored to the needs of the Latin American market, offering a fleet of fully electric and hydrogen-powered buses. In addition, it retrofits diesel buses with new electrified powertrains which both reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during operation, as well as extending the lifespan of the vehicle.

REBORN Electric Motors, founded by a group of engineers from universities across Chile, has a research & development facility in Rancagua, Chile with the focus on development of future sustainable mobility.

HORSE and REBORN Electric Motors share the goal of helping to accelerate decarbonisation of the transport industry.

08 FEB. 2024

HORSE and Dumarey Group sign Strategic Agreement

HORSE, a global innovation partner for powertrain solutions, has signed a strategic agreement with Dumarey Group. The partnership is based on HORSE’s extensive experience in engine production and Dumarey Automotive Italia SPA (formerly PUNCH Torino) expertise in advanced propulsion systems and embedded controls.

As part of the new agreement, HORSE and Dumarey Automotive Italia will co-develop HORSE’s flagship 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine (M920) with manual transmission, readying it for Euro7 front-wheel drive and EuroVI rear-wheel drive applications.

This agreement will set the foundation for further potential future cooperations between the Parties on low carbon fuels, including hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines, for which the Dumarey Group, through its brand Hydrocells, has gained a considerable expertise.

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