The international module of MBA Automotive Industry was held in Stuttgart from October 2 to 8, 2022. The international module consists of four-day lectures at Werk150 at Reutlingen University and two-day company visits to the renowned companies in Stuttgart.
AMG-Mercedes, Bertrandt, Porsche & ARENA2036
AMG's headquarter is located in Affalterbach near Stuttgart. In 1967 Hans-Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher founded the company. In 1990 AMG started the cooperation with Mercedes-Benz. Since 2005 AMG-Mercedes is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. The company AMG-Mercedes is no longer a tuning company for Mercedes-Benz, but now develops complete vehicle concepts in the high-performance sector together with Mercedes-Benz. The vehicles developed by AMG-Mercedes are produced in the various Mercedes plants. In addition to development and design of AMG vehicles, V8 engines and 4-cylinder performance engines are produced at the Affalterbach plant. Students toured two engine production facilities, one of V8 engines and other two-liter four-cylinder engines, which are among the most powerful engines of the AMG brand. The production layout and assembly strategy "one engine - one man". This is a unique type of production, more suitable for small series production. Such production ensures fail-safety and high traceability. The plant has implemented Industry 4.0 in engine production processes. In 2019 the Mercedes-AMG plant in Affalterbach was awarded Factory of the Year 2019. The students then visited HWA AG. Mr. Hans Werner Aufrecht, former development engineer of Daimler-Benz established HWA company for motor sports. The business field of automobile racing and parts of the vehicle and component construction were separated from the AMG sale and transferred to HWA. (www.heaag.com)
Bertrandt is an engineering and development service provider in the automotive industry with more than 40 years of experience. As the company specializes in the entire vehicle development process, OEMs and suppliers work with this company on new system developments. Bertrandt's service portfolio is very broad and ranges from design to chassis, powertrain and electronics development and testing. A lecturer from the MBA Automotive Industry, Mr. Jesko Hermann, Managing Director of Bertrandt Technologie GmbH, gave the group a tour of the company and explained the new battery test facilities in detail. The students found the most interesting thing in the prototype department. How quickly and with what technology they are able to build a prototype for further approaches.
The students visited the Porsche plant in Zuffenhausen, one of the most traditional German sports car manufacturers. With a long tradition, various sports cars and SUVs are manufactured here. Before starting the tour, the participants had the opportunity to visit the Porsche Museum, where they could see the electric car from 1898 and the various vehicles. More than 80 years ago, the plant started with a design office, and today it is one of the most modern automobile plants in the world. Since the plant is located in the city, it is a challenge to expand the plant. As part of the plant expansion, Porsche has made the plant CO2 neutral. The Zuffenhausen plant produces Porsche 911, 718 and Taycan - an electric sports car. It is great to see that Porsche has implemented a modern production line with very well-functioning logistics concepts despite the limited space in the company. The assembly lines and production are designed in the spirit of Industry 4.0 and state-of-the-art technologies. There, students could see fully automated lines (body shop and paint shop), data exchange in manufacturing technology, including cyber-physical systems, IoT, cloud computing, which really create a smart factory.
ARENA2036 is an abbreviation of „Active Research Environment for the Next generation of Automobiles” and is one of nine research campus of the funding initiative "Forschungscampus" -public-private partnership for innovation" in Germany (www.arena2036.de), opens an external URL in a new window. ARENA2036 is a platform for cooperation between industry and universities to implement Industrie 4.0. Many renown automotive and supply companies are partner of ARENA2036. It offers partners possibilities to realize and test their innovative concepts together other partners.
During the international module we got an overall picture where the automotive industry stands now. There are serious and complex challenges to be prepared and answered. The most crucial element of the international module was to give insight to the research, the production and to the possible directions for the future. Deep knowledge, professional experts with open and progressive approach helps us a lot to understand the latest processes and developments in the automotive industries. During the company visits we have the chance to take part in Q&A session where we have realised that all the companies are very well prepared to the global and european challenges. High level of understanding the ESG regulation how to develop to become sustainable not only in environment but social terms as well. These companies are drivers and key local and regional players of the society. The entire week is framed very well the 1,5 years MBA training and ensure several possible topics for the masterthesis.