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ŠKODA builds new engine testing center
« Răspuns #1 : Septembrie 27, 2012, 10:05:56 a.m. »

› Laying of the foundation stone carried out in Česana
› A milestone for engine development at ŠKODA
› 21 new engine and component testing facilities are the core of the new center
› ŠKODA invests more than 34 million EUR – currently one of the largest investments in the area of development in the Czech Republic
› Completion of the first phase of construction expected for the end of 2013
Mladá Boleslav, September 25th, 2012 – Today, the foundation stone for a new assembly testing center will be laid at ŠKODA AUTO. ŠKODA will invest more than 34 million EUR in the expansion of the existing technology and development center in Česana near the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. This represents one of the largest investments in the area of development currently undertaken in the Czech Republic. The core of the project consists of 21 new engine and component testing facilities. The building measure is part of the automobile manufacturer’s growth strategy.

Until 2018, the brand’s sales are to rise to at least 1.5 million vehicles per year while a new or revised ŠKODA model is to be introduced in the market every six months. “It is obvious that such a model offensive requires investments in all areas. Especially in the technical development department. Our development is a central factor for success, its expansion an important contribution to our Growth Strategy 2018. The new engine testing center is an important investment for a successful future of the ŠKODA brand,” says Prof. Dr. h.c. Winfried Vahland, ŠKODA AUTO’s chairman of the board, on the occasion of today’s foundation laying ceremony. “At the same time, it strengthens the brand’s technological competence for the entire Volkswagen Group. With the new engine and component testing facilities, we continue to expand our know-how on this development sector,” commented the ŠKODA boss in Česana.

ŠKODA already performs important development work within the framework of the affiliated group, namely with regard to components, brakes, transmissions and engines. The new construction now started represents one of the largest investments in the area of development that are currently being undertaken in the Czech Republic. The total investment of this first expansion phase amounts to more than 34 million EUR. For this purpose, the Czech automobile manufacturer will erect a new building complex on the premises of a former wine distillery in Česana and connect it to the existing premises of ŠKODA’s Technical Development Department.

The core of the new assembly testing center will consist of 15 engine testing facilities with capacities ranging from 250 to 400 kW. In the future, besides testing new generations of engines as they are prepared for series production, highly dynamic tests on the most powerful 400 kW test stand shall also be possible. For example, such tests are necessary for the motorsport activities of the brand. Six other special test stands will be utilized for functional and endurance tests of individual components and systems of internal combustion engines. These testing facilities allow for an efficient verification of the correct functioning and the life expectancy of engine parts as well as for the assessment of the acoustic behavior of assemblies on one of those six component testing stands. In view of the ever increasing requirements on the global usability of engines, the new center will also facilitate the development of assemblies for a diverse range of markets worldwide – designed for various types of fuels including LPG, CNG and ethanol. As such, it will enable on-the-spot testing of the operation of these engines with the various fuel types.

Within the framework of the expansion, ŠKODA plans to create new jobs in technical development. At least 40 new specialists are to be hired successively; other highly qualified jobs could also be created by external suppliers.

Moreover, the new assembly testing center will also be designed with the environment in mind, employing state-of-the-art technologies: For example, the performance test stands will be able to feed electrical energy back into the supply network or provide it for direct consumption in the building. Likewise, returning the heat energy generated by the cooling cycle and the exhaust gas extraction during engine tests will contribute to the heating system in the building; this will be done through heat exchangers – another example for the sustainability efforts of ŠKODA AUTO in vehicle development.

With the facility in Česana, ŠKODA has the third-largest development center within the Volkswagen Group and one of the most modern ones in the entire automobile industry. The existing ŠKODA Technology Center was put into operation in 2008 and has been continuously expanded ever since. In 2009, it was enlarged by two climate chambers for vehicle endurance tests as well as for tests of vehicle heating and air-conditioning systems. At the end of 2010, new acoustic test stands were added. In 2011, ŠKODA also integrated the test track in Úhelnice near Husí Lhota into its Technical Development Department. The track serves for the conduct of dynamic tests and crash tests.

Not only does the on-site team of approximately 1,800 employees perform development tasks for their own brand, it also works on development orders for the Group and other affiliated brands. For example, in the area of assemblies, this currently includes the development of new four-cylinder MPI engines that – robust and inexpensive – are being specially engineered for the requirements of the global growth markets and that are tested in Česana for their subsequent use in series production.

The construction of the assembly testing center is planned as the first, significant phase of an entire complex of buildings on the premises. Also included in this plan are the headquarters of ŠKODA Motorsport and the expansion of the ŠKODA Design Center. The new construction and operation of the complex will also take sustainability concerns into consideration: The buildings will be surrounded by 48,000 m2 of green spaces, as far as possible integrating the population of mature trees on the grounds.

Besides the expansion of the Technology Center, ŠKODA is currently working on other important projects: The car manufacturer is strengthening its domestic production base by expanding the capacities of the assembly plants for automobiles in Mladá Boleslav as well as in Kvasiny and preparing the series production of modern direct shift automatic transmissions (DSG) in the newly erected plant in Vrchlabí. The ŠKODA Parts Center for original parts and original accessories is also being expanded and the ŠKODA Museum in Mladá Boleslav is undergoing an extensive renovation. The reopening of the museum is scheduled to take place at the end of 2012.


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