Voith Industrial Services’ new multi-million pounds wheel and tyre assembly plant in Coventry – the most technically advanced in the UK – is now taking shape before opening later in the year.
The first 90-metre long assembly line has been installed and is currently undergoing extensive commissioning.
The new track, which has 11 fully-automated work-stations, will be programmed to assemble every single possible combination of over 700 wheel and tyre derivatives with capacity for more.
The installation of the first track – the second will be de-commissioned, relocated, and re-commissioned from July – follows the first phase which was to relocate the sequencing and transport operations.
The state-of-the-art plant in Torrington Avenue is being developed to meet the growing demand from premium and luxury car brands, such as Jaguar and Land Rover, as well as from other automotive manufacturers including Vauxhall.
The new facility will replace the existing factory – only a few hundred yards away in Torrington Avenue – where wheel and tyre assembly has been carried out for more than 30 years.
Phillip Spencer, Voith Industrial Services’ sales and business development director, said: “The current operation, employing about 80 people, takes place in three buildings covering an area of 97,000 sq.ft. It consists of three production lines currently assembling 4,000 units a day.
“The new plant will house all aspects of the operation in one building covering 140,000 sq. ft. A wheel and tyre assembly will be completed in only 12 seconds – compared to 20 seconds on the current production line.
Last year Voith Industrial Services, that has its UK headquarters in Warwick, won the top quality award from Jaguar Land Rover for its wheel and tyre operation.
The award, called JLRQ, was formally presented following assessments over a 12-month period on a range of criteria including its quality, delivery, technical ability, and planned preventative maintenance programmes.
“More automotive manufacturers are recognising our technical expertise and quality in this area, and we expect to see our turnover increase significantly over the coming years as our customer base expands,” said Phillip.
He added that Voith Industrial Services will be exhibiting at the first UK Automechanika Show at the NEC in June as part of its plans to further raise the profile of the company’s wide range of services to the automotive industry.
“The increasing demand for our expertise in wheel and tyre assembly is just one area of our business that has made us a leading supplier of a wide range of outsourced and technical services to the UK automotive and transport industries,” he said.
In the UK Voith Industrial Services employs 2,600 people – mainly at customer sites across the country. The company has increased its sales turnover from €33 million to almost €120 million in the last five years.