Source: Continental announcement
BABENHAUSEN, Germany — Continental is expanding its Romanian site in Timisoara into a new dimension: The expansion of the plant is the third since its opening in 2006. After a construction time of less than a year the expanded mega factory was opened in November and will produce e.g. innovative User Experience solutions such as displays at the enlarged site.
With an investment of around €40 million, the production area will grow by over 7,000 to 18,000 square meters, which means an increase of more than 60 percent of the space. However, establishing a mega factory not only marks an increase in area, but above all focuses on the technological innovation of production.
The electronic components factory in Timisoara produces more than 17 million products annually. These include for example airbag control units, electronic parking brakes, control units for air suspension, damping and vertical stabilization, power steering control units as well as display solutions and head-up displays.
The term “mega” refers to the extent of the production technologies being used and the size of the production area and products themselves. Continental has recently won additional major orders worth more than €2 billion from global vehicle manufacturers for its large display solutions. This brings the awarded lifetime sales for Continental display solutions with SOP after 2022 to over €7 billion.
With the expansion, Continental is bundling production capacities and competencies at a selected central location – just as the occupants’ interaction with the vehicle merges from various small and decentral screens into large integrated display solutions spanning from pillar to pillar.
With this mega factory strategy the technology company continues to drive forward the paradigm shift in production of automotive user experience technologies and creates great advantages, both economically and technologically. Especially the extremely complex manufacturing of large display solutions such as C-Shape, L-Shape or Pillar-to-Pillar Displays requires bundled production volumes to increase in quality and speed.
“What used to be the horsepower under the hood is now the user experience. The way the occupants interact with the vehicle, connect, communicate, relax, are informed or entertained, is becoming the key criterion in the purchase decision. In order to satisfy our customer’s growing demand, we need to aim for the highest possible digitalization, standardization and automatization – and that is exactly what we are doing with our new mega factory in Timisoara”, said Philipp von Hirschheydt, Head of User Experience Business Area at Continental. “We bundle our competencies of products and technologies in this plant to put ourselves at the forefront of modern display production, driving the future of mobility.”
A highly automated, digitally connected, sustainable facility for future mobility solutions
The Continental Automotive plant in Timisoara has been a pioneer in terms of digitally connected production technologies for many years and is considered a benchmark factory for Industry 4.0.
By focusing on people, standardization, automation and digitalization, the expanded plant in Timisoara covers all the crucial topics of future mobility and future-proofs the technology company’s display production worldwide. Especially the automation of simple tasks leads to a higher production speed while at the same time standardization ensures higher quality. In combination with the focus on digitalization and people the expansion creates competitive advantages in the production of complex display solutions. Virtual Reality line planning, simulation and optimization will enable Continental to produce large display solutions at top speed with high quality and low invests.
Augmented Reality is used for maintenance and product development leading to cost savings and higher quality. Artificial Intelligence and Robotics support the employees who additionally benefit from the fact that Continental places great emphasis here on creating a workplace that stands out as a sustainable, attractive employer.
“The demand for integrated display solutions is growing enormously. With this plant extension and our mega factory strategy, we strengthen our global manufacturing footprint to further enhance our capabilities to develop solutions for a digital future. By connecting our manufacturing process digitally, we enable production concepts of highest speed and quality. As a modern industrial region with excellent infrastructures and highly qualified employees, Timisoara is the ideal location for us to manufacture automotive high-tech electronics,” said Thomas Ebenhöch, Vice President Operations of the User Experience Business Area at Continental.