Kia’s new dedicated EV plant will also be eco friendly

If you are still not convinced that the future of mobility is electrical, look at the direction manufacturers are currently taking with new plants.

23 Kia Evs1

Kia will soon start building a dedicated facility for an electric purpose-built vehicle (PBV) with a production capacity of 150 000 units in the second half of 2025.

The Hyundai Motor Group (of which Kia is a part) announced it aims to become one of the world’s top 3 EV manufacturers by 2030.

“Our focus is to enhance the competitiveness of the entire electric vehicle ecosystem, including research and development, production and infrastructure, and to lead the way in driving change and innovation in the new global automotive industry,” says Kia President and CEO, Ho Sung Song.

Kia will invest around one trillion won (approximately USD 758 million or R1.6 billion) to secure 99 000 acres of land, with the company planning to start mass-production in the second half of 2025.

The new installation will be built as an eco-friendly plant that applies future innovative manufacturing technologies while minimising carbon emissions. It will also seek efficiency and intelligence with Hyundai Motor and Kia’s smart factory brand ‘E-FOREST technologies’ such as digital manufacturing systems.

One of the innovative manufacturing processes to be implemented at the new plant is known as the ‘cellular (or cell) method’, which allows vehicle production based on diverse customer demands.

The cell method is a process layout strategy that groups together machines or workstations that are used to produce similar products or parts. The goal of the cell method is to create a more efficient and flexible manufacturing process by reducing the distance that materials and products need to travel during production.

Under the cell method, machines are arranged in a way that optimises the flow of materials and products between workstations, with the aim of minimising downtime, reducing costs and increasing productivity.

The plant’s cutting-edge manufacturing system unifies the new cell method with the original mass-production conveyor system to allow flexible production with more customisation of various product types.

In addition, the plant will be built as a low-carbon factory by operating a dry booth, a nature-friendly construction method, during the painting process of vehicle manufacturing, and reducing carbon emissions by about 20% compared to existing factories by utilising natural light and streamlining the manufacturing process.

Kia will also apply innovative technologies such as the automation of facilities using machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), automation of painting quality inspection under the vehicle, automation of installation of parts such as glass, vehicle name, and company logo, and real-time automatic measurement of quality data analysis to autonomously correct and instal the vehicle body in real time.

The new facility will be a ‘human-friendly’ plant by pushing automation in heavy-duty work and tasks that require looking up at the ceiling, while enhancing the feeling of ‘openness’ and reducing noise levels.

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