Swedish legacy automaker Volvo decided to follow in the footsteps of industry leader Tesla in terms of electric vehicle production ramp-up. According to Electrek, Volvo partnered with Italy’s IDRA Group for the installment of the Tesla-pioneered Giga Casting technology at its upcoming Slovakia factory.
Volvo orders two new 9k-ton Giga Presses
Tesla’s Giga Press supplier IDRA Group disclosed in its LinkedIn post yesterday that Volvo Cars ordered two new 9,000-ton Giga Press machines, the largest model in the Italian die-casting machinery manufacturer’s portfolio.
Volvo apparently plans to equip Giga Press machines at its future Košice plant in Slovakia as it prepares for an all-electric vehicle era.
“These state-of-the-art machines are set to revolutionize the automotive manufacturing industry and position the brand’s new plant in Košice as a strategic hub for Giga Casting.”
Gigacasting to reshape the EV industry
InsideEVs noted that there is a growing number of electric automakers joining the Giga Casting revolution.
As EV-a2z reported, a 6,100-ton Giga Press featured Ford’s brand logo as it completed assembly and testing in IDRA’s Travalgiato factory during the company event on October 10-11.
Meanwhile, the more advanced 9,000-ton Giga Press had no indicated brand logo. Nonetheless, Reuters suggested that the unit was for Hyundai.
Now, Volvo is confirmed to join IDRA’s growing customers for the Giga Press machine.
What exactly is Giga Casting?
Giga Casting is the process of clamping molten metal alloy in a reusable mold through Giga Press machines. For context, it is a high-pressure die-casting equipment initially used by Tesla to assemble an electric vehicle body.
The next step is to open the mold to obtain the finished body part after it cools and hardens. The mold needs to cool to 185 °C (365 °F) first before starting a new cycle in 1 to 2 minutes after the first cycle.
This process enables Tesla to produce large cast parts in one piece, boosting its electric vehicle production capacity.
All that said, the adoption of the Giga Casting process will undoubtedly deliver numerous advantages for Volvo’s planned production ramp-up, including cost reduction, improved performance, and sustainability. It will also aid the Swedish automaker to achieve its target of becoming an all-electric brand by 2030. Before that, Volvo aims to have its BEVs account for 50% of its global car sales by 2025.