Volvo is preparing the Torslanda plant in Sweden for the production of electric vehicles

  • Volvo is investing $1.1 billion in the factory in Torslanda, Sweden, before offering an all-electric range by 2030.
  • The automaker will adopt an aluminum mega-casting process, which will create large single assembly parts instead of using many smaller ones, reducing complexity and overall vehicle weight.
  • Volvo recently chose Gothenburg, Sweden, as the site for a gigantic battery factory in cooperation with battery specialist Northvolt.

    Volvo’s Torslanda plant is the automaker’s oldest assembly plant still in use, in operation since 1964, but is by no means obsolete. Last year, the plant achieved climate-neutral status as part of Volvo’s plans to make all of its factories climate-neutral by 2025.

    Today, the carmaker is investing around 1 billion euros to prepare Torslanda for the production of electric vehicles, while Volvo plans to transition to an all-electric range in just eight years.

    This week Volvo revealed it would be introducing several new processes at Torslanda to make the leap to an all-electric future, just days after announcing the construction of a new giga-factory with battery specialist Northvolt in Gothenburg.

    A major new manufacturing process that Volvo will introduce at the Torslanda plant is the mega-casting of aluminum body parts, creating the main parts of the floor structure from a single piece of aluminium. This process reduces overall vehicle weight, complexity and the overall environmental footprint of production, with a single part capable of replacing dozens of individually manufactured and assembled parts. It will also significantly reduce the time it takes to produce a major vehicle component.

    Volvo will adopt mega molding to create larger single parts for use in vehicle assembly, which offers a number of benefits.


    Chances are if you’ve heard of mega-casting, it’s thanks to Tesla. The company popularized the process, now considered a milestone in automotive component manufacturing, with Italian press maker Idra Group creating the machines. Two of its presses weigh 5,500 and 6,200 tons respectively.

    Once the robots apply a layer of oil to allow the finished part to separate, most of the air is removed from the closed mould. Next, molten aluminum heated to 1400°F is pumped from a furnace into the enclosed chamber. Once the casting has cooled to a certain temperature, although far from cold, the mold is opened and the casting is removed by robots which place it in a quench tank to cool it quickly, then clean and inspect it molding for imperfections.

    The process sounds simple, although the technology and scale involved is quite massive, with each press occupying the same footprint as a small house. Each cycle only takes about two minutes, allowing each press to create hundreds of castings per day.

    volvo mega casting
    Mega-casting makes it possible to create complex and large parts in one piece.


    “The introduction of mega-casting of aluminum body parts for the next generation of Volvo electric models is the biggest and most exciting change implemented under the investment program,” adds the automaker, while noting that the start of mega-casting in Torslanda is still subject to obtaining the necessary environmental permits. “Mega-molding creates a number of durability, cost and performance benefits to the car over the life of the car, and Volvo Cars is one of the first automakers to invest in this process. .”

    Volvo plans to upgrade the Torslanda paint shop and use a new on-site battery assembly plant to integrate battery cells and modules into the vehicle floor structure. The automaker plans to renovate the plant’s logistics area to optimize material flow and parts shipment.

    “Our future as a business is all-electric and that requires a variety of upgrades across the factory, to ensure that Torslanda can continue to build the highest quality premium electric cars,” said Javier. Varela, head of engineering and operations at Volvo Cars. .

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