IAV expands Heimsheim facility into a development center
IAV is significantly expanding its presence in southern Germany with a new development center. In addition to the EMC test center, a building complex is being constructed with 370 workstations as well as a modern high-voltage testing infrastructure, test fields and workshops. IAV will thus be taking on the high-voltage integration of future E-series vehicles at the new development site in cooperation with automotive manufacturers.
«With our development center, we are intensifying our close customer relationships with automobile manufacturers and creating a hub for the development of new vehicle generations.»
— CFO of IAV
“For electromobility to take off successfully, e-vehicles need to come onto the market in sufficient variety and at shorter intervals. So development has to pick up speed, and with increasing complexity,” says Katja Ziegler, CFO of IAV.
In addition to the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test center announced last year, the development center will also include a building complex with 370 workstations for project partners and employees. In addition, there will be test areas and a complete high-voltage (HV) test infrastructure consisting of pre-integration stations, test benches for intelligent charging functions and DC fast-charge test fields. With the help of the HV infrastructure, IAV will support customers in accelerating the integration of high-voltage components into the vehicle and shortening the time to series production readiness.
The new IAV test center brings together all the project partners involved. They can jointly test the components in the new buildings, validate the results and further develop the components.
Construction of the development center in the immediate vicinity of the EMC testing facility began in spring 2021. Once it is up and running in the first quarter of 2023, IAV employees will move into the new building from the previously rented properties in the surrounding area.
«This will enable us to offer our customers the combined expertise of our employees and the appropriate testing infrastructure, which is essential for the rapid development of e-vehicles and for connected mobility, from a single source and in a single location. IAV will carry out the entire high-voltage integration for upcoming e-vehicle series at the new development center, making development processes much more effective and efficient.»
— CEO of IAV
Technical background: High-voltage integration in the vehicle
Modern high-voltage systems are far more than the interconnection of individual vehicle components. Rather, electric vehicles are characterized by the intelligent interaction of all components, systems and functions. In addition to the components that are anchored in the vehicle, charging stations, mobility providers and the customers themselves – via smartphone – are already interacting with the car.
Due to this complexity, one speaks of “distributed” functions that must harmonize with each other. This is where the work of high-voltage integration begins: It is responsible for ensuring that these distributed functions across all components meet customer expectations. At the same time, the vehicles must always be safe and intuitive for the customer to operate during operation or charging. In addition to the classic vehicle tests, the main focus is on short-term and qualified fault analysis to improve vehicle maturity. This agile approach to high-voltage integration makes it possible to keep pace with the rapid pace of electric vehicle development.
With more than 8,000 employees, IAV is one of the world’s leading engineering partners to the automotive industry. The company has been developing innovative concepts and technologies for future vehicles for more than 35 years and generated sales of around EUR 896 million in 2020. Its customers include all major automobile manufacturers and suppliers worldwide. Alongside vehicle and drivetrain development, IAV entered the field of electromobility and autonomous driving at an early stage and is now one of the leading development service providers in these fields. Alongside its development centers in Berlin, Gifhorn and Chemnitz/Stollberg, IAV has further locations in Munich, Sindelfingen and Ingolstadt, among others, as well as in Europe, Asia and North and South America.