- Hyundai Motor’s European manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic is the most modern automotive plant in Europe, and offers a glimpse into the future of car production.
First opened in 2008, the HMMC facility in Nošovice is Hyundai Motor’s first manufacturing plant on the continent. One of the most state-of-the-art production facilities ever built, the Czech plant produces up to 350,000 cars a year using advanced robots. In December 2016, production began on Hyundai’s DNA car in Europe, the All New i30, which is designed, developed and manufactured on the continent.
Hearts of Steel
To mark the All New i30’s launch, Hyundai has created a 60-second video called “Hearts of Steel”. This is set in the Nošovice factory and features two yellow industrial robots. In the opening seconds, they are seen going about their standard routine of diligently assembling car parts. Then a door opens and the frame of the new i30 appears. Taken aback by its high strength steel and the hardness of its frame, both robots burst into life fall in love with it instantly. One of the machines places its arm onto the i30’s hood, and lashes out at its rival machine when it comes too close.
Unwilling to share with one another, the robots start pushing each other around like young rowdies, coming to blows by wielding neon light tubes at each other. Their love for the high strength steel frame makes them desperate to work on the car alone, and they engage in combat. After all, this is "a love stronger than steel". As their neon light tubes smash into smithereens, the body of the i30 moves past them, and their passion turns to despair. Thankfully for them, another frame enters the factory room shortly afterwards, meaning their despair is short-lived.
The video utilises high definition computer animation and dynamic camera angles to demonstrate the type of machines used to put together the All New i30s during production. This film finds humour in the contrast between the backdrop of the grey industrial factory, usually associated with dull, emotionless production, and the way the robots burst into life when the high strength steel frame appears, allowing these machines to find true love in their working environment, just as their human counterparts might.
Robots at work
Using the most advanced technology, 500 high-tech robots produce 1,500 Hyundai cars each day in Nošovice. An array of mechanical arms and machinery work in tandem on the production line. The pressing process uses an automated panel loading system, while more than 300 robots work in the welding shop fusing body parts together. Two extremely powerful welding machines called “the main bucks” allow up to eight different car bodies to be built simultaneously on a single line.
All car units are subjected to meticulous inspection by Hyundai employees, before undergoing rigorous testing at the plant’s track. Each car’s electronics and advanced safety systems are also fully tested and the facility boasts an internal rail system for transportation throughout Europe.