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Electric vehicles

Robots, AI replace human workers at Kia’s EV6 manufacturing factory

Kia has been ramping up the automation of electric vehicle production at its smart factory

By Nov 22, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

▲ Kia EV6 Manufacturing Process - How Kia's First Exclusive Electric Vehicle is Made

Kia Corp., South Korea’s second-largest automaker, has unveiled the automated manufacturing process at its smart factory for the EV6, its first dedicated electric vehicle built on Hyundai Motor Group’s new EV platform, E-GMP.

Kia, the sister automaking company of Hyundai Motor Co., recently released a video showing a highly automated production line of the all-electric mid-size crossover utility vehicle (CUV) at a smart factory powered by artificial intelligence and robot technology.

Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory
Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory

The EV6 is Kia’s first electric model to sit on Hyundai Motor Group’s proprietary Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), following the debut in February of Hyundai Motor’s IONIQ5.

The E-GMP is an integrated platform that will underpin all forthcoming electric cars from both Hyundai Motor and Kia.

The EV6, due out in the first half of next year, is the first of seven all-electric vehicles Kia plans to launch by 2026.

Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory
Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory

MINIMAL HUMAN INVOLVEMENT

Kia’s EV6 line is designed to manufacture the vehicle through a nearly fully automated process, including assembly, welding and the moving of parts, limiting human involvement to a minimum.

At the battery module assembly line, robots are employed to precisely drive dozens of screws and bolts into auto parts.

The completed battery pack is then loaded onto an automated guided vehicle (AGV), equipped with wireless communication devices and anti-crash sensors.

Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory
Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory

The AGV moves the cell to a designated location on its own, avoiding obstacles.

Installing the power electric (PE) system and the painting process for the car is also carried out automatically by robots.

The only process that requires human involvement is the final inspection of the assembled vehicles, according to Kia.

Kia aims to sell 30,000 units of the EV6 globally, including 13,000 cars in Korea, this year and targets 100,000 units next year when a high-end trim is released.

Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory
Kia's EV6 production process at its smart factory

Hyundai Motor Group has said it plans to introduce 23 fully electric models and sell 1 million units a year globally by 2025.

Write to Il-Gue Kim at Black0419@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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