60 years of experience in electrical services in Cléon

Published by on 09.11.2018 - 5 min

Tags : Expert view

Tatiana Sueur oversees the assembly of electric motors at Renault's plant in Cléon. What’s her role? To develop production capacities to respond to the explosion in demand, to guarantee flawless quality, to foster her teams' skills and to support product innovation.

Can you please explain in two words what the production of an electric motor entails?

In the Cléon plant, which for 60 years has embodied Groupe Renault’s engineering expertise, we’re evolving. Since 2015, we have been putting this expertise to manufacture our own electric motors: this consists of melting, machining and assembling the parts of the electric drive train that equips most Renault ZOEs or Kangoo Z.E.s.

We work on the three main components of this engine. There is the rotor stator torque that creates movement and power electronics, as well as the gearbox which reduces the speed of the wheel rotation.

Thanks to our experience acquired in Cléon, we can face the new challenges of manufacturing an electric motor. To build a stator, for example, we had to find how to wind 2 kilometres of copper wire into little notches in sheet metal without damaging the insulating ceramic that covers them.

Compared to the manufacture of combustion engines, is this an evolution or a revolution?

Tatiana Sueur

The trades are more or less the same, but building an electric engine requires a different sort of expertise. For example, we have to manage the assembly of all electronic parts that communicate with the motor. Training has therefore played a vital role in the development of our electrical know-how, whether via information from our partner equipment suppliers or via dedicated modules designed in partnership with local schools.

At the same time, we can directly rely on the Renault engine manufacturer’s know-how and processes: robust production tools, traceability and quality control. The final test for our electric motor is strongly inspired by that used for gearboxes designed for cars with combustion engines.

What is the biggest challenge you face every day?

The yearly increases in production volumes! This has major implications in terms of process and, even more so, human resources. Among the 260 people who work in the electric motor production department today, a hundred have joined us in the last 12 months. Groupe Renault’s new investments in French production equipment will follow the growth trends of the electric vehicle. More specifically, for Cléon, this will result in the tripling of the production capacity of electric motors and the introduction of a next-generation electric motor by 2021.

What do your employees think about going electric?

They’re proud! Our teams are passionate and motivated because they know that they are at the heart of an innovation that will profoundly transform the automotive industry. These employees naturally become ambassadors of the product. Especially since the department of electric motors also serves as a sort of laboratory for all projects related to the factory of tomorrow. And we can’t build tomorrow’s car in yesterday’s factory!

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