By: Josh Tech
REE Chief Operating Officer
REE’s mission is to revolutionize e-Mobility from the ground up, changing age-old concepts of how electric and autonomous vehicles (EVs) are designed and manufactured. We believe that tomorrow’s EVs and AVs will leverage REEcorner™ technology and EV platforms and will be “Powered by REE.”
The groundbreaking REEcorner™ technology compacts all critical vehicle components into a single module between the chassis and the wheel. This enables us to build the industry’s flattest EV platforms end-to-end, providing maximum space on the smallest footprint with up to 35% more space for passengers, cargo and batteries.
Unique manufacturing approach
Here at REE, we’ve adopted a unique model for production intended to increase manufacturing efficiencies and accelerate our EV platforms and EV components’ time to market.
Vehicle and component manufacturers will spend billions of dollars to build production plants that necessitate spending vast sums of money and resources on manufacturing infrastructure, locking them into a set location.
Instead of legacy mega-production plants, our business model is based on collaborations with some of the world’s leading automotive Tier-1s to produce parts unique to REE. For example, our 3-in-1 electric propulsion system from American Axle. Leading automotive companies produce the sub-components and targeted sub-assemblies for REEcorners™ and REE platforms™, finally assembled in our highly-automated integration centers local to our collaborative partner sites.
Heralding a new e-Mobility future: REE’s integration centers
Following the manufacturing of our sub-components, the actual assembly of the REEcorners™ and REE platforms will take place in multiple highly automated integration centers worldwide. This approach will allow us to remain a comparatively asset-light enterprise and reduce the overall carbon footprint of our global operations. Our first integration center will open in Coventry, UK in the second half of 2022. A second integration center in Austin, Texas is expected to be operational in 2023. Following that, we intend to open integration centers in additional strategic locations around the world as we grow our global footprint to provide mission-driven vehicles worldwide.
Our modular production line concept is also highly automated, flexible, and common to all integration centers regardless of location, meaning that we can scale up or down depending on future variants and demand.
Revolutionizing the Manufacturing Process
Our revolutionary robotic assembly process and tier-1 partnerships enable us to rapidly and efficiently go to market with EV platforms.
Our first assembly line will be installed in our Coventry, UK integration center, which is our launch factory and blueprint for all future integration centers. An assembly cell is an alternative strategy used in manufacturing that can provide much greater flexibility and scalability than a traditional production line. Robotic assembly stations, end-of-line electrical tests, and an auto-boxing station will be introduced for service. These stations will make up our REEcorner™ production line in our facility, where autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) will move the work-in-progress product between stations for both automated and manual assembly while autonomous mobile robots will bring sub-assemblies to the line.
Our modular production line provides countless advantages including:
- Ability to validate all assembly cells quickly by testing and optimizing one cell and then implementing best practices across the others, which dramatically reduces the time to design and develop assembly lines.
- Learn lessons earlier than in traditional automotive manufacturing practices, implementing these lessons into our full-scale assembly line.
- The modular production line is also highly automated and flexible, meaning that we can scale up or down depending on future variants and demand.
- In addition, assembly cells and production lines can be efficiently lifted and installed at future integration centers as required as we apply one global standard using the plug-and-play format.
REE works with top supplier partners including Expert Technologies and Rockwell Automation, Plex Manufacturing Platform on the assembly line, and line-side controls. The Plex cloud-based solutions give us the ability to have complete visibility into all production operations and enable us to scale manufacturing locally and across global integration centers which are linked to our control room center where we can achieve an overarching view from a build perspective along with full traceability for our REE solutions.
Proving out the assembly line at our integration center in Coventry is a major step forward in our infrastructure readiness as we prepare for commercial production, and we are excited by the opportunity of turning REE’s vision into reality.