The SEAT Technical Centre focuses on R&D and is the only centre of its kind in Spain with the experience and technology required to fully develop new vehicles.
Work is carried out with the future in mind, with customers’ ideas and requirements being incorporated in order to design cars which will become part of the SEAT range over the coming years. The site covers a surface area of 200,000m², of which 43,000m² are built up and equipped. More than 1,294 people, of various nationalities, work in the centre on a daily basis, most of whom have diplomas or university degrees. They use the most advanced technology to create modern and reliable cars.
The use of simulation and virtual reality technologies has enabled the Technical Centre to fulfil important requirements such as shortening development periods, thus providing a benchmark in the consortium, as well as reducing costs and increasing quality. The Technical Centre also plays an important role in fostering industrial development, and for many years has acted as the driving force behind the technological development of the company’s suppliers throughout Spain.
The car design process has clearly defined stages, from the moment when the car is just an idea on paper to the production of the first unit. The Technical Centre’s Design Centre starts to define a product based on previously envisaged ideas. Design is one of the strong points of the “new SEAT” cars, with the company’s designers drawing up a sketch which, in line with the company’s strategic areas, sets a standard and responds to customer requirements.
During the first phase they define the new product prototype and start to design the shapes, draw up the general dimensions, and produce a viability study of all the parts that will make the car different from other cars already on the market. At this stage virtual reality and simulation technologies play a vital role by carrying out many different tests, such as studying the aerodynamics, rigidity and effectiveness of the chassis, cooling system and air conditioning, and crash tests on different variants, without a physical unit having been constructed. This reduces costs and shortens development periods. During this phase the planned design is also checked to ensure that it has a workable industrial application and its mass production will be technically and economically feasible.
Once the basic project has been defined, the development phase begins for areas such as bodywork, finishes, engines, chassis, electricity and electronics, active and passive safety features, environmental protection (both during the production process and the car’s life span), comfort and ergonomics, multimedia applications etc., even though the possibility remains of changing any of the features. The most advanced technology is used to develop each of these areas. In addition to the simulation and virtual reality systems, the Technical Centre engineers have more than 800 workstations equipped with CAX technology.
Once the computers finish their work, the first actual prototypes are tested in depth. The Technical Centre boasts cutting-edge technological equipment, such as acoustic, climatic and sunlight reproduction cameras, fatigue test benches for components and entire vehicles, engine analysis and test benches, pollution testing areas, test benches for bodywork rigidity and bending, test benches for component and vehicle safety, laser welding and material laboratories. In addition to this equipment, SEAT has an exclusive agreement with IDIADA (the automotive technology company) for crash tests, a high-speed circuit and an accelerated fatigue track, which are built in accordance with Volkswagen Group technology.
Surface area: 200,000 m²
Built-up area: 43,000 m²
Workforce: 1,294 employees
Workstations with CAX technology: 848