JLR's new panel press can now do in five minutes what used to take 55 minutes to complete
The new line has a combined press stamping capacity of some 7900 tonnes. It will stamp both steel and aluminium panels for cars produced at the factory, currently the Land Rover Freelander 2 and the Range Rover Evoque.
Able to handle more weight and work at higher speeds than traditional mechanical presses, the new line is more efficient, and also includes an energy recovery system which draws energy from its action and converts it to electricity.
Jaguar Land Rover says the press's design allows the workers to change its metal moulds within five minutes, compared to the 55 minutes it would usually take using older presses. Around 700 panels are produced at the Halewood site every hour, adding up to a total of some 25 million per year.
The firm says trial pressings using the new line will begin next month before full-scale stamping starts in the summer. By autumn, JLR officials say the line should be making up to 20 strikes per minute.