New Zealand-based Rodin Cars announces a state-of-the-art expansion as engine production moves in house
Back in early 2019 when we were first introduced to Rodin Cars’ founder and CEO, David Dicker, this is one of the very first things he said while explaining his vision for his company, “You’re only as good as your worst supplier, so we try to do as much as we can from design to production.”
It’s this philosophy that’s behind a multi-million-dollar expansion of the Rodin Cars’ design and manufacturing base on the South Island of New Zealand. Dicker again, “The decision to bring engine production in-house dictated a significant expansion of our facility.”
And this is a 1400-acre facility that already boasted two configurable test circuits on which the Rodin FZED and upcoming FZERO have been developed.
“Even though we already have around 1300-square metres of design and production facilities on site, we knew that we wanted to expand,” began David Dicker. “We’re building a 50-metre by 50-metre factory adjacent to our current facility, so that’s 2500-square metres or 27,500-square feet. We’ll be able to do all engine manufacturing in there, we’re going to move all the 3D printers in there as well, which will free up space for the carbonfibre side of the business. And we’ll have a lot more room for design engineers as well.”
In addition to this phase of the expansion, this site is future-proofed for further expansion to over 7000-square metres.
In June 2020, while the world was in COVID-19 hibernation, David Dicker and his team began preparation for the new facility with a geo-technical survey of the proposed site. After approval was given, more than 10,000-cubic metres of earth was moved to level the site.
The facility itself, an enormous 50×50-metre factory under a single-span roof, was designed using the same sophisticated computer programmes that Rodin Cars utilises to design its ultimate track cars. A fifth of the 2500-square-metre facility will be dedicated to the design offices, which will also benefit from stunning views of Mt Lyford through the 3.2m x 4.0m windows.
Just a month after earthworks commenced, the first pour for the foundations began on November 1, 2020. By early December, the steel framework began to take place and the build has progressed rapidly since. Individually trucked to the site from Christchurch, the first of the prefabricated concrete walls (weighing around 20 tonnes each) were lifted into place in mid-January this year.
By mid-March, the concrete floor, which features high-efficiency underfloor heating, was being poured, and the service installations began in April. The concrete floor is 200mm thick, but features numerous 600mm-thick concrete isolator pads onto which heavy and highly-sensitive machinery will be bolted – including the state-of-the-art 3D Systems DMP Factory 500 printer that will be used to print the gearbox and exhaust system of the upcoming Rodin FZERO.
In all, the new facility features approximately 3200 tonnes of concrete – 800 for the foundations, 1000 for the walls and 1400 for the floor. The estimated cost for the build is around $6 million, but this will likely top $10 million by the time the fit-out is complete.
Once complete, the new building will house Rodin Cars’ engine production facility (including casting, 3D printing, machining, and assembly), engine test lab, and heated paint booth with downdraught extraction.
For more on the amazing new factory at Rodin Cars watch the following: