October 11, 2003

KW Factory Tour
Text and photos courtesy of KW Suspensions North America

Editor's Note: The following information was provided by KW Suspensions. No AudiWorld staff members attended the factory tour or contributed to writing the article.

Founded in 1991, KW has grown from a small tuning shop into a industry leading manufacturer of Coilover Suspension Solutions. We invite you to take a first person look into the heart of KW's headquarters, and find out for yourself why KW is the leader in suspension technology.

When you arrive in the quiet little town of Fichtenberg, Germany you can feel KW's presence. License plates that read KW were everywhere (the sign of a KW employee car), and the huge 80,000+ square foot facility at the base of one of the mountains in the signature purple and gold was visible from almost every point in town.

A quick welcome from founder Klaus Wohlfarth & KW North America's President Marcel Horn, and you are off touring the immense facility. From Hall to hall, you tour all aspects of the KW operation, chat with the engineers, craftsman and workers that eat, sleep and breathe suspension.

(Above)The first step in the tour and the Coilover development process begins here - in the Workshop.  New applications are brought in and put through a long list of measurements both loaded and unloaded to find maximum clearances. As you can see here the allowable vehicle axle weight is being simulated on the Honda on the left

(Above) While the prototyping is being done, the factory shock and spring are sent into R&D's dyno facility. The basic data is taken and sent over to the Competition department to develop the baseline for the KW system. From there, the Competition engineers build a bump and rebound adjustable system and will put many hours of seat time tuning the system for its final use.

(Above) During prototyping, the engineering department inputs the new application into CAD. The new system is verified for structural integrity against all possible forces. Once fitment and tuning are complete, the engineering department finalizes the design, ready for manufacturing.

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