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Hall 54: Herbert Diess
Congratulates the Team

Lean Production Award – the Volkswagen CEO was impressed with the team’s progress in efficiency and productivity.

Team photo with the Volkswagen CEO: the next step is to roll out Wolfsburg’s tried and tested automation technology across other plants.

Even Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess didn’t see this one coming: the Group’s main plant in Wolfsburg is this year’s winner of the prestigious Automotive Lean Production Award. "This is a huge achievement. I’m delighted for the team and would like to congratulate them on their performance," exclaimed Diess. The Volkswagen CEO visited Hall 54 in person to see for himself why the Wolfsburg plant deserved to win this award.

An independent jury of experts was impressed with the great strides that the Wolfsburg site had made in terms of efficiency and productivity at over 50 different stations, including its press shop, body shop, assembly hall, paint shop and logistics.

There were two clear aspects of Hall 54 that inspired Diess along with Head of Production Andreas Tostmann and Plant Manager Stefan Loth. Diess started with the early shift on assembly line 3, watching over the shoulders of Foreman Max Göllnitz and his team. They were working on tasks such as screwing together the brake pressure line for the Golf. The ergonomics, use of materials and visual management were all handled impeccably. Assembly Manager Jürgen Bastek took some time out to talk Diess through the finer details. The team’s spokesperson, Norbert Walecko, noted that it was "great to have the opportunity to meet Mr. Diess and have him here with us."

Front-end equipment, 
underbody paneling and batteries are all built in automatically here: Herbert Diess (second 
from the right) was impressed with the high level of availability 
of the technology.

Assembly line 3: Herbert Diess was shown the ropes with regard to the improved work processes on shift 3. They helped the Wolfsburg plant win the Lean Award.

Andy Heine installs an air conditioning line. Essential factors for an optimal production flow include an efficient layout where everything is within easy reach.

It was then time to move on to the second station to take a look at progress with regard to automation. Here, designer Vanja Burkatzki, maintenance worker Marco Schüler and plant operators Wilfried Neumann and Nico Brockmann demonstrated how easy it is to install the front-end equipment and battery in the Golf with the help of robots. Diess, Tostmann and Loth all agreed with the employees that technical progress offers huge opportunities 
in terms of further automating 
production processes. Nevertheless, there is no danger of Hall 54, which went into operation back in 1982, ever doing away with people entirely

The international Automotive Lean Production Award has been presented annually by the specialist publication "Automobil Produktion" and Agamus Consult GmbH since 2006. Around 80 European plants took part in the competitive analysis this year, with over 60 in the running for an award. Volkswagen Wolfsburg will be accepting the award as the best manufacturer at the Automotive Lean Production conference in Bremen, which is being held at the start of November. The local Mercedes plant will be hosting the event, having won the award last year. This is not the first time a Volkswagen location has won the award: the prize went to the Bratislava plant back in 2011.

What is the Lean Production Award?