inside
The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

Brilliant for the environment

Less water, fewer solvents, less energy: The plastic parts paint shop at Wolfsburg is a pioneer in environmental protection matters.

Olaf Thiemerman is head of the plastic parts paint shop in Wolfsburg. Cleaning prior to painting is done using snow-jet cleaning.

The plastic parts paint shop for components in Wolfsburg sets the standard in environmental friendliness. “Our 120-meter-long facility is the benchmark for the automobile industry,” says manager Olaf Thiemermann. The paint shop plays an important role in supporting ­Volkswagen’s goal of making production 45 percent more environmentally friendly by 2025 compared to 2010. The brand has placed this new target into its ­environment program Think Blue. Factory. “We have combined five innovative technologies,” says Thiemermann, explaining the paint shop’s recipe for success.

For example, approximately 4,000 Golf bumpers are cleaned daily with CO2 snow crystals instead of water. And thanks to new technology, most parts now only need one paint application instead of two. Furthermore, the paint mist is captured by filters made of rock powder, which is then processed further in a cement factory. The savings are phenomenal: The new painting process consumes 91 percent less water, 94 percent fewer solvents, and only half as much energy.