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The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Production Sites

No longer freehand

“Guided assembly” demonstrates the innovative strength of employees in engine production at Salzgitter. As a result of their ideas, cycle times have been reduced and ergonomics improved.

Lift, attach, screw in: In “guided assembly,” the work is made easier and more effective by using a preassembly table on which the component is lifted.

This year, as specified in the Pact for the Future. the brand’s main engine plant in Salzgitter is to become 7.5 percent more productive. In order to achieve this target, plant manager Christian Bleiel is placing trust in his employees: “The innovative talent in our team is very strong. All we need to do is tap into this treasure.” An example of an innovation created by the team is what’s known as “guided assembly,” which takes place in hall 2 A.

In workshops, employees – from management to production line workers –look for places where a manual action or a tool needs to be changed. They know the assembly process inside out, of course.

Before

After

They also take a close look at how the exhaust gas turbocharger (abbreviated ATL in German) is mounted. “Last year alone, we were able to find 444 measures to make our line more productive,” says Ronny Bode (36), who is in charge of over 250 employees in engine assembly.

With his team, Bode also developed ­guided assembly for the ATL. Previously, an employee had to take the ATL, which weighs ten kilos, out of its box, lift it, and attach it by hand. And that had to be done more than 500 times per shift – an ­enormous physical exertion. Now, a pre- assembly table helps the employee in the guided assembly process. The ­employee places the ATL on it, operates a foot pedal, lifts the component, and pushes the ATL forward onto the stay bolts. Job done!

A small step with an impressive result. Guided assembly reduces work steps and considerably improves ergonomics. The cycle time is reduced by over two seconds. And the quality of production is also much higher: since the introduction of this measure, there have been no cases of damage or loss. In addition, output per shift has increased from 544 to 565 units. Bode is satisfied: “In the workshops, even the slightest increase in productivity becomes a team achievement and benefits all the employees.”