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Strategy

Once is not enough

Production and Logistics uses more and more equipment and equipment parts for longer, thus saving money. An example from Emden shows how they do this while retaining the same quality.

An Emden employee converts a transport container so that parts for the Arteon fit into it.

How can Production and Logistics contribute to building a new model without investing excessive amounts in new plants or operating material? In the Optimum Investment action area of the department strategy TRANSFORM.FACTORY+, experts have looked into this question, using the Arteon as an example.

The Emden plant thoroughly ­scrutinized all the investments for the brand flagship model before launching it. This made it possible for them to save 37 percent of the original amount planned. One puzzle piece in their success: reusing available equipment and equipment parts, such as robots, or using them for longer.

In addition, employees use the basic frame of the assembly master rack from the CC longer. Assembly master rack? This is a rack on which body parts are stretched to test whether they fit as intended.

But smaller savings also played a role. For example, employees converted a total of precisely 826 containers that are used for transporting parts so that parts needed for the Arteon could fit into them. But that’s not all.

The reuse of a double-barrel pump in the area in which windows are adhered is another example. To explain: The barrels of this pump contain the adhesive with which the robots attach the side windows. The advantage of double-barrel pumps is that they enable barrels to be exchanged without having to ­interrupt production. As soon as one barrel is empty, the pump automatically switches to the second one, which is still full.

Optimum investment

Production and Logistics ­designs production and information technologies in a modular, ­region-specific way and for multiple use. The target is to reduce the investment rate in vehicle construction to under 2.5 percent by 2025.

“By reusing operating material, we can avoid having to invest more money. We want to firmly establish this way of thinking in our team and, as a matter of course, take what we already have into account before making an investment,” says Thorsten Lüpkes, head of production planning in Emden. To this end, cross-hierarchical workshops are taking place at the North Sea site.

In addition, employees scrutinize ­standards and make them less stringent where possible. For the Arteon, this ­resulted, for example, in the removal of a control at the point in the car body where the longitudinal beams of the vehicle are buffered, since an examination had already been carried out there. “We can achieve adequate process safety with just one control,” says Lüpkes. “One should always call prescribed standards into question. You have to compare the costs and benefits and weigh up which investments are really necessary.”