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The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

We can fold that!

Employees at the Emden plant have developed a container folding system, which reduces the logistics costs per vehicle.

Logistics employee Stephan Heinken operates the new container folding system.

Each and every Production & Logistics employee is familiar with the large, gray plastic containers in which components are brought to the line. Up to now these containers had to be folded by hand after the parts were removed, so that more of them could fit into the trucks, thus lowering the cost of returning them to the supplier. This time-consuming and strenuous task has now been ­eliminated at the Emden plant. Plant construction employees at the Volkswagen Academy have developed and set up a folding system that carries out this task

The Emden plant alone saves €126,000 annually through this technology. The North Sea site is thus playing its part in reducing logistics costs per vehicle by 30 percent by the year 2025. This figure is the benchmark used by Logistics to measure the success of the new department strategy TRANSFORM.FACTORY+. The goal: Logistics designs and develops fully integrated, automated logistics systems from the supplier to the customer.

To build the new folding technology, Emden employees have also made use of worn-out parts taken from robots, switching devices, and safety fences. That not only saves money, but also helps protect the environment. As a result of how the Logistics hub constantly shares best practice examples, the Wolfsburg plant became aware of the new container folding system. Operation will start there by the end of the year, thus saving money at the brand’s biggest plant and ensuring that jobs which aren’t sufficiently ergonomic are eliminated. Installation will be carried out by the Volkswagen Academy in Emden.

“By employees for employees – this innovation contributes to helping those of us in Logistics to become more efficient,” says Burhard Hüsken, head of brand logistics. And as Emden logistics head Andree Clüver says, “It’s the beginning of further automation projects that we’re going to do here.”