The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand


Short Walks,
Straight Posture

More than 100 portable trolleys are helping employees
at the Golf production facility in Wolfsburg.

How can we make our production workers’ jobs easier? How can we reduce the amount of walking they have to do? How could ergonomics in the workplace be improved? Answering questions like these is part of the “continuous improvement process” (CIP). In many cases, the solution is: portable trolleys. More than one hundred of these trolleys are now in use on the two Golf production lines at the Wolfsburg plant alone.

One of the latest examples can be found on Assembly Line 3 in Hall 54. To be specific, on the part of the production line where four employees per shift install the center console in the Golf. The tools and screws required for this task are stored in a box weighing several kilograms. Previously, after installing the console, employees had to carry the unwieldy box almost 20 meters down the line to the next vehicle body and then lift it into the vehicle, before climbing in themselves.

Over the course of every shift, each employee was carrying the toolbox a distance of just over two kilometers, and lifting it into the car around 90 times. “Over time, it was quite hard on our backs,” reminisces the team’s spokesman, Detlef Hoppenworth. So it was that foreman Thomas Bosse and his team came up with the idea to develop a trolley that could be used to transport the toolbox more easily.

Employees can now push this trolley in front of them, not unlike a walking frame, and “park” it in the next vehicle body to be worked on. Employees then climb into the vehicle and pull the box with the tools and screws towards them like a drawer. The trolley is docked on the skid using two magnets so that it cannot roll away – 
and moves along with the vehicle body.

“It has made our work so much easier,” says team spokesman Hoppenworth, while foreman Bosse nods in agreement. He is pleased, not only with the improved ergonomics, but also with the increased process security. This is because the risk of an employee bumping into the vehicle with the toolbox has also been significantly reduced by introducing the new portable trolleys.

Employees put
ideas forward

In 2017, more than 50 portable trolleys were put into use on the two Golf production lines at the Wolfsburg plant – many of them at the suggestion of employees. “Across all three shifts together, this saves us 25 kilometers of walking every day,” says Sabine Körtge, who is supervising the continuous improvement process as a moderator.