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Innovation

The journey is the reward

This is how the Pact for the Future works: in just three weeks the noise test performed by Quality Assurance at the Wolfsburg plant has been improved in many ways.

Tests in the hall: employees of the Wolfsburg plant do noise tests on new cars by driving them over a newly created obstacle course.

A road surface scored with lateral grooves, asphalt hills, and sunken manhole covers: what sounds like really bad road conditions are the daily work environment for a number of employees in Quality Assurance in Wolfsburg. This is because they conduct what they call “noise testing” on every car produced, using their finely trained hearing to make sure each step in the production process has been optimally executed.

» A project such as this one had never been attempted at
Volkswagen before. «

Mathias Münch

“We moved almost the entire section of the track from outside to inside in just three weeks,” explains Mathias Münch, who together with Elise Herrmann headed the project for Quality Assurance. Only curve driving is still done outside the hall. The 36-year-old says, “Breaking off the concrete, transporting elements that weigh tons, such as the one-sided speed humps, into the hall, not to mention the low ceiling – it was hard work and a logistical tour de force. A project such as this one had never been attempted at Volkswagen before.”

The 200-meter-long “mogul run” is now set up in Hall 12, right at the end of the production line for the Golf, the Golf Sportsvan, and the Tiguan. “We moved the test track to an area that used to serve as a driveway. That saved us some valuable time,” says Herrmann. One result of improving these work processes is that three positions vacated because of partial retirement will not now need to be filled. The 29-year-old adds: “We can now conduct tests sheltered from the rain and other distracting influences. It used to be quite loud outside, which made fault diagnostics difficult.”

Elise Herrmann sums up the results: “We are now more productive than before and are helping to improve vehicle quality.” And, she adds, smiling, “The project was a whole lot of fun – and at the same time it’s also nudged the Wolfsburg site a bit further into the future.”

Mathias Münch and Elise Herrmann from Quality Assurance led the project. Their conclusion: It was a whole lot of fun!