Sunday, December 21, 2008

Production at Audi characterized by uncompromising perfection


- Strict quality-consciousnes
- Efficient use of resources
- Needs of employees taken into consideration

Automobiles from Audi are front-runners in their market segments – thanks to Vorsprung durch Technik, the technological lead that also extends to the field of manufacturing. The Production operation at Audi is innovative, and is characterized by uncompromising precision and strict quality-consciousness. It takes into consideration such aspects as the needs of our employees and efficient use of resources. And today, in a media workshop at the Ingolstadt site, Audi will be demonstrating all of these strengths of its manufacturing operation.

The dynamic, elegant design of the Audi models stems from Audi's high competence in the use of steel and aluminum. The presses operate with the utmost precision – even a hair's-breadth deviation would not be tolerated. High-tech sensors check every sheet metal blank for potential flaws before it ever reaches the press – a technology in whose evolution Audi played a crucial role together with young scientists. Press-hardened steels – a further pioneering achievement – lend the body maximum strength and impact resistance, while simultaneously reducing its weight.

And Audi is also at the cutting edge when it comes to engines. The cylinder barrels of the V6 and V8 TDI engines are exposed with laser light. This process, which displays precision ranging down to thousandths of a millimeter, makes diesel engines even more efficient and longer-lived. Laser exposure is one of numerous Audi production technologies that are already being used in mass production today.

Manufacturing at Audi is innovative. The first step in creating every new production line is to plan it on the computer as a 'Digital Factory'; it is designed for high efficiency and flexibility. A textbook example is the way doors are manufactured in the Body Shop operation at the Ingolstadt site, where the Audi A4 Sedan, the Audi A4 Avant and the Audi Q5 run on a single production system.

Throughout the entire Production operation, Audi places tremendous emphasis on the efficient use of energy; the company's own cutting-edge power plant supplies portions of the Ingolstadt site with electricity, heat and refrigeration. The logistics chain, too, is highly efficient and designed throughout with an eye to resource conservation – from shipment of the components to the factory right through to rail distribution of the finished automobiles.

The Audi Production System (APS) guarantees the high level at which Audi builds cars. It defines the manufacturing rules with the objective of maximum efficiency: it describes the standardizations, the materials management systems, the quality processes, the way the workstations are organized and the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). The CIP is an instrument that ensures that progress never stops at Audi.

The focus of the entire production process is on people – on our customers, who receive the utmost in quality and innovative technology, as well as on our employees, for whom the ergonomic manufacturing concepts are designed; in fact, Audi has even developed special shoes for the assembly workers. And when it comes to the sum total of improvements stemming from the initiative of our employees, the brand with the four rings is at the forefront of its competitive field – a concrete manifestation of the high levels of motivation that prevail throughout the entire Audi family. source Audi press release


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