A model digital factory
The realignment of the Zwickau vehicle plant towards e-mobility will gradually raise automation and efficiency to the latest standards without any impact on employment. The vision is the factory of the future – an intelligent, sustainable, fully networked factory. Digitalization concerns all areas of production, although the effects differ. While the body shop and paint shop are already highly automated, the degree of automation in vehicle assembly will almost be tripled in the course of the changeover to the electric models.
At the Zwickau plant, Volkswagen is consistently opting for highly advanced Industry 4.0 robots and expanding the use of human-robot cooperation. In the completely transformed factory, a total of 1,700 production robots will be used. For example, the cockpit will be installed as a complete module fully automatically using an industrial robot in the future. In addition to shorter process times, automation will bring benefits for the employees. Human-robot cooperation will relieve the burden of physically exhausting work with unfavorable ergonomics. There will also be new possibilities as regards quality. At the end of assembly, the fully networked ID. will carry out an electronic quality check.
Driverless transport systems
Driverless transport systems are another key technology on the way to the factory of the future. They will supply the parts required to the assembly line entirely autonomously along defined routes, revolutionizing processes within the plant. Volkswagen plans to use this technology on a large scale at Zwickau. The current plans call for about 500 driverless transport vehicles.