"In the new safety centre, we are now bringing together all of our safety-related activities under a single roof. This affords us shorter distances and additional synergy effects", says Head of Technical Development Services Kai Schweingruber.
Three floors, 8000 square metres
The elongated new three-story building was artfully integrated into the existing hall facilities at the Wolfsburg site. There, all new Volkswagen models undergo preparation for comprehensive crash testing – frontal, side, laterally offset, and rear. Following each crash test, the vehicles are again meticulously inspected and assessed on the first floor. For instance, in four special measurement boxes so-called probe tips on the vehicle body are compared against coded measurement markings on the walls of the boxes. This makes it possible to detect deformations on a scale of less than 1 millimetre.
The mechanics in the safety centre need to be all-round talents. 17 lifting platform workstations are available to them for the mechanical processing of crash test vehicles. Vehicle fluid levels are meticulously inspected before and after each crash test. In the static 'roll over' examination, the vehicles are rotated 90 and 180 degrees like a roast on a spit to detect possible leaks. In the office area on the second floor, all of the facts and loose ends come together: What types of damage occurred? Are any improvements possible? Every little detail counts. In cooperation with the virtual simulation staff, the tests are then compared and further optimizations are devised. In addition, real-world accidents are regularly analysed and reconstructed together with accident research staff, in order to develop additional safety measures, or to evaluate their effectiveness in the real world. This too is the responsibility of the accident researchers in Wolfsburg.