Dirk Voigt and his team from Production and IT have a major task: in the future, they will ensure that data from all Volkswagen Group facilities flow together in a powerful data platform, the Digital Production Platform (DPP). They are gradually integrating the facilities.
In total, the company has more than 120 production sites worldwide that are to become part of the large industrial cloud. The advantage: the more information is available from machines, plants and systems, the more efficiently the factories can organize their production. Since the start of the Corona pandemic, however, the team has faced a problem: business trips are taboo. The experts cannot enter the facilities which they are bringing into the cloud.
The race to catch up begins in Hanover
When the Corona crisis began in early 2020, the specialists from Production Strategy and Group IT had just connected plant number 4, the factory in Palmela, Portugal. Five trips lie behind them to organize the complex onboarding process. Fourteen more sites are to follow by the end of the year. “At first, we thought: We’ll interrupt our work for a few weeks and then begin the race to catch up,” recalls Voigt. But it soon became clear that this was not going to happen. Out of necessity, the experts develop new solutions: They digitize all training courses, develop special tools for remote system checks and standardize the data transfer of the onboarding process so that they can integrate other plants from the home office. And all this in compliance with strict safety standards.