Audi production in Münchsmünster in full swing

In Münchsmünster, Audi combines sustainability with impressive efficiency on a site covering 48.2 hectares: Since 2013 the site has been using innovative production methods to produce form-hardened sheet metal components and aluminum die castings for lightweight construction.

“Our production is an important pillar of sustainable and intelligent production,” remarked Thomas Sukowski, Head of Component Manufacturing Münchsmünster since June 2016. “We supply a number of Volkswagen Group plants from Münchsmünster, including our Audi plants in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, VW in Bratislava and Porsche in Leipzig. We will maintain our growth trajectory in 2017.” Sukowski says the aim for the coming year is to make 26 million parts with a workforce of 850.

In the site’s modern structural components shop,giant aluminum die casting systems operate at full load. They have a closing force of 4.400 tonnes. This line alone will turn out over 560,000 components in 2016, such as suspension strut mounts for the Audi A4. Production volume in the chassis components shop has reached seven million parts. Wheel hubs for the Audi Q5, Q7, A4, A5, A6, A7 and Audi A8 as well as the Porsche Macan are made on two lines. Audi also manufactures brake disks for cars based on the MLB modular longitudinal platform in Münchsmünster. These are made on nine production lines. A fourth wheel carrier and swivel bearing line is currently being set up. 

Audi attaches the greatest possible importance to sustainability in Münchsmünster. In the laser park of the press shop, a new cutting technique opens the way for an innovative approach to waste disposal: It keeps the cutting times for processing the heat-formed pressings to a minimum, and individual separating cuts to the waste part can be dispensed with altogether. The worker takes the finished component straight out of the plant and the waste is automatically removed without any interruptions.

Since this year, Münchsmünster has also been undergoing a transformation into the intelligent factory of the future – the smart factory. In the structural components shop, for instance, a driverless transport system (DTS) takes charge of forwarding parts from the casting bays to the heat treatment stage. Apprentices are also working in the DTS project. Currently six trainee foundry mechanics and 14 apprentices training as warehouse logisticians, cutting machine operators and mechatronics engineers are engaged here.Another example of digitally connected work in Münchsmünster: In the wheel hub shop, a bin picking system supports the high-speed production of small forged steel parts. Based on complex interaction with 3D image recognition software, a robot picks unsorted wheel hubs from a bin and sets them up. The finished wheel hubs are also packed entirely automatically. The result is that the production line can complete a wheel hub every eight seconds. The workers control this process from an ergonomically optimized workstation.

Audi is also making steady progress in the area of biodiversity at the Münchsmünster site. The factory halls are surrounded by fruit trees and wildflower meadows. Audi is furthermore hosting a world-first research station in Münchsmünster in the shape of the “Smart HOBOS” high-tech beehive. This forms part of the “HOneyBee Online Studies” project, through which Audi – represented by its environmental foundation Audi Stiftung für Umwelt GmbH – seeks to protect honeybee colonies in cooperation with the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg.

There is scope for extending Audi’s production operations in Münchsmünster. AUDI AG already owns approximately 15 hectares of land to the west of the site. The development plan for an industrial plant was recently made public.