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Rethinking assembly lines in South Africa

Rethinking assembly lines in South Africa

The latest technology, smart robots and a great product. Sounds good. But the most important asset for Volkswagen South Africa is and remains its employees. And, they have now demonstrated, with a unique project, that the branch at the southern tip of Africa can absolutely compete technologically with the best locations within the Volkswagen Group.

Work ergonomically and more effectively thanks to HRC

The so-called MPE (Manufacturing Planning and Plant Engineering) team around Warren Titus, Logistics, Kobus Westraadt (Bolting System Supervisor), Malcolm Vorster (Bolting Systems Planner), Ethen von Hoffmann (Facilities Planning Supervisor), Mbulelo Bam (Lead Facilities Planner) and Harry Jordaan (Industrial Engineer) specifically noticed that the assembly of the front struts of different vehicle models and the required volume put a lot of strain on the backs and arms of the employees and rethought the process without further ado. What was previously lifted manually from one workbench to another with great effort is now easily taken over by an HRC robot – and protects employees’ backs and the production, which is now significantly more effective and efficient.

The new process has also changed the assembly sequence and arrangement of the various workstations and logistical supply. How, you can see in our video directly from the plant:

Die neueste Technik bringt nur etwas, wenn man sie aus Sicht der Mitarbeiter denkt. Das hat Volkswagen Südafrika nun mit einer neuen Mensch-Roboter-Kollaboration bewiesen.
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Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf http://www.volkswagenag.com und auf Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/vwgroup_de

Hinweis nach Richtlinie 1999/94/EG in der jeweils gegenwärtig geltenden Fassung: Weitere Informationen zum offiziellen Kraftstoffverbrauch und den offiziellen spezifischen CO2-Emissionen neuer Personenkraftwagen können dem "Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2-Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen" entnommen werden, der an allen Verkaufsstellen und bei der DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Straße 1, D-73760 Ostfildern oder unter www.dat.de unentgeltlich erhältlich ist.

So denkt Südafrika Montagelinien neu

In addition to the great physical relief for the assembly staff, the team was able to save around 2.3 million South African Rand – around 176,000 Euros – per year, through the use of human-robot collaboration. A complete success that has not gone unnoticed: The team, under the guidance of their leadership, reached the finals of last year's Naledi Award, South Africa’s version of the Wolfsburg Plant Awards. A big event with red carpets, a big program, dinner and dancing the night away. The team were also finalists in the Wolfsburg VW Group Awards, competing against Volkswagen plants from around the world.