Two years, two wins: As in 2009, Audi’s production processes once again impressed with the highest of quality, process reliability and ergonomics. A panel of experts from the trade journal Automobil Produktion named Audi the winner of the Automotive Lean Production Award. As last year’s winner, the company is also the host of the Automotive Lean Production Congress, during which the award was presented to AUDI AG.
“The second award in a row corroborates our production philosophy. My thanks go out to all the members of the team, who drive our continuous improvement process with their creative ideas,” said Peter Kössler, manager of Audi’s Ingolstadt plant.
The competition looks at whether the production workflows avoid waste and whether efficiency is continuously improved. Audi is the first manufacturer to beat out the competition with not just a single production area, but with a complete automobile assembly plant, specifically with the Ingolstadt assembly plant for the Audi A4, A5, and Q5.
“We are proud that we have once again established ourselves as a benchmark in the industry, reported Kössler. “We understand, however, that where we are today is only a stop along the way to an even better tomorrow.”
The panel was impressed with the numerous “Poka-Yoke” error avoidance measures that the employees can enact autonomously and in near time in workshops close to the production lines. One example is the screw dispenser: It provides the employee with the exact number of screws required for the respective work step. This saves time and helps to avoid errors.
The panel also singled out how Audi is reacting to the challenges posed by demographic change and its ergonomic efforts. Employees slide into the interior of the automobile on a seat so that they always maintain an ergonomically correct posture.
Also garnering praise was the so-called front-loading concept, which involves Production in the creation process of a model from the first stroke of a designer’s pen. This ensures from day one that the production processes are configured so as to be as lean and efficient as possible.
This year marks the fifth time that the trade journal Automobil Produktion and the business consulting firm Agamas Consult have awarded the Automotive Lean Production Award. More than 60 companies took part in the competition. Last year, Audi took first place in the “Manufacturer” category for its A3 assembly plant.
- Audi AG