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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Once again, Master Blackbelt, Andrea MacIntosh!

Once again, we hear from Master Blackbelt Candidate Andrea MacIntosh and her impressions of our Audi Plant tour in Ingolstadt.

I have been anticipating today for months! As an avid Audi driver (on our 3rd Audi), I wanted to come to the Mothership, the Audi Ingolstadt plant, probably more than all the other planned stops.

The first site was the open plaza filled with brand new cars, waiting for their owners to come pick them up and take them home.

Audi had just repeated at the 24 hours of Le Mans the previous weekend, so there was still a few items hanging around...

As always, no photos in the factory but what a factory! Audi constructed a new building for manufacturing the A3 and A4 models here, and it was quite a showpiece. A lot of work went into designing and branding every inch of this facility. Our tour was a bit prescriptive, unfortunately, so we really only saw the body and final assembly lines. 

Site size: 2.1M m^2
Employees: 37000
Shifts: 3 shifts 5 days a week ("everyone gets the weekend off")
Production: 2600 cars per day, 200 personal customer pick-ups on site, all engines come from Hungary (1.9M produced in 2013)
Models: A3, A4, A5, Q5
Takt time: 58 seconds in the body shop, 83 seconds in final assembly

Visual management: The best I've seen yet in Germany, lots of part and process identification, shadow boards, current vs target boards. 
CI initiatives: employee based suggestions with financial incentive ("one technician had an idea that was so good, he was given a TT as reward")

Observations: Many posters showing Audi Production System (APS) "house" with production at the top, and four pillars being takt, flow, pull, and perfection. Very clean line, lots of attention to ergonomics. And real andon cords! 

After our tour, and lunch, it was a quick stop in the museum. A lot of historical information, and some lovely cars. Here are some of my favourite photos:

I even like the colour!

Lots of racing history here...

This is going to need a new entry for 2014....

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