At a gala ceremony attended by 1,700 people, Volkswagen Poznań held a topping out ceremony for the assembly hall of the new factory in Białężyce near Września. The first of the new Volkswagen Crafter cars is due to come off the production line in the second half of 2016. The construction of the new plant is going according to plan.
In the construction of the new plant in Września, Volkswagen Poznań can now boast of the successful completion of another stage of the work - the completion of the roof over the assembly hall. This is another milestone in the construction of the Volkswagen factory. In the presence of 1,700 guests from the world of politics, Volkswagen Poznań employees and companies involved in the construction of the new factory, President of the VW Poznań Management Board Jens Ocksen congratulated and thanked the construction workers, architects and other people engaged in the project, and wished them success with the rest of the construction work: “Today, in keeping with an old tradition, we celebrate the completion of yet another stage of construction. We can be proud of what we have achieved to date,” Jens Ocksen said. “Ahead of us, though, a lot of work remains to be done before the factory is ready and the first new Crafter is sent to our customers.”
Work on the construction of the new factory began in October of last year. On the building site, every day almost 1,500 workers from 65 companies are at work. During the most intensive stages of the construction anticipated during this summer, that number will grow to more than 2,000. Presently, all auxiliary buildings of the new factory have their roof structures in place, while the main production hall (welding building, paint shop and assembly), with the exception of part of the assembly hall and office space, has been enclosed with side walls. “We’re starting to pour the concrete floors in the Welding and Assembly halls. At the same time, we’ll also be starting to assemble the equipment for transporting bodies to the Welding Hall. Once the utilities are in place in the outer hall, we’ll begin building the external roads in the factory,” Ralf Nitzschke, Director of the Crafter Plant in Września, summarises the schedule for upcoming work. “Apart from the construction work, we still have to prepare new employees to work in the new plant, and adapt processes in the factory. We’ve already hired over 300 people. These are specialists in production and logistics, and employees from the quality control department. Our target for the new factory is to employ almost 3,000 people,” adds Ralf Nitzschke.
As part of the concerns environmental strategy “Think Blue. Factory”, when planning and building the new plant, from the very beginning high environmental protection standards have been of decisive importance. In terms of environmental protection, the paint shop is crucial, and it will be equipped with technology permitting effective consumption of power, water and other raw materials. A total of 36 painting robots will apply paint automatically. Thanks to efficient, high-revolution atomizers and colour changers, significantly less paint will be used than in ordinary systems. The paint room will operate using “EcoDryScrubber” technology, which makes it possible to achieve a reduction in the energy needed in the paint room by as much as 60 per cent due to the need to treat less fresh air. Further, it needs neither water nor chemicals, and reduces the amount of exhaust air. The new technology “EcoSmart AC” will also be employed in order to optimise the amount of energy consumed by the air conditioning systems of the paint rooms. Body dryers will be equipped with energy-saving heat recovery technology. Also important from the environmental perspective is the lighting concept, which foresees the use of daylight and energy-saving LED technology.
Almost 3,000 new jobs
The estimated volume of production at the new factory is 100,000 cars per year. A new paint shop, body construction hall and car assembly hall will be erected on the grounds of the factory, along with a suppliers park with logistical areas. The area of the future Crafter plant covers 220 hectares, which is the equivalent of almost 300 football pitches. When operating at full capacity, the plant in Września will have almost 3,000 people working there. Thanks to its location, Polish and foreign suppliers will create many more jobs in the region. To date, Volkswagen Poznań has invested 290 million euros in the construction of the new factory. The value of the whole investment is more than 800 million euros. The new factory is being built in Białężyce, in the Września District of the Province of Greater Poland. The district numbers about 44,500 inhabitants, of which about 30,000 live in Września itself. The town is about 300 kilometres from the capitals of Warsaw and Berlin. After VW Poznań in Poznań-Antoninek, the new factory will be the second production centre for the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand in Poland. The factory in Poznań has been operating for over 20 years, while for more than 10 years it has been producing the delivery vehicles Volkswagen Caddy and Volkswagen Transporter for the global market.