Plant at night.

12 April 2013

Why is a night visit to a plant worth considering? We received many interesting answers to that question. The answers of fifteen lucky individuals won our hearts and they, together with their accompanying persons, were invited to an amazing trip to Volkswagen Production Plant in Antoninek.

The meeting started with an official dinner and when it was already dark the visitors set off. "Everything starts in the Vehicle Body Construction Department where primarily sealed elements from a plant in Swarzedz are laid and connected with a floor pan. Employees of Caddy and Caddy Maxi production line are able to construct 106 different versions of floor pans. Commercial vehicles plants differ from passenger vehicles plants in the following respect: at our plant a customer has the possibility to construct his car almost from scratch in order to reflect their individual needs." - This is how a visit to the Vehicle Body Construction Department began. The visitors could see for themselves how much precision is required when constructing a body ensuring the safety and comfort of its users. However, what impressed the visitors the most was the geometry setting stand - Geobox, commonly known as "the heart of a body shop" - this is a place where side walls and floor pans meet for the first time - here, precision is at a premium. After connecting side walls with a floor pan all a car needs is a roof. Once it is assembled a body is almost ready and a car is transported to the Finish hall where it is complemented with smaller elements such as: bonnet, doors, tailgate, and wheel arches.
Then a car is transported to a paint shop for as long as 17 hours. At night a paint shop is simply a large building with the lights on. That proves that inside the building work never stops.
Cars are transported from a paint room to an assembly room by a brightly illuminated tunnel. When we admire the painted body, our logistics suppliers are already preparing construction components used at assembly lines. There is not much time available - completed cars leave assembly lines every 112 seconds. It is almost 9:00 p.m. but our guests are still full of energy. When entering an assembly room they look as if they were in a different world. The room is not as loud as a body shop, floors are white, the air is filled with a new car smell, and bright lights contrast with the darkness outside. - "I did not expect a plant to be so clean and modern; I imagined something resembling a car repair shop. However, VW plant looks more like a laboratory - especially the men wearing white gloves who check quality" - says Sławomir Voelkel, one of the visitors.
Visiting ended at 10:00 p.m. when night workers started their shift. During the trip, the plant manufactured 94 new Caddy and Transporter T5 cars.