The AUDI AG plant in Ingolstadt covers the entire process of automobile production, from development to the finished automobile. Cornerstones at the site are Technical Development, Production, Logistics, Quality Assurance, and Environmental Protection.
The Technical Development (TE) division of AUDI AG has its headquarters in Ingolstadt. True to the brand claim “Vorsprung durch Technik,” around 10,400 employees work here on innovations for the automobiles of tomorrow. Employees from areas ranging from design to engineering shape the entire product creation process – from design, new vehicle concepts, the development of engines and transmissions, the electrification of the powertrain, as well as electrical and electronic development, all the way to the development of car bodies and suspensions. Inter-area collaboration enables customer-focused solutions for strategic fields of innovation, such as digitalization, sustainable drive types, and premium mobility experiences. Technical Development works hand-in-and with the Car.Software-Organization on software development.
- Connected cooperation thanks to “simultaneous engineering:”
The length of the development cycles of new models is further reduced thanks to integrated and simultaneous product and process design.
- The Design Center is a digital design factory. Audi has developed a new, innovative design process that combines the advantages of cutting-edge 3D visualization with the strengths of traditional handcrafted modeling. About 600 people work in an area of approximately 37,180 square meters (400,202.2 sq ft).
- The Aggregate Center houses the workplaces for engineers and a variety of test equipment and measuring technology. All the drive types are developed and thoroughly tested here.
- The “High-Voltage Battery” project house was opened in 2012 as a competence center integrating Technical Development, Production and partner companies. Employees of these three areas work closely together here and ensure that production aspects are considered during the concept phase.
- Powered up at the Electronics Center: All electrical devices, cables, sensors, and control units are subjected to comprehensive tests at an early stage here in what is known as a breadboard arrangement in order to make digitalization in the vehicle a reality.
- Design check for the virtual Audi “to go”: In the virtual reality (VR) studio, development teams analyze realistic vehicle models that are true to detail before they are made.
- The “Lighting Assistance Center” is a 120-meter (393.7 ft) long light tunnel through which cars can drive. This is where Audi’s pioneering lighting technology is created – from the xenon plus headlights and matrix LED headlights all the way to laser light.
- Wind-resistant at the wind tunnel center with the aeroacoustics, thermal, and climate wind tunnels. Experts work on optimal aerodynamics at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour (186.4 mph).
Production and logistics
Efficient production systems and the use of new high-tech solutions are the basis for the future vision of fully connected, digitalized Production.
- Audi is synonymous with the highest quality standards, including in times of change as it transforms into a mobility provider.
- With a clear target vision in sight, the company gears the production and logistics processes strategically to future requirements.
- The focus is on people: Context-sensitive assist systems support people efficiently, including through new forms of human-machine interaction. They ease the strain on resources, while boosting process reliability and ergonomics at the workplace.
- Audi Production is gearing up gradually for electric mobility.
- Measures to increase flexibility lay the foundation for future models, helping electric mobility and key technologies to be implemented even faster in future as a result.
- Logistics at Audi ensures that vehicle production and market supply are punctual, flexible, and efficient. The variety of models at the plants can be achieved only by mastering the complexity; the smart production principles are firmly integrated into the logistics processes.
- “Just-in-sequence” delivery to the GVZ Logistics Center: Modern logistics is characterized by a fast, effective information flow and short transport distances. This is guaranteed by the fact that the Logistics Center is located right next to the Audi plant premises. The advantages include supply reliability, the ability to master complexity, and the reduction of logistics costs.
Precision, robustness and reliability of complex vehicle functions as well as the perfection of materials, workmanship, and impression are the core of Audi’s traditional promise of quality.
- In the era of digital, connected, and sustainable mobility, Audi Corporate Quality has a steering function with regard to quality at the company.
- Taking a step beyond conventional quality assurance, the team is responsible for anchoring quality in products, processes, and services – and doing so consistently.
- The quality management system and consumer protection provide binding standards, ensuring central and process-oriented management of quality in development and production.
- Further responsibilities with a steering function arise from corporate programs such as automotive security, or function orientation and systems engineering.
- Corporate Quality continues to monitor Audi models after their market launch and ensures they fulfill product safety requirements and all other regulations over the entire life cycle.
- These measures ensure that quality remains a permanent and consistent component of the Audi DNA.
Audi environmental program “Mission:Zero” encourages more environmental protection
Mission:Zero is the Audi environmental program for consistently sustainable production. All activities and measures for reducing the ecological footprint at the Audi sites worldwide, in Production and Logistics are bundled here. The focus is on Audi’s key challenges of decarbonization, water use, resource efficiency, and biodiversity. One of the key objectives is to achieve CO2-neutral production locations by 2025.
Mission:Zero at the Ingolstadt site – examples of measures
On the way to a CO2-neutral location: Audi started producing cars in Ingolstadt using only green electricity in early 2012. In addition, photovoltaic modules have been installed on an area of approximately 23,000 square meters (247,569.9 sq ft). Nearby industrial facilities supply the location with low-carbon waste heat, for example from a neighboring refinery and the municipal waste recycling plant. Thanks to its energy management, the location was also able to save just under 31,200 megawatt hours of energy and avoid over 2,850 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2020.
Audi is also focusing on the consistent reduction of emissions outside the plant gates: Since 2017, the company has been operating CO2-free rail logistics in Germany with DB Cargo. The “green train” has already been traveling from Ingolstadt to the port of loading in Emden on the North Sea since 2010, making Audi the first company to use trains that run on green power. In addition, two modern plug-in hybrid locomotives are used at the Ingolstadt site for shunting work. The company is also working continuously to increase the proportion of rail traffic and the use of alternative drives for truck shipments.
- Water use: To use water even more efficiently, Audi has operated a process water supply center with a membrane bioreactor in Ingolstadt since 2019. Wastewater is converted into high-quality process water by passing through three treatment stages, thereby reducing the need of fresh water in production by up to a third.
- Resource efficiency: Audi has been operating a highly environmentally compatible paint shop in Ingolstadt since 2016. Air circulation, dry separation of the paint particles, and exhaust air treatment result in significant reductions in thermal energy and water consumption as well as CO2 emissions as compared to conventional systems. Emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are reduced by over 90 percent.
- Land recycling: IN-Campus GmbH, a joint venture between the city of Ingolstadt and AUDI AG, is remediating a 75-hectare area of industrial wasteland in the east of Ingolstadt, thus creating the conditions for a technology park by the end of 2022 without consuming new land. It is one of the largest remediation projects currently underway in Germany.
15 hectares of the total area have been designated as compensation area for nature and landscape.
- Biodiversity: As a member of the “Biodiversity in Good Company” initiative, Audi is involved in protecting biological diversity with projects at all Audi locations. The open spaces at the external site in Münchsmünster, which are designed to remain close to their natural form, are the largest measure currently underway. A habitat for numerous animal and plant species has been created on around 17 hectares of plant premises.