Like all sections of production, the body shop in Győr is based on the latest technology and is automated to a degree of 85 percent. When the plant is operating at full capacity, 600 employees will produce 480 car bodies every day in two shifts.
The factory is equipped with a total of no less than 1,440 machines, including more than 600 robots, over 400 welding units and approximately 80 bonding systems. The welding units are powered by electric motors – they are faster, more precise, more robust, quieter and lighter than the pneumatically operated predecessor generation. The factory’s other machines are grippers, geometry stations, clinching and folding machines and welding stations for special tasks.
The car bodies are produced on factory floor space of 58,768 square meters. There are groups of robots on both sides of the main line, which weld together components such as floor parts, wheel housings and longitudinal beams. With the addition of the bulkhead, rear parts, pillars, side parts and roof, the body gradually comes together; the last parts to be added are the tailgate and doors.
In the body shop for the Audi A3 Sedan, 16 different connecting techniques are in use – from resistance spot welding with 5,467 points to the 54.06 meters of structural adhesive. Wherever possible, bonding and welding take place in one operation, which saves time and reduces costs and weight. Measuring instruments are installed at each work station to monitor the consumption of electricity and compressed air.
Two machines are special highlights of the body shop. The so-called group framer attaches the large side frames to the body shell after exactly positioning them. Due to its large movable mass, it is largely made out of carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP), making it 70 percent lighter than the previous model. A laser brazing machine connects the roof of the A3 Sedan with the side frames. The practically invisible zero joint that is created requires precision in a magnitude of three tenths of a millimeter at the most; the joint is then smoothed by brushes.
With the lasers, Audi applies the newest, especially energy-efficient generation of disc or diode lasers. The laser-remote welding of doors is particularly complex. A robot guides the laser beam with pivoting mirror optics; it moves extremely quickly from one joint to the next.
23 optical laser measuring devices monitor the dimensional accuracy of the assemblies produced by means of relative measurements. With the use of ultrasound measurements, specially trained employees check the stability of welded connections and of complete car bodies. A central equipment monitor constantly visualizes the current status of production and any possible disturbances in all areas of production.
As in all other areas of production at the site in Győr, a large-scale ventilation system ensures that the hall is permanently supplied with fresh air; rotary heat exchangers reduce energy consumption. When the body shop changes over to standby operation at the weekends, a switch-off concept is applied that supplies electricity only to the most important computers and switchboxes. This reduces the consumption of electricity by 80 percent.
The end structure of the hall accommodates offices, a professional room for training purposes, a small supermarket and a workshop, as well as a warehouse with more than 100,000 spare parts for the body shop – any defective components can be replaced immediately.