Orchestrating autonomous fabrication with the world’s largest car manufacturer
Competence center welding technology: New design concept for modular production cells
For our team as a development partner with an emotional background, it is just natural that design reflects the soul of a brand. For our partner Volkswagen we developed a design concept for modular production cells. Our joint premise: The new competence center welding technology should communicate internally what VW stand for - high quality, precision and aesthetics.
As Europe’s largest automobile manufacturer, Volkswagen is known worldwide for his pioneering developments. Along with the car manufacturing, the fabrication of vehicle components is an essential to the company. Since the founding days of the company automobile manufacturing and tool manufacturing form a close symbiosis. The tool shop in Braunschweig has been a part of Volkswagen since the very beginning. The new competence center for welding technology should therefore reflect the company’s advanced system technology – where new production techniques are tested and optimized. We decided to give a new look & feel to the whole production experience. Inspired by the aesthetics of an automobile and deliberately dissociated from its standard environment. Our goal: To carry the experience “Volkswagen” into it’s own production sites. The design should meet the essential quality criteria of aesthetics, functionality and cost-effectiveness, but also fit into the image of the company and convey this image.
The project started with a comprehensive analysis. Based on our findings we set our vision for tomorrow’s manufacturing: flexible modules that are joined together to form the required production lines. So much for the technical solution. The real challenge was the creation of an uplifting and easy to go around work experience for the operator.
An important cornerstone of our design concept was the keyword “maximum transparency”. Therefore, we highly increased the cabin window by using an oversized sliding door, which allows a better tracking and monitoring of the proceedings inside the cabin. For example the work of the welding robot. The use of the latest technologies in the field of tinted panes was as essential for us, because during the welding process ultraviolet light emerges. On the one hand, the worker needs to be protected against the ultraviolet light; on the other hand, an unobstructed view of the production needs to be ensured. To ignite the pride and identification with the brand we prominently placed the iconic VW logo on the outer skin. Besides it’s emotional function it serves as an indicator. It displays the status of the cabin and informs whether the cabin is working properly.