The expansion of the press shop in the Zwickau plant, costed 74 million Euros, makes it possible to produce body parts on site, thus avoiding 9,000 truck journeys each year, with annual transport-related savings of 5,800 tonnes of CO2.
Volkswagen inaugurated the new press shop in its Zwickau plant, dedicated exclusively to electric mobility. As of now, the complete outer skin for the six electric models produced here will be pressed on site.
Given that around 9,000 fewer truck journeys each year will be needed for transporting parts, this will enable further reductions in unavoidable emissions during production of the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 and will save 5,800 tonnes of CO2.
“The goal is to achieve zero-emission production at all European MEB plants, as is already the case at the Zwickau plant. And the new press shop is an important milestone on our Way To Zero journey” said Christian Vollmer, Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Production and Logistics for the Volkswagen brand, during the opening ceremony.
“Saxony is driving the transition towards electric mobility. The plant in Zwickau is already playing a pioneering role globally with its forward-looking and integrated approach” added Michael Kretschmer, Minister President of Saxony.
The Way To Zero programme aims to reduce the environmental impact of production – in areas such as energy usage, CO2 emissions, waste treatment and the use of water – by 45% per vehicle compared to 2010 by 2025. Already today, 90% of all Volkswagen plants purchase electricity from renewable sources. With its “Zero Impact Factory” environmental programme, production-related emissions are being reduced consistently at all factories as well as in logistics.
The new press shop
The 74 million Euros invested in expanding the press shop represent one of the largest single investments in the course of transforming the site. In addition to the new press in XL format, an automatic stacking line and a high bay warehouse for logistics of 30 metres in height have been installed in the extra 8,400 square metres area. The high bay warehouse alone costs 23 million Euros.
From now on, all required outer skin body parts, such as doors and boot lids, can be pressed on site at Zwickau, meaning delivery from other locations, such as Emden and Wolfsburg, will cease. The result is that 9,000 truck journeys will be avoided each year, equal to 16% of all truck journeys to Zwickau, thus reducing CO2 emissions by 5,800 tonnes. The new Zwickau facility now has the second-largest press shop within the Volkswagen brand, second only to Wolfsburg, and has created 60 new jobs.
The new press
The new XL press from Schuler weighs more than 1.000 tonnes and is one of the most modern in the automotive industry. It is 92 metres long and 22 metres wide and 12 metres high, it has a press force of 6,900 tonnes and can press 10,800 strokes a day. This is the first time that a press with a mix of conventional and servo technology is being used in the Volkswagen Group, offering the advantages of both: the high speed means that large numbers of parts are pressed, while the excellent precision ensures optimum quality.
Around 20 million parts per year have been produced on average in West Saxony in the past ten years. The new press means this figure is set to increase to up to 30 million parts per year by the beginning of 2022, some of which will be supplied to other Volkswagen Group sites.
The transformation of Zwickau
Zwickau is playing a key role in the transition towards electric mobility. It is the first plant to be re-equipped, with an investment of some 1.2 billion Euros. All conversions, which have been implemented gradually since 2018, will be completed on schedule this year without halting operations. Since work began, body manufacturing, the paint shop and infrastructure have been extensively modernised.
The entire conveyor system also had to be readied for electric vehicles. In addition, both production lines were converted and now rely on 1,700 robots. Driverless transport systems and fully automated production processes contribute to making Zwickau the role model for forward-looking volume production of electric vehicles.
Towards carbon neutrality
Way To Zero is the Volkswagen brand’s plan for emission-free mobility for everyone. The journey began in 2020 with the market entry of the ID.3 and continued this year with the ID.4; over the coming years, the ID. family will be extended across all segments.
The brand plans to build at least 1.5 million electric cars annually by 2025 and to reduce its carbon footprint by 30%. The long-term goal is to be fully carbon neutral by 2050.
Source: Volkswagen Newsroom