“It is important for us to have the kind of partnership where we can rely on sound technical support and flexibility on the part of the supplier,” Mr Kopton stresses. Audi is seeking to reduce the number of its tool suppliers and cooperate more closely with those that remain -“The competition never sleeps,” says Mr Jenö Pintér, head of the tooling technology department at Audi Hungaria Motor Kft, the second-largest engine plant in the world with an annual production of nearly 2 million engines. And this is why it is essential for the Audi plant to continue to optimise production. Several thousand cylinder heads a day are produced here for a number of VW engines, and future plans include the launch of new variants of the 6-cylinder engines. With such volumes of production, even a small improvement in the process as a whole can produce major benefits. The Audi plant has been set the challenge of achieving savings of 15% in tool acquisition and this is already well in hand through the purchase of tools from companies such as Unimerco. Cost per unit is the deciding factor At first it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but over the course of several years Audi has achieved remarkable economic success through its cooperation with the tool developer and manufacturer Unimerco. At a superficial level the tools concerned do not seem to offer any savings, but on closer inspection (tool cost per component) they save Audi an enormous amount. “At the end of the day it is a question of the original tool cost per component produced,” explains Mr Jenö Pintér, who points out that whilst one tool might cost ten times as much as another, it still pays off if it increases production one hundredfold. One of the most recent tooling developments is a component for a new production line for manufacturing cylinder heads, including for the Audi TT. Audi and Unimerco have worked very closely together to develop a complete tooling package for the bore machining of cylinder heads. This has led to a total reduction in production time of four minutes per cylinder head. With an output of 1,600 units per day at Györ in Hungary, this saves Audi 106 hours of production time daily, which represents an investment saving of around 20% in terms of the number of machines required. This results in further positive spin-offs in the form of lower expenditure on the purchase of tools, and savings in terms of electricity, cooling lubricant costs, personnel, space requirements and other costs. Customised tools The large engine plant in Györ is not only one of the biggest in the world; it is also state-of-the-art, Fast and flexible Facts: AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. in Györ is one of the most important suppliers of engines for Audi and the Volkswagen Group. The Hungarian subsidiary produces fourcylinder, V6 and V8 engines and, in cooperation with the Ingolstadt plant, assembles the TT Coupé and the TT Roadster. The company was founded in Hungary in February 1993, after production locations had been compared all over Europe. Within a few months, a site location comprising 250,000 square metres had been acquired. The plant site has been extended to almost 1,660,000 square metres to date. With a workforce of 5,022 employees, the plant has been Hungary‘s biggest exporter for years. According to the annual production figure for 2005, a total of approximately 1.69 million engines were built at the engine production facility in Györ. The production total was made up of 1.4 million four-cylinder engines, 243,000 six-cylinder engines and 37,000 eight-cylinder engines.
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