Technology Tuesday: Transparent Factory

Factories often get the bad press about pollution, large, un-aesthetic, and just overall dirty looking.  That is not the case in Dresden, Germany.  In Dresden a Volkswagen plant was built right downtown.  How did the people of Dresden allow for this to happen?  Well Volkswagen went out of their way to make the assembly plant clean, but turned it into a walk through museum that just happens to be an assembly plant.

This plant has nothing to hide since the entire plant is made with glass so people can see what the employees are doing.  All employees wear white to enhance the cleanliness factor.  To adapt to the downtown, the plant uses street cars to transport in parts to assemble.  All items are transported in robotic sleds which move via a magnetic system to follow a road map that leads the sled directly to the car that the parts are going to.

Electric tools are used that have sensors, so when drilling in all the fasteners a computer system will alert the employee if just one fastener is missing.

When it comes to the chassis of the vehicle, the University of Dresden developed a suspended conveyor system to allow the car to adjust to the workers height/position and needs.  Talk about an ergonomic friendly assembly line.

So not only do they assemble cars here, the also allow tours to go right into the factory to get a first hand look at how Volkswagen is working to bring cars to the market.  If you are a customer, you can go onto the factory floor while your car is being built.  Customers can even help build their own car when it be drill in a few bolts or get carried away for a few hours piecing their vehicle together.

When a car is complete it is sent to the storage silo, which obviously resemble a silo, but in a larger scale and constructed out of a glass exterior.  If you are a customer, in addition to working on your vehicle, you can drive it right out of the factory.

So how about that for some engineering?  Glass assembly plant where the customer can put their hands to work in making their car fire up.

Check out the full informational video on the Volkswagen plant below:


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