“The components that we are manufacturing in Münchsmünster are helping us to perfect our systematic lightweight construction,” explains Audi Production Board Member Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl. The hot‑stamped sheet steel components and aluminum die‑cast parts result in lower weight components while maintaining the same strength and highest precision. “This is a major contributor to reducing weight in the new Audi Q7, which is up to 325 kilograms (716.5 lb) lighter than its predecessor. Production at our Münchsmünster site is synonymous with ultramodern, cutting‑edge technology,” says Waltl.
Currently more than 500 employees are working a two or three‑shift system for Audi at the Münchsmünster site. From the end of 2015, all manufacturing areas will produce components on a three‑shift basis. Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council of AUDI AG, sees the consistent expansion of the Münchsmünster production site as a clear commitment to the Ingolstadt region. “This is the home of Vorsprung durch Technik and where we need to continue to concentrate our four‑ring expertise,” said Mr. Mosch. He stressed that the right infrastructure is just as important as the expansion itself.
At the end of 2013, Audi started operations at its competence center on initially 31 hectares in the Münchsmünster Industrial Park for the production of aluminum die‑cast structural body parts, hot‑ and cold‑formed pressed parts and chassis components. The automobile manufacturer invested a low triple‑digit million euro figure in the site. Production is now picking up speed:
On the ultramodern machinery of the aluminum die‑casting foundry, production is being ramped up rapidly. More than 30,000 structural components have already been produced in 2015, including the connecting element between the sill/side member and the suspension gear mount for the Q7 successor as well as the suspension strut supports for the next-generation Audi A4. The total volume should reach approximately 200,000 parts by the end of the year.
In the press shop, Audi is currently installing a fully automated laser system. For this purpose, the company has refined mature press technologies for the hot‑forming methods used here. The “laser park” will be fully functional in the fall. In total, this Audi site produces 40 different pressed parts, such as side members, and the tunnel bridge for the new Audi A4.
So far this year, Audi has produced 1.38 million standard parts in the chassis component production facility. By the end of the year this figure should reach 4.6 million parts, consisting of wheel hubs, swivel bearings, brake disks and hub carriers primarily for the Audi A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Audi Q5 and Q7. Audi’s special area of expertise is machining operations. The premium manufacturer is currently building a second wheel hub line that will be able to produce 100 percent of all wheel hubs at the Münchsmünster site in the future.
The advantages of the 48.2‑hectare site in Münchsmünster include its proximity to the main plant and good transport connections via the B 16 and B 16a federal highways. A rail link to the Ingolstadt‑Regensburg main railway line is planned for 2017.
Audi is committed to environmental protection and sustainability: For instance, the company recovers the energy and heat in all manufacturing areas and uses state-of-the‑art used air purification systems, waste water treatment systems and noise insulation. Since 1997, the European Union’s exacting Eco‑Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) has been the environmental yardstick at the Ingolstadt site. Production in Münchsmünster was successfully validated in accordance with EMAS for the first time in 2015.