Lesson 5: AUTOMOTIVE CASE STUDIES: VOLKSWAGEN SLOVAKIA
In this lesson, we will explore Volkswagen Slovakia’s commitment to environmental sustainability and their adoption of Best Available Technologies (BAT) in various stages of the automotive production process.
- Environmental Responsibility at Volkswagen Slovakia
- Volkswagen Slovakia is dedicated to using the Best Available Technologies (BAT) in its production facilities.
- Their primary focus is on reducing energy, materials, and raw materials consumption while minimizing emissions.
- Air Protection
- Volkswagen Slovakia places a strong emphasis on minimizing emissions by choosing materials with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and employing effective separation devices.
- This approach helps reduce the overall impact on air quality.
- Wastewater Management
- Wastewater generated during operations goes through a thorough cleaning process in neutralization stations before being released into waterways.
- The central wastewater treatment plant further ensures the quality of discharged water.
- Waste Management
- Volkswagen Slovakia prioritizes recovery (recycling) over disposal (landfilling) of waste materials.
- Waste is consistently separated by type in all operations to promote responsible waste management.
- Environmental Measures in Different Production Phases
- Implementation of servo technologies with energy storage and LED lighting reduces energy consumption.
- Airflow from pressing line equipment is used for heating in the logistics area.
- Deployment of KUKA KRC4 robots saves energy.
- Energy-efficient resistance spot welding is employed.
- Ecological processes like gluing with low-content adhesives and solvent-free and laser welding are utilized.
- Catch basins are integrated into hydraulic-driven machines to prevent hydraulic fluid leakage.
- Fumes generated during welding are extracted and filtered before release.
- Metal scraps from bodywork production are sent for recycling.
- Separators and filters are used to limit emissions during production.
- Wastewater is treated before discharge.
- Innovative 2010 painting processes reduce hazardous waste generation and vehicle weight.
- Electrostatic separation technology (E-Scrub) efficiently separates waste paint.
- Advanced spray technology (EcoBell 3Ci) enhances interior painting efficiency.
- Adjustment workstations are equipped with exhaust air cleaning.
- Waste from packaging is reused or valorized as secondary raw material.
Production of Aggregates:
- Automatic transmission oil filling ensures product quality and extends gearbox lifetime.
- The DKTL line with a neutralization station is crucial for environmental compliance.
- Innovative logistics systems like Pick by Point, Pick by Light, and FTS (unattended transport system) streamline material handling and reduce energy usage.
Wastewater Treatment Plant:
- Volkswagen Slovakia operates its own wastewater treatment plant, continually modernized to enhance water purification.
- A crayfish breeding station reflects the quality of purified water.
Selected Measures and BAT Technologies:
- Adhesives Management: Efficient glue usage reduces waste from barrels by up to 70%, saving 576 barrels annually.
- Driverless Transport Systems: These systems replace forklift trucks, achieving cost and energy savings of up to 60%.
- Electronic Tools: Replacing pneumatic tools with electronic ones saves up to 30% of energy.
- Intelligent Lighting: Automated lighting systems reduce energy consumption by switching on only when needed.
- Volkswagen Slovakia exemplifies a strong commitment to environmental sustainability in its automotive production processes, employing Best Available Technologies (BAT) to reduce energy, materials, and raw materials consumption.
- Innovative practices in various production areas, such as energy-efficient technologies, ecological joining techniques, and waste reduction measures, showcase Volkswagen Slovakia’s dedication to minimizing its environmental footprint.
- Their efforts extend to emissions reduction, with separators, filters, and wastewater treatment systems in place, ensuring responsible disposal and minimal impact on the environment.
- Volkswagen Slovakia’s focus on innovation and sustainable practices not only benefits the environment but also sets a remarkable standard for the automotive industry, offering valuable lessons for creating eco-friendly and efficient production processes.
- By studying Volkswagen Slovakia’s success in implementing BAT and environmental best practices, we can gain insights into how industries can adopt sustainable methods while maintaining production efficiency and competitiveness.