Just-in-time wheels for Audi in Ingolstadt

If you buy a new car now, you can configure it to your individual wishes. One of the main options you can select are the wheels. Together with Vanderlande Industries, Audi redesigned production logistics for Just-in-time supply of complete wheels to its assembly lines,

Audi set up new production facilities for complete wheels in Ingolstadt, at a couple of minutes’ drive from the production lines for the current A4 and A3 models. Complete wheels consisting of tires, wheels and valve kits are fully automatically assembled, geometry checked, balanced and then made available in the right order for the vehicle production lines. For this purpose the finished wheels are temporarily stored in a four aisle QUICKSTORE miniload system, sufficient for 3 days of production (10,000 storage locations). A conveyor system links three assembly lines to the miniload system.

Based on the production sequence, wheels required for a particular car are automatically retrieved from the miniload system and sorted according to their final position on the car. The wheels per car are combined and stacked before they are shipped to the car production facility, located 2km away. The stacks of wheels are pre-positioned in front of the truck based on the required production sequence. On two levels inside the truck there are 3 conveyors that hold 3x18 stacks. A similar setup on two levels is created inside the factory, to minimize loading time. During the automated loading process all data for each shipment are transmitted to the truck's PLC.

In 2007 the system was expanded with 2 QUICKSTORE miniloads. The extension was needed because of the tyre dimensions of the new Q5 car.