Audi A8 Misc Documents Magazine Article PDF

Manufacturing the
New Audi A8
More than EUR 300 million has been invested in the latest aluminium
processing and plant technologies at Audi’s Neckarsulm plant ready for
manufacturing the new Audi A8. The level of automation in the body
shop is as high as 80 %.
Cover Story
AutoTechnology 6/2002
Pioneer in Aluminium
The Audi A8, which came on to
the market in 1994, was the first
vehicle with a fully aluminium
body. In June 2000, Audi proved
with its A2 model that aluminium
is also suitable for volume pro-
duction. And Audi is again set-
ting standards with the new Audi
A8. "In the production of the A8,
we apply innovative techniques
for processing aluminium and the
latest machinery in body con-
struction and assembly,” explains
Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Board
Member for Production at Audi.
More than EUR 300 million has
been invested in the production
site and in the Aluminium
Competence Centre in
Neckarsulm. Around 1,300
employees will be involved in the
production of the new Audi
flagship in the body shop, as well
as in the paint shop and in
The investment sum includes
the completely new body shop
(EUR 180 million). Building work
began on this in January 2000. In
the meantime, the 175-metre
long, 60-metre wide and 35-
metre high building complex has
been completed. Here, the alu-
minium body with the Audi
Space Frame (ASF) will be manu-
factured for what is the third gen-
eration of the A8. A floor space
of 24,000 square metres is avail-
able on two storeys. In addition, a
logistics annex has been built
covering 3,900 square metres.
Around 350 people are employed
in the new A8 body construction
156 robots ensure an automa-
tion level of 80 %. Klaus-Dieter
Zachow, Head of the A8 Parts
Production, explains: "That’s a
level we also achieve in volume
production on the A2 or the A6 in
Neckarsulm.” As a comparison: in
the body shop of the previous A8
there were 25 robots in operation,
which was an automation level of
20 %. "The higher level of
automation on the new A8 means
a shorter cycle time. Compared
The number of
components on
the further devel-
oped Audi Space
Frame (ASF) has
been reduced
from 334
(including add-on
parts on the
previous model)
to 267.
More than EUR
300 million has
been invested
in Audi’s
Neckarsulm plant
for manufactur-
ing the new
Audi A8.