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Heavy-duty revolution: new 4.0 production lines had an investment of BRL 500 million

September 01 2020
  • Structure includes an exclusive building for the assembly of heavy-duty vehicles and a new logistics area;
  • Chipped cabins allow remote programming of the robots and also to know the status of the vehicle from anywhere in the world.

With investments of BRL 500 million, the Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus complex in Resende (RJ) underwent a real revolution to house one of the most modern truck lines in Latin America, dedicated exclusively to the new heavy-duty Volkswagen.

From the frame to the cabin finish, the whole process was created according to the 4.0 manufacturing concepts, with advanced robotics and Big Data intelligence for greater productivity and safety in the operation. Now the VW Caminhões e Ônibus plant in Resende has more than 70 robots, one third of which are dedicated to the Meteor line, in addition to a 100% cloud data system to build the new cabin.

The resources were applied in the installation of a new process for cabin frame, with 80% automation, and also in the construction of a building of about 4.5 thousand square meters dedicated to the truck finishing with the assembly of more than a thousand parts from the cabin interior.

The investment also includes a new logistics area to ensure greater efficiency in the supply and inventory of components. More modern equipment also becomes part of the final assembly line for efficiency and productivity gains.

Cabins with chip - Within the Big Data concept, the cabin receives a chip that allows its identification during the entire manufacturing process. Thus it is possible to program the robots remotely and also know the vehicle status from anywhere in the world. This information stored in the cloud allows real-time monitoring by the VWCO team of specialists, in order to use the information to align the entire production and sales strategy.

This chip is installed right at the beginning of the assembly, still on the frame line, which occupies an area of 2,800 square meters and houses more than 130 new pieces of equipment, responsible for a welding process that is 100% automated for the first time in the VWCO, reaching 2,846 welding points. The final quality analysis also follows the same line, with cameras taking care of the entire measurement to ensure the perfection of the cabin. The robots also take care of glue application operations, pin fixation and transport of metallic plates.

Unprecedented automatically guided vehicles - In the new cabin finishing building, more innovations, in tune with what is most modern in Europe. For the first time, VWCO employs automatically guided vehicles (so-called AGVs) to transport the vehicle on its assembly line. This brings so much flexibility to the automaker's production model, allowing for quick adaptations, while optimizing resources. AGVs navigate by induction using frequencies embedded in the building floor. There is an entire intelligent system to make your operation more efficient: a tracking scanner to avoid collisions and an automatic charging station for your batteries also installed in the floor.

The movement of the entire line is done automatically, controlled by the Big Data system. The process information is available on screens along the entire line, at each of the 15 assembly stations. This hyperconnectivity controls each stage and prevents, for example, the displacement of any vehicle without the necessary security or that the activity has been completed. Intelligent reading is done through sensors installed in the building.

In parallel with the finishing of the cabin, there are lines of pre-assembly of its doors, instrument panel and roof, sequenced to the production schedule. The efficient automation system also optimizes the use of the same robot that applies ceiling glue, instrument panel, windshield and porthole. Another novelty is the adoption of a single glue for the four applications, reducing costs and waste to the environment.

First assembly line outside of Europe - The new Volkswagen heavy-duty family has the new generation of the MAN D26 13 liter engine, developed and produced in Brazil, the first country outside Europe to house the propeller assembly line. Installed at the MWM plant in São Paulo, the new line was designed especially for the engine that equips the largest and most powerful VW trucks in the world.


Sales and After Sales

From conception to after-sales: comprehensive training for the new VW heavy-duty family

  • The entire production team, suppliers, service channels and after sales have undergone training;
  • Training formats varied: games, augmented reality and virtual simulations were used in the process.

The new heavy-duty vehicles from VW were designed, from their conception, for efficiency not only in operation, but also in their entire manufacturing process, reaching after-sales. Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus invested in intensive training, whether for employees of the Modular Consortium or suppliers so that 100% of the chain is trained.

From training in game format to 360° technology, augmented reality and virtual simulations, VWCO spared no effort. This is how the trucks launched now arrive with a complete package of sales and services, manufactured with a high level of excellence following concepts of manufacturing 4.0.

Since 2017, automaker professionals have simulated its assembly and disassembly hundreds of times so that each job takes place with ergonomics and in the best use of resources, following the highest levels of reliability that the market recognizes in the brand's vehicles. In the so-called Pilot Plant, an area known as the VWCO factory-laboratory in Resende (RJ), multipliers of this knowledge participate in defining the scope and step by step of the process and then sharing the training with the entire plant.

In parallel, technical assistance and customer service teams, including ChameVolks, are trained so that they already know the product since its origin and influence its development to ensure the best after-sales for the new Volkswagen heavy-duty family, with ease of maintenance, custom parts and agility in solutions. The work also involves professionals of the dealer and importer network.

Heavy-duty preparation - The Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus dealership network is already prepared to tend to all the peculiarities of the heavy-duty segment customers in a differentiated way, offering new and differentiated services. Any heavy-duty VW truck that enters any of the more than 140 dealerships across Brazil will send a signal to VWCO, and a specialist technician will immediately contact the dealer in order to expedite service.

With 100% on-line training for the first time, the technical, commercial and connectivity materials for network training were created with all the practical knowledge of the Dealer Network Development area in synergy with other sectors of Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus.

With new learning resources such as 3D filming and virtual reality, network training also has an online platform complete with exclusive materials on the new line in three languages: Portuguese, Spanish and English. In addition, the entire VWCO dealer network will have a dedicated technical assistance team and specialist salespeople on the new VW Meteor line.


VW Caminhões e Ônibus advances in nationalization and announces investment of BRL 8 million in the Vinhedo Parts Distribution Center

  • Nationalization and spare parts strategy contributes to the best TCO in the segment of heavy-duty trucks;
  • Investment in the distribution of parts and remanufactured lines are also part of the strategy for launching new heavy-duty items.

Volkswagen Caminhões e Ônibus worked hard in the nationalization of parts suppliers, bringing to the new heavy-duty VW Meteor and VW Constellation a greater availability of items, in addition to competitive prices in the replacement market, which directly impact on TCO (total cost of ownership) of the vehicle. In addition, with an investment of BRL 1.3 million by 2021, in the Vinhedo Parts Distribution Center (São Paulo), VW Caminhões e Ônibus brings novelties in its parts and accessories lines, which will be distributed to the entire dealer network.

The investment is part of a cycle until 2022, with an investment that will reach BRL 8 million, applied in the expansion of the area by another 4 thousand square meters, thus going from the current 32 thousand m² to 36 thousand m², in addition to new processes to advance further in logistics efficiency.

The Parts and Accessories sector is responsible for sending and selling spare parts and components to supply the network of more than 140 dealers throughout Brazil, in addition to the approximately 30 countries to which the company exports its vehicles. The numbers are impressive: more than 4 million parts are packed annually, in a universe of more than 32 thousand items available.

Complete lines of Parts and Accessories contribute to the success of the new heavy-duty vehicles - Volks GreenLine, VWCO's remanufactured parts line, features items such as engines, heads, turbochargers, fuel injectors, transmission synchronizers and clutch kits, which make up the portfolio of after-sales products and solutions. The offer of these products focuses on reducing TCO and encourages sustainability actions in the market.

The Almax lubricant line, sold at the dealership network, brings the Almax Premium Original 10W40 Lubricant, specially formulated for Volkswagen trucks and buses that use D08 and D26 engines. Its 100% synthetic composition is ideal for heavy duty diesel engines, offering high performance in protection against wear and providing greater maintenance savings. Its active additive technology enhances the protection performance against corrosion by acids, deposits and friction, significantly increasing the service life of the main engine components.

Another new feature of the Almax line is the new Almax Mais 2.0 platform, an innovation in the well-known Almax lubricant relationship program, which will now also have an application to facilitate the access of customers and sellers to the various advantages and awards.

Tailored Kits will also be available for the new line of VW trucks, with important items for the maintenance of your vehicle and a complete portfolio so that the customer can perform maintenance, without having to change the entire truck part.