Audi uses virtual reality methods to streamline A3 Sportback production

Ingolstadt, Germany. Audi used virtual planning to streamline production of its new A3 Sportback.

The whole of the production process, including logistics, was planned by computer.

Audi's Virtual Logistics (ViLog) unit created a "virtual plant" for production planning.

The three dimensional model was used to improve the delivery of components to the assembly line.

"The quality of the planning is much better," says Markus Schneider, ViLog project manager.

Under the new system each component to be used in production is allocated to a container.

A software program calculates how many components fit into a container. The system can identify if a standard container can be used or if a special container is needed.

The software also is used to develop concepts for containers with unusual shapes.

Schneider says the system allows the supplier to have all the packaging information much earlier than before.

Audi executives say the system means that many problems that normally would only be identified during a model's initial production start-up phase are spotted earlier.

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