The Audi Ideas Program encourages all levels of employees at the company to provide feedback on improving processes at their workplace. Even with shortened working hours during the pandemic, employees at Audi manage to achieve savings of over 94.5 million Euro last year through the program.
The limited physical presence at the workplace meanwhile further encouraged employees to submit their suggestions online including improvements from Audi such as “Can processes and consultation be simplified or expedited because employees have closer digital links through working at home?”
A total of 15,628 ideas were submitted to the administrators in 2020, and exactly 9,265 were implemented.
A highlight from the innovative employee’s submission last year was the use of a sensor at the body shop of the Audi Neckarsulm facility. By attaching a magnetic sensor on the robotic arm, the process ensures only one sheet of metal is taken from the drawer.
The magnetic sensor can detect that if multiple sheets were taken, a jet of air is blasted to ensure only one sheet metal is picked up for welding. Taking more than one sheet will lead to production delays and wastage of materials.
The idea has now been implemented not only in Neckarsulm, but also in Ingolstadt.
Other innovative ideas from previous years include colour-coded torque wrenches (reduce the chance of mix-up), to setting up a timer system for the ventilation fans (reduce expenditure), usage of a different camera to read existing data-matrix bar code (reduce printing multiple bar codes), to attaching an air-jet nozzle to the soldering head for a clean finish.
The Audi Group has also established ideas programs at its international sites. The employees in Brussels, Győr, and San José Chiapa submitted a total of roughly 9,600 ideas in 2020, saving more than around 27.5 million Euro for the company.