Audi celebrates ‘topping out’ of new A4 paint shop

Posted on 21 Jul 2015 by Tim Brown

The Audi plant in Ingolstadt, north of Munich, continues to grow with the addition of a new paint shop on the north side of the plant site.

Just over a year after the start of construction, the company is now celebrating the topping out of the new building. As of June 2016, Audi employees will paint the first series car bodies for the new Audi A4.

“With ultramodern equipment and manufacturing technologies, we are ensuring our Vorsprung durch Technik in production and thus safeguarding our highest product quality. The new topcoat paint line stands for the continuous growth of our company and the outstanding importance of the Audi plant in Ingolstadt,” stated Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl, board of management member for production at Audi.

The new topcoat paint line introduces a new painting technology: In the future, the painting process will be carried out fully automatically by ultramodern equipment using robot technology. The robots can follow the contours of car bodies even better, allowing them to achieve an even more uniform covering of paint.

The new topcoat paint line at Audi in Ingolstadt will also be one of the most environmentally friendly paint shops in the world. For example, a dry scrubbing process will separate paint particles from the waste air with the help of rock flour. The plant will operate with air circulation so that 80% of the cleaned waste air will be returned into the system, thus reducing the consumption of heat energy and water. At the same time, the waste air will be cleaned of virtually all solvent emissions.

Since the start of construction in May 2014, up to 300 workers have been busy on the site each day. For the structural work alone, they have used 20,000 cubic meters of concrete and 4,300 tons of steel. The building consists of a steel‑composite structure and concrete‑filled steel supports. This allows the hall, which is 324 meters long and just 36 meters wide, to provide more space for the painting equipment. In the coming months, that equipment will be installed and tested, and the interior and exterior of the building will be completed.

As of 2016, on a total floor space of approximately 12,000 square meters, about 200 employees and 100 robots will paint the new Audi A4, thus covering up to a third of the total capacity of 2,500 car bodies each day. In addition, Audi is gradually modernising its existing topcoat paint lines.