Audi Adds Apprentices
There is no question that Audi makes desirable cars.
People want them the world over.
And in those previous two sentences, there are two key words: makes and people.
What is sometimes lost, or at least overlooked, in the discussion of cars is that they are actually made. And while automation is certainly on the rise at Audi as well as at every other vehicle manufacturer on the planet, people are still essential.
And what’s interesting is that Audi recognizes this.
More importantly, it is doing something about it.
The company recently announced that it is increasing the number of apprentices that it trains from some 2,500 today to more than 2,700 by 2018.
For example, last year it had 493 apprentices in its Ingolstadt complex. Next year it will have 534. At Neckarsulm, it will go from 238 to 273.
These are three-year programs.
The new apprentices will be primarily added in the areas of mechatronics, informatics, body construction, and vehicle construction.
Thomas Sigi, Audi Board of Management Member for Human Resources, explained, “In order to achieve our strategic corporate goals, we are increasingly investing in our own vocational training, especially in the pioneering technologies of the future. In this way, we will ensure that we have key expertise at the company over the long term.”
Having in-house capability is something that is often overlooked.
It is also essential.
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is just one manufacturing method that drives advanced mobility forward and also has a history of embracing the digital connectivity demanded by this trend.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)