At the beginning of 2019, our automotive plant in Viechtach faced major challenges. Red figures, quality problems and lack of space depressed the result and frustrated the team. Today, almost three years later, Viechtach is a role model for other REHAU Automotive manufacturing sites worldwide thanks to an ambitious lean turnaround project and the extraordinary commitment of the team and management on site. Automotive Lean Production – a cooperation between the trade magazine Automobil Produktion and Agamus Consult GmbH from Munich – has now honored the change with a Special Award.
The plant had applied for the award, successfully mastered an on-site evaluation and discussed strengths and potentials together with the experts from Agamus Consult in a personal feedback meeting. The leanest and most efficient companies will be honored at the Automotive Lean Production Congress in November at last year's category winner OEM Volkswagen Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, where they will present their award-winning winning projects and strategies for success. The congress includes an exclusive plant tour, expert presentations, roundtables and lots of best practices. REHAU Automotive is one of this year's award winners, alongside well-known companies such as the BMW Group and VW Autoeuropa. "I am very happy about the award. But I am particularly proud of what the team here in Viechtach has achieved over the last three years. We have made ourselves fit for the future and can now really take off," explains plant manager Alexander Ziehr.
What has happened in Viechtach since 2018? "We have tackled the issues, worked hard on processes and procedures, and have been posting a green plant result since 2021," underlines the plant manager. As part of the "Viechtach Lighthouse" project, which was launched in 2020, REHAU Automotive has consistently aligned the manufacturing plant in all areas with lean principles such as flow, pull and cycle and zero defects. For example, after segmentation was completed, the number of process steps required for the "Large Parts" cluster was reduced from 36 to 9. The results achieved by the end of 2021 speak for themselves: personnel productivity, for example, was increased by approximately 27%, logistics space was reduced by 13%, and the operating result was improved by approximately 20 percentage points within three years, turning it from red to green. REHAU Automotive COO Michael Colberg emphasizes: "Viechtach has achieved a terrific transformation and is now a beacon for other locations. A great achievement that is also extraordinary in comparison with other companies."
REHAU Automotive develops, manufactures and supplies high-quality exterior, bumper and polymer functional systems as a reliable partner to international vehicle manufacturers. Every day, 7,000 employees at 25 locations in nine countries share a passion for making polymer solutions for the automotive industry even lighter, safer and more sustainable: Engineering progress. Enhancing lives. The automotive supplier is part of the global REHAU Group, which specializes in polymer-based solutions. With a total of more than 20,000 employees, the Group generates annual sales of over 4 billion euros.