To keep it going: Colleagues in action

An interview with Steffen Ullmann, Functional Testing Station Dresden

Whether on site or from home: even though production is currently at a halt in the Transparent Factory, some employees are still working. We have spoken to those who are still working for Volkswagen in Dresden during these times.

Today: Steffen Ullmann (41), Head of Functional Testing Station Dresden (FED). The FED with its 33 employees is part of the Transparent Factory and acts as a branch of Technical Development in Wolfsburg.

Hello Steffen, what exactly do you do?
We test assistance systems, the engine and the chassis for the Wolfsburg overall vehicle development, for example in the new Golf. Last week we also sampled parts of the ID.3 in the laboratory, another unit besides the FED. That means something like this: Does the paint job on the bumper meet our high standards? Every supplier has precise specifications as to how the paintwork must be structured. We check this by means of a grid cut and subsequent steam jet test. Only after this is the release approved. We thus fulfill an important task for the brand.

How does it work in these times?
Mobile work is almost impossible with us. But that's no problem, we have adapted our processes. The necessary acceptance runs are now done by just one colleague, and there is an escort vehicle for this. And we learn more every day. One example: After each shift, the reports made by the drivers are discussed. Are they plausible and comprehensible to the module manager in Wolfsburg? We have conducted these interviews in the group so far. It was quicker to ask questions and you could be sure that there were no open questions. Now we do this by e-mail, so the first markup must be very precise. How do I formulate clearly that ultimately everyone has the same understanding? That works quite well, but is still unusual.

What positive aspects do you perceive?
The team spirit is great, we still have a good atmosphere. It's not easy for anyone, but we in Dresden have always been distinguished by a high willingness to change. For example, we have colleagues who now start work later because they have to look after their children. Sure, that also means more coordination work, but the bottom line is that it works. My colleagues and I want to work and the company is flexible in this matter. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Steffen, to you and on behalf of your colleagues in the FED, a big thank you for your commitment!

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* ID.3: The vehicle is not yet available for sale in Europe