The core element of production is the "shingle belt". It has only the cycle control in common with ordinary assembly lines. What is meant by this is the division of production into stations such as marriage (engine assembly) and window installation. The surface of the shingle belt, which is designed as a circular belt, consists of 29 individual links. They are completely covered with parquet. The vehicles are carried along on them by means of adjustable lifting tables. Due to the parquet flooring and the clearly arranged assembly parts in the "shopping baskets", the production is similar to a workshop of the trade.
The vehicles are assembled on two floors in the Transparent Factory. In order to vertically connect these two levels on the one hand, but on the other hand - in a horizontal direction - to complement the production on the respective level, an electric overhead conveyor (EHB) is used parallel to the shed conveyor. This track is used to transport the vehicles to special assembly workstations, such as refuelling, and to the second floor: Here the complete vehicle floats from level 2 through the building ceiling to level 1. It is then lowered with a jack.
Through the division into precise assembly cycles, the clean production, the optimally trained manufacture employees and the quality assurance, Volkswagen in Dresden achieves a production quality at the highest level. The individual production cycles were consistently tailored to the people in the manufactory. For example, the manipulator is a helper that can be manoeuvred on rollers, enabling the employees to adjust large parts, such as the complete dashboard, with millimetre precision for installation in the bodywork.
The Transparent Factory in Dresden is developing into a test site for testing innovative technologies within the Volkswagen Group, with the central idea being the automation of complex work steps within assembly. The special challenge here is that testing and development in the Transparent Factory is carried out during the ongoing production process of the e-Golf*.