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VW SA builds two-millionth engine

2014-06-02 10:14

GOOD JOB PE: Factory employees celebrate the production of the two-millionth engine and the 500 000th EA111 engine with VWSA’s MD David Powels (left of 500 000th engine) and factory head Richard Reid (behind 500 000th engine). Image: VW

Volkswagen SA as reported that its 500 000th EA111 engine, the two-millionth unit from its Port Elizabeth factory, came off the production line on May 30 2014.

The engine is used in the South African-assembled VW Polo  and Polo Vivo.

Production of the EA111 engine began in 2010 with its PE factory producing 89 000 units that year. The factory has increasedproduction volume since and is aiming for 175 000 engines in 2014.

‘INCREASED PRODUCTION’

VWSA’s head of its PE engine factory, Richard Reid, said: “Of the 175 000 engines being produced in 2014, 77% is targeted for export to international markets.”
 
VWSA’s international customers include factories in China, India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Mexico.

Reid said: “In September 2013, we introduced a fourth shift at the engine factory which increased production capacity from 147 000 to 175 000 engines. The bolstering of production was due to the high demand from the Chinese market.”

One of the new technologies implemented at its PE factory is a testing facility to ensure engine quality. The process includes leak, cold and electronic testing. The cold test turns the engine at 2000rpm, conducting a vast array of measurements.

This technology replaced the “hot” testing procedure, which involved every engine being taken off the line to separate testing facilities. According to VWSA, the Hot process was time consuming as it took nearly 15mins to test each engine. It was also costly as it involved testing the running of the engine with fuel and water.

Another development was the introduction of interactive technology on the line. The interactive machinery assists operators by guiding them with instructions via a screen which is connected to the electronic bolting equipment.

ENGINE EVERY TWO MINUTES

The assembly line coupled with the latest block machining centres and highly trained employees ensures “that the highest quality standards are maintained”.

VWSA managing director, David Powels, said: “All these improvements enabled us to produce an engine every two minutes.

"The introduction of the new technology and enhancement of our production processes has ensured that we are continually improve our products for both the local and international markets.”

VWSA engine factory facts
Opened for local production - 1982
Start of production of engines (EA827): 1978 Citi Golf
Start of production of EA111: 2010
EA111 engine specs: four-cylinder, 16 valve chain drive (1.4 - 1.6-litre)

EA111 engines produced per year:
2010 - 89000
2011 - 91 000
2012 – 110 000
2013 – 151 000


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