Skoda Auto has produced its four millionth DQ200 automatic direct-shift gearbox at its Vrchlabi plant since production first started in 2012. The dual-clutch transmissions are used in models from the Czech carmaker as well as in vehicles made by other Volkswagen Group brands. Skoda Auto is holistically focusing on Industry 4.0 technologies for gearbox production.
The Vrchlabi site has been a state-of-the-art component plant since October 2012. For that reason, the car manufacturer built a new factory hall and thoroughly modernised the entire plant within just 18 months.
Just under half of the DQ200 automatic direct-shift transmissions produced here are installed in Skoda models. The other units are used in vehicles made by other Group brands. The largest customers include Germany (15%), Turkey (12%) and the Czech Republic (10%), as well as in the UK (7%), Israel (6%) and Poland (6%).
A host of different measures enabled the component plant to become the Czech carmaker’s first CO2-neutral production site at the end of 2020. State-of-the-art machines ensure optimum energy efficiency, coolant is reused in some instances, and transport systems are powered by lithium batteries. Various processes and production steps have been digitalised and designed for Industry 4.0 technologies. An autonomous transport system carries parts between the CNC machines and the metrology centre, for example. A pick-and-place robot handles forged transmission shafts for further processing. The smart handling system, which was developed in-house, uses algorithms to evaluate 3D camera images and determine the robot’s gripping movements.
With the implementation of the Next Level Skoda Strategy 2030, e-components or e-vehicles will be produced at all three of Skoda Auto's Czech plants in Mlada Boleslav, Kvasiny and Vrchlabi by 2030. The aim is to make the Czech Republic an electromobility hub and strengthen not only Skoda Auto but also its home country. At the company’s headquarters in Mlada Boleslav, the production of MEB battery systems for the ENYAQ iV will begin in spring.