Volkswagen Plant in Portugal wins lean production award with support from Mendix low-code

  • The Volkswagen Autoeuropa plant in Palmela, Portugal has streamlined processes and improved efficiency through ambitious digitalization projects
  • The Mendix low-code platform contributed to this broad-scale digitalization success
  • Volkswagen Autoeuropa won the prestigious “Automotive Lean Production Award” in the OEM category for its transformative efforts

BOSTON – September 7, 2023Volkswagen Autoeuropa, a production plant in Palmela, Portugal, and Volkswagen subsidiary, has set an ambitious goal. They want to establish themselves as the leanest and most productive factory in the Volkswagen brand. The concept of “lean production” aims to use production factors, such as materials, economically and efficiently to shorten throughput times, increasing product quality and the flexibility of a company and its processes.

The organization recently won the “Automotive Lean Production Award” in the OEM category. The award acknowledges the organization’s innovation in lean production, improvement of value streams, and the high-velocity deployment of many digitalization projects. Volkswagen Autoeuropa leveraged the Mendix low-code platform to address software needs within the broader digitalization initiative. Mendix, a Siemens business, is the only low-code platform designed to address the complexity of enterprise development challenges.

Competitiveness in the automotive sector with low-code

Volkswagen Autoeuropa has been working with Mendix since the beginning of 2023. The Mendix platform and methodology incorporate the practices of ideation, requirements gathering, and perpetual value assessment, to ensure the delivery of a unified portfolio optimized for value. Multidisciplinary teams across an organization can collaborate in Mendix throughout the application development lifecycle. Mendix can also easily integrate with different data sources. Mendix offers a single platform experience incorporating native mobile design, cloud-native deployment, data integration, and the latest AI chatbot support.

Volkswagen Autoeuropa developed a digital shop floor application with Mendix, to make processes more efficient, according to Alexander Heinzel, Value Stream Manager at Volkswagen Autoeuropa: “The digital value stream monitor that we developed on the Mendix platform shows us the status of our factory with its machines and its complete system filling along the whole process-chain in real-time. The permanent visualization of the bottlenecks increases the reaction speed and gives us a uniform understanding of the process priorities in order to continuously improve. The use of a low-code platform not only brought us rapid development in a cross-functional team but also gives us the opportunity to make adjustments and changes in the system ourselves.”

The “Automotive Lean Production” award win demonstrates that the many digital initiatives within the framework of the plant’s transformation process are already obtaining industry-wide recognition.

We don’t want to be the Volkswagen plant that won a prestigious award, we want to be the Volkswagen plant that sets the bar for successful, ongoing digitalization.

“We won in the OEM category. This proves that what we’re doing is working. But we’re not done – there is room for more improvements, more efficiency, more novel ideas, and new software. We don’t want to be the Volkswagen plant that won a prestigious award, we want to be the Volkswagen plant that sets the bar for successful, ongoing digitalization,” said Thomas Hegel Gunther, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Plant Manager at Volkswagen Autoeuropa. He adds: “Our goal is to leverage more digitization potential with low-code to further increase our competitiveness.”

“Within Volkswagen Autoeuropa’s Digitalization Program, the focus is to build new solutions as fast as possible and to improve continuously in short periods of time from there. Mendix encourages this by providing an easy-to-use, safe, and high-performing platform, where the business can create and explore their own solutions hands-on without losing much time in the specification phase,” said Martin Mikoleizig, Digitalization Project Leader at Volkswagen Autoeuropa.

“What Volkswagen Autoeuropa has accomplished is a great example of digitalization as a practice and not as a project. We congratulate them on winning the OEM award from Automotive Lean Manufacturing, it’s a massive accomplishment. But it’s also exciting to see this award as a milestone in something so much bigger – the organization’s goal to be leaner, more productive, and more efficient. They have already proven that they can assess and improve complex development challenges – it will be interesting to see how much farther they go. We’re excited that Mendix will continue to support their vision,” said Tim Srock, CEO of Mendix.


About Volkswagen Autoeuropa

The Volkswagen brand is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world.

The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s leading car makers, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. It operates globally, with 119 production facilities in 19 European countries and 10 countries in the Americas, Asia, and Africa. With around 676,000 employees worldwide. The Group’s vehicles are sold in over 150 countries.

Volkswagen Autoeuropa in Palmela, home of the T-Roc, is one of the largest foreign industrial investments in Portugal. In 2022, Volkswagen Autoeuropa accounted for 1.5% of national GDP and 4% of national merchandise exports. In 2022, the T-Roc became the best-selling Volkswagen model in Europe. In the same year, 231,100 vehicles were produced in the plant in Palmela.

    About Mendix

    Mendix, a Siemens business, is the only low-code platform designed to address the full complexity of enterprise software development challenges. Deploying point solutions to departmental problems solves things at a micro level—but if you want to make a significant impact on your business, you need to go bigger and build powerful portfolios that move the needle sustainably and strategically.

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