Conversion at the Volkswagen commercial vehicle plant in Hannover, Germany

As part of the drive for electromobility, the fully electric version of the VW Transporter, the ID.BUZZ, is also to be produced at the VW plant in Hannover.

The ID.BUZZ requires a different kind of “wedding”, unlike the common VW Transporter, so that an additional assembly line must be set up. AFT Schopfheim convinced the customer in the offer phase with sophisticated technical solutions and received the order to adapt the existing electric monorail system in the final assembly to the new requirements. AFT adjusts the new conveying flow accordingly and delivers additional heavy-duty vehicles with hangers. In order to achieve the highest possible degree of ergonomics when working on the vehicles, the hangers are also equipped with lifting devices. The special feature of this conversion is the automatically changeable body mounts, so that both vehicle types, the T7 and the ID.BUZZ, can be produced on the same system.

“After the huge project for VW in Zwickau, we are very happy to support VW’s electromobility initiative in the commercial vehicle plant in Hannover,” says Heiko Hofmann, CEO of the AFT-Group. “We very much appreciate the great trust that VW has in our company.”

Together against the corona virus

Supporting the health system in the corona pandemic – this is also possible as an industrial company!

Klingele Technik GmbH from Schoenau is normally active in the field of special machine construction and AFT Automatisierungs- und Fördertechnik GmbH & Co. KG from Schopfheim enables complex conveyor technology and storage system solutions for customers in the logistics and automotive industries. However, the corona pandemic demands all alternative and flexible operations, which led to a cooperation between the two companies from the Wiesental:
The district hospital in Loerrach reported an urgent need for facial visors to protect nursing staff and doctors. Therefore, the 3D printing capacities of the two companies were bundled without further ado. In close technical coordination with the purchasing department of the district hospital, a total of five printers, which were in continuous use for several weeks, were used to manufacture around 1,000 facial visors. Transparent foils and rubber bands were attached to the printed brackets for a flexible fit on the head.
We are pleased that we can support the great work of the nurses and doctors in this way.

DAW commissions AFT as general contractor for a modification of the logistics center

In February of this year, AFT successfully received an order as general contractor for the delivery of a highly automated order picking system with a 6-aisle rack warehouse, cross transfer conveyor, pallet conveyor technology, EMS system and control system to DAW SE.

With an experience of 125 years in the field of coating systems, the family owned company DAW SE with its headquarters in Ober-Ramstadt, Germany is the largest private manufacturer of construction paints in Europe with its well-known brands such as Caparol or Alpina.

In order to automate the warehouse for the transport of paint buckets and containers on pallets, the installation should begin in late summer 2021. Already in the offer phase, AFT was able to support the customer in cooperation with the planning office Dobülog with experience and know-how in the finalization of the offer concept. The customer’s wishes, both in terms of technology and processes, were always in the foreground for AFT and were taken into account in the concepts presented on site and implemented accordingly. The constructive elaboration has already started, so that the first manufacturing of the components can begin soon.

AFT is looking forward to a good and successful cooperation!

New member of AFT-Group

AFT, a CERTINA portfolio company, acquires Wegener + Stapel GmbH, a leading developer and manufacturer of conveyor and material handling technologies for the automotive industry.

AFT-Group has successfully acquired the business activities of Wegener + Stapel GmbH. Going forward, the company will operate under the name Wegener + Stapel GmbH & Co. KG.
Founded in 1967, the tradition-rich company Wegener + Stapel, W+S for short, implements system solutions for material handling in production and distribution. Particularly in the field of light conveyor technology, W+S is a leader with its 24V technology and offers customer-oriented solutions. This technology is primarily used for the transport of containers, tires and other light components.
W+S draws on decades of know-how in the development, manufacturing and implementation of major projects for OEMs, Tier 1 automotive suppliers and blue chip companies around the world. The company is widely known for its tailor-made solutions, state-of-the-art technologies and excellent project management.
With its complementary product range and geographical positioning in northern Germany, W+S offers great synergy potential for the AFT-Group. W+S’s extensive experience in light conveyor technology (24V) will strengthen AFT-Group’s ability to react quickly and effectively to future market developments, particularly with regard to the upcoming investments in electromobility.
W+S will operate as an independent company within AFT-Group.
„W+S is a company with great potential and excellent market reputation. The acquisition generates a win-win situation for everyone involved”, says Heiko Hofmann, CEO of AFT-Group.

Website of Wegener + Stapel

Electric overhead monorail for cockpit assembly at VW in Hannover

In 2018, AFT Schopfheim was commissioned to extend the electric overhead monorail system in cockpit assembly,

to equip it with two scissors lifts and two lift tables and to supply 65 new drives for accommodation of the load carriers. A challenge in the conversion was the complete replacement of the electrical control, without disturbing the production – which was successfully accomplished. The entire conversion was completed on time and to the great satisfaction of the customer.
In the VW commercial vehicles plant in Hanover, the so called “Bulli” transporter is produced. The converted cockpit system transports the cockpits from production through an adhesive system to the installation site. Here, the cockpit of the VW transporter is installed with the help of a handling device by the worker. AFT is currently preparing the system for the fully automatic installation of the cockpit by the handling device.
In September, AFT Schopfheim received the order to extend the electric monorail in the cockpit assembly and connect it to another cockpit assembly line.

Conversion of Electric overhead monorails (EMS) and floor conveyors in the final assembly of the Volkswagen Zwickau plant

Following the contract for the body shop last year, AFT received the order for the conversion and adaptation of the conveyor technology in the final assembly.

As part of the transformation of the Zwickau plant into the competence center for electromobility of Volkswagen, existing conveyor technology must be adapted and expanded. Thus, various conveyors, including heavy load conveyors, need to be adapted and converted. Even existing AFT systems must be prepared for the changing requirements of electromobility. As it was already the case with the body shop contract, AFT Schopfheim was commissioned with the adaptation and new delivery of various electric overhead monorail systems. AFT Bautzen, the specialist for floor conveyor technology in the AFT-Group, will be responsible for the modification of converters and push-skid technology. Two new skid conveyor systems are also needed for the delivery of the battery and for wheel installation. In addition, belt conveyor technology in the finish must be adapted to the new vehicle types. In the autumn 2020, these plants will go into operation. According to VW’s plan, only electric cars will be manufactured in Zwickau at the end of 2020.
“We are pleased to continue to take our part in Volkswagen’s electromobility offensive,” said Heiko Hofmann, CEO of the AFT Group.

Construction completion and first ID. Offline ceremony of SAIC VOLKSWAGEN MEB Plant

BDC (body distribution center) ASRS system

The SAIC Volkswagen MEB plant is the first in the world to be newly built for the MEB platform model.

It is the most efficient and purest electric vehicle factory in China. AFT implemented the BDC (body distribution center) ASRS system, which achieves an excellent and efficient sorting painted body storage function from paint shop to the final assembly shop.

Launch celebration of 58 days GA shop modification at FAW-VW Changchun CP2 plant

Project Team of AFT Shanghai

The modification of final assembly shop of Changchun No. 2 plant will improve the production capacity, improve efficiency, reduce logistics costs, reduce the number of stations and integrate production lines.

Under the 58-days serious timing, AFT project team completed an efficient and reliable chassis line modification project.

Electric overhead monorail (EMS) for transport of doors for the Smart Hambach plant

The Smart plant in Hambach (France) is being rebuilt. Due to restructuring, the SUVs of the GLA and GLB class will be produced there in the future.

AFT Schopfheim contributes to the conversion of the plant in Hambach with the delivery of the EMS for doors. A special feature of the EMS are several lifting units that enable ergonomic working conditions at the assembly stations. AFT hereby offered a tailor-made solution suitable for the needs of Daimler. The entire system has 6 lifters, which lower the EMS vehicles from the production level below the ceiling to the assembly level and then transport them back again.
Initial assembly works on the EMS plant will begin in October 2019. The final acceptance is planned for next year.

AFT Polska

Foundation of a new subsidiary of AFT Industries AG in Poland

At the end of 2018, a new subsidiary of AFT Industries AG was founded in Poland. AFT Polska sp. z o. o. primarily supports the other subsidiaries of the AFT-Group with design engineering. Currently there are six designers and one technical director working at AFT Poland. All employees have years of extensive experience in the design of materials handling equipment. “It’s good that we were able to find such experienced designers,” says Heiko Hofmann, CEO of AFT Industries AG. “AFT Polska expands our group well and creates great added value for us, but above all for our customers!”