AFT is growing – quite literally

Extended and modernized 2nd floor provides more space for AFT employees.

Due to constant economic and personnel growth, it became necessary to counteract the increased space requirement with an extension of the office building at the AFT headquarters in Schopfheim. To make this possible, it was decided to add another floor to the existing office building. The timber-framed storey was designed by Lais Holzbau from Schoenau, Germany as a general contractor. It is wider than the existing building and ensures that even more space has been created. In mid-November 2018, the new 2nd floor was ready, and it was time for the employees to move into their new workspace. All 22 workstations are equipped with height-adjustable desks to enable ergonomic working, even while standing. Furthermore, special attention was paid to air conditioning and ventilation, as well as sophisticated lighting. The new floor also has a large glass windowed meeting room, kitchen and WC facilities.
During the construction period of one year, the office operations in the floors below were maintained. The neighbouring companies durlum GmbH and Würth Elektronik GmbH & Co. KG supported AFT by sharing their staircase and providing alternative parking spaces for the AFT personnel. “We are very happy to have resolved our space problem with the new second floor and the result is something to behold,” says Heiko Hofmann, CEO of the AFT Group. “Without the support and understanding of the neighboring companies durlum and Würth during the construction phase, many things would have been difficult or simply impossible. That’s why our thanks go to the two companies.”

Opening Ceremony of the Automotive Electric Vehicle Automobile Plant of SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Company) in Ningde (China)

On January 8, 2019, the opening ceremony of the new car electric vehicle factory of SAIC took place in Ningde (China).

SAIC is the largest car manufacturer in China with 7.05 million new registrations in 2018 in China. Among other things, SAIC has joint venture partnerships with VW, GM, IVECO and Ssang Yong.
The factory in Ningde was built to produce their own brands Roewe (Rover) and MG (Morris Garages). The Ningde plant is the fourth plant of the SAIC Group in which these are produced.
AFT supplied the BDC (Body Distribution Center) and the heavy-duty EMS with lifting hanger for final assembly.
The SAIC headquarters in Shanghai took the opportunity to introduce the management of the new plant and gave key suppliers the opportunity to introduce themselves and their company.
Mr. Vincent Zhang, Sales Director of AFT Shanghai, thanked SAIC for the more than 20 years of good cooperation, support and trust AFT has received from SAIC. He also promised to realize high-quality, on-schedule conveyor technology projects for SAIC in the future.

Conveyor technology for new C-Class in South Africa

Daimler plant East London – South Africa

In August 2018, AFT Bautzen received an order from Daimler to supply skid conveyor technology for the new shell at the East London – South Africa plant.

Almost 29 years after the production of the famous “Red S-Class” for Nelson Mandela after his release from prison, this plant will be used to produce the upcoming C-Class (W206).
For the required new bodyshop, an existing hall will be expanded and gradually filled with life. At the present time this hall is still under construction. The realisation of the conveyor technology should begin in summer 2019.

Excellent Corporate Recognition Conference 2018

On January 9, 2019, the government of Waigang Town in Jiading District, Shanghai held an awards ceremony, to honour outstanding companies in the region.

The AFT-Group has won the Best Enterprise Development Quality Award – an award for high quality and great market awareness. Mr. Zhang Shishun, General Manager of AFT Shanghai, was invited to the award and gave a speech.
AFT has been strongly supported by the local government for many years. This is a useful aid to the success of the company. At the same time, AFT has contributed a lot to the economic growth and employment of people in the region.

Electric overhead monorail and skid roller-rail conveyors for the body shop of Volkswagen Zwickau plant (Germany)

In October, Volkswagen AG placed a major order with AFT for its conversion of the Zwickau plant to 100% electromobility.

The production site in Zwickau is to be rebuilt into the European center of competence for electric mobility of Volkswagen until 2023. Based on the modular electrification kit, only electric cars will be manufactured there in the future.

In order to be able to implement this project, AFT will deliver and install several electric overhead monorails and skid roller-rail conveyors for Volkswagen. Two new electric overhead monorails will be installed, and two existing AFT electric overhead monorails will be converted and extended. AFT will also realise the conversion and renewal of two skid roller-rail conveyors. In this project, AFT can draw on extensive knowledge and experience from successfully completed bodyshell work projects of the past three decades.

For AFT, this order is the biggest in the company’s history! AFT-Group CEO Heiko Hofmann is very pleased about Volkswagen’s trust in AFT: “With this order, we are proud to be able to play our part in making the Zwickau plant the European competence center for electromobility at Volkswagen.”

Exchange program with Minsk

Minsk Trade Delegation visits AFT Bautzen.

In order to promote economic exchange and to establish business contacts with German companies, six trade delegates from Belarus are currently visiting several companies in the Bautzen district, including AFT Förderanlagen Bautzen GmbH & Co. KG.
Andrey Suslenkou, Deputy General Director of the Minsk Tractor Works BELARUS, arranged a return visit to Minsk with Peter Süssmilch, Managing Director of AFT Bautzen, to strengthen (oder: lay the foundation for) further cooperation. The Minsk based tractor manufacturer employ 20,000 people.

Seat conveyor system for BMW Regensburg (Germany)

In July 2018, AFT received the order for the construction of a completely new seat conveyor system at BMW Regensburg.

The system consists of a truck loading deck to which the seat pallets are delivered, a subsequent storage zone with floor conveyors and a larger electrical monorail transport route to the installation site on the final assembly line. The particular challenge here is that new seat hangers need to be developed, which must be compatible with fully automatic unloading by robots. On the drive side, MOVI C technology from SEW is used here for the first time.

Conveyor technology for BMW Dingolfing (Germany)

In February 2018, AFT received an order from BMW over the preparation of the conveyor technology at the Dingolfing plant for a new type variety.

This involves the reorganisation of the existing electrical monorail routes in order to master the newly planned flows of material. The conversion takes place in many individual conversion modules (weekends, over holidays), since the production-free times are to be reduced. A careful scheduling represents the special challenge here.

New parking system for Volkswagen Wolfsburg

Scheme of parking system | Transport pallet

At Volkswagen’s headquarters, AFT Bautzen has installed a new automatic parking and sorting system for various vehicle types.

32 different types of vehicles are stacked over four floors in the tightest of spaces and can be specifically ejected for test and examination purposes.

AFT Bautzen converts the push plate assembly line in the Gläserne Manufaktur Dresden

The production of the new e-Golf is in full swing. It was recently converted to multi-shift production due to high demand. One more reason to modernize the production lines and adapt them to the new requirements.

AFT from Bautzen in Saxony received the order for the conversion.
The conveyor systems of the oval-shaped production lines in the upper part of the factory, hidden under a wooden parquet cover on which the luxury limousine Phaeton was once mounted, are now being rebuilt by AFT Bautzen.
AFT can fall back on the experience of the previous conversion, which AFT and other Saxon partner enterprises of AFT accomplished with bravado and to the fullest customer satisfaction.
In this conversion, the innovative rail system under the assembly line and the associated new roller concept are used again. The special feature of this conversion is the extremely short period for all working steps, because there are only the three weeks of summer holiday of Gläserne Manufaktur available, then the e-Golf production will start again.