Issue: Mar 2009


FAStplant on four continents – new order for Volkswagen South Africa



by Steve Barclay

In February 2009 the eleventh FAStplant® installation will go into operation at VW’s factory at Uitenhage in South Africa. The plant continues the success story of this modular assembly concept, which will then be in use in America, Africa, Asia and Europe. 

The system - based on five pre-assembled and freely positionable module types - can be assembled quickly and easily, saving both time and money. Several well-known OEMs are already taking advantage of these benefits worldwide in large series, SKD and CKD production: General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Audi and BMW are just a few examples, illustrating the level of interest aroused by FAStplant®.
FAStplant® is at the heart of a comprehensive conveyor system that Dürr is supplying to VW Uitenhage for the assembly line. Trim Lines I and II have skillet conveyors and are followed by a chassis line comprising FAStplant® modules. VW chose not to use height adjustable hangers on the chassis line but instead to incorporate an incline/decline electric monorail system similar to that being supplied by Dürr for the SVW assembly line at Shanghai (China). A further skillet conveyor is being provided for the final trim area and, finally, a modular chain conveyor for the finish area at the end of the line. FASmotion non-contact power and data transfer is used throughout the trim and final assembly lines; it also provides the energy supply necessary for all work processes carried out on skillets equipped with lifting tables. 

The project at Uitenhage has a demanding time schedule. It allows only 13 weeks from layout approval to installation and four to six weeks of this period are needed for transportation. 

FAStplant® modular technology is already on its way to South Africa. Commissioning of the plant is scheduled for the spring of 2009, when the pre-production series of the new model generation will be manufactured.


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