Into the Factory at Audi Brussels: from concept to icon
5 robots working on the car doors

Into the factory

From pioneering concept to cutting-edge product

At Audi Brussels, we work together to shape the world of e-mobility as one team of leading experts. But before our iconic Q8 e-trons drive out of the factory, they follow an extensive route through various departments that raise the bar each time. Find out how things are going and how we guarantee Audi’s “Vorsprung”.

1. Bodyshop

2. Paint shop

3. Assembly department

4. Battery production

5. Analysis centre

6. Supply chain

7. Test track

A map of Audi Brussels

Bodyshop: advanced connections

The bodyshop is the first stage in the production cycle of the Audi Q8 e-tron. Here the unique design is formed by a combination of numerous metal parts such as aluminum and ultra-high-strength steel. The production process in the bodyshop is complex and highly advanced. A wide variety of joining technologies are used (welding, soldering, riveting or gluing) with continuous robotic inline geometry checks performed in addition to continuous manual quality checks.

 The various process steps are carried out in a highly automated production hall that has more than 430 robots and 410 transport tables. All these processes are supported by an experienced team of 300 people. They ensure optimum operation of the various installations, assemble the body parts and guarantee the required quality standards of the car.

A car in the bodyshop department

Paint shop: meticulous work

With a thickness of just a few tenths of a millimetre, the coating of an electric Audi is as thin as a human hair. Precision work for the 250 colleagues who work in two shifts in 23 teams and together with 48 paint robots in the paint department.

The painting process is a feat to say the least:

  • Before painting, we clean the body thoroughly and apply a layer of insoluble phosphates. Only then can the paint adhere properly to all surfaces.
  • Sensitive areas between the individual body parts are completely automatically sealed and reinforced with PVC. This provides extra protection against stone chips and corrosion.
  • In total, the body receives four layers, each with its own function.
  • After application, the various materials are baked in ovens at temperatures of 140 to 200 degrees - for a long and shiny car life.

4 painting robots painting a body white

The four coats in a row

  • Layer 1

    The first coat protects the vehicle against corrosion and guarantees a long service life. This is called cathodic or electrostatic immersion varnish (KTL).

  • Layer 2

    The second coat acts as a primer to eliminate the last irregularities.

  • Layer 3

    The third layer – the base coat – gives the vehicle its colour. It is applied with modern spraying installations equipped with environmentally friendly technologies.

  • Layer 4

    At the end, the body gets a clear coat or white lacquer finish. It gives the vehicle its shine and protects it against UV rays and weather conditions.

Assembly: the backbone of our production

The figures show that our assembly hall is buzzing with activity. Some 1,300 people work here, divided into two shifts and 38 teams. Together they ensure that every car that enters the assembly hall is ready for final quality control after about 12.5 hours.

Although there is so much more behind the figures. This is all about teamwork and innovation. The smart combination of manual craft, digital tools and cobots is becoming increasingly important.

But above all, we focus on the well-being of our teams, for example with flexible installations that meet the highest ergonomic standards. This allows our people to work in optimal conditions.

Workers inside a car

Did you know?

The Audi Brussels assembly belt is no less than 1.5 kilometres long and can accommodate around 250 cars at the same time.

Battery production: electric Audi’s heartbeat

At Audi Brussels, we not only assemble electric cars, but also the batteries that power the cars. When our battery production department opened its doors in 2018, it was unique in the industry.

 In the meantime, our colleagues in this department can call themselves specialists in this field: together they assemble more than 300 batteries a day.

2 workers assembling the wires of a battery pack

Analysis centre: continuous improvement

In our analysis centre, technical research and production go hand in hand. The goal? To continuously optimise our processes. No R&D in the pure sense of the word, but the centre works meticulously on both the cars and the processes before and during series production.

In doing so, the analysis centre combines forces with all the other production teams to identify faults and increase efficiency: from the bodywork structure through the paint process to the fully assembled and finished cars.

A car in the analysis centre

Quality department: for a harmonious customer experience

Audi Brussels’ quality department focuses on the overall customer experience. That can be in very small things, like the correct fit between parts. The common thread? Everything must form a harmonious and high-quality whole.

 Our quality department monitors this in many ways:

  • During special quality training courses, our teams learn how to recognise product deviations and how best to respond to them.
  • By working closely with suppliers, we guarantee, among other things, the purchase of high-quality spare parts.
  • During daily internal audits or car checks, we carry out a long list of quality controls on randomly selected cars. They can only resume their journey through the factory if they pass all tests perfectly.
  • In the test centre, we check every electric Audi thoroughly.
  • This is followed by a test drive and a visual inspection in our light tunnel. We check the driving behaviour and the quality of the paint finish, but also certain noises such as wind noise.

A car in a light tunnel

Did you know?

We only release each Audi for export once it has achieved a 100% test score.

Supply chain: wheeled imports and exports

In addition to the transport of finished Audi cars, our logistics service also arranges the delivery of parts and materials. So everything is always in the right place at the right time, in or around our factory.

This requires a great deal of professional planning. Every day we receive almost 6,000 parts and components from over 625 suppliers. Not to mention the cubic metres of material delivered every day by 13 train wagons, 260 trucks of which 63 just-in-sequence suppliers

A man driving logistics equipment

Did you know that infrastructure is crucial in our logistics?

At Audi Brussels, we can count on the Automotive Park, our state-of-the-art logistics centre, among other things. A bridge connects it directly to our factory halls. In this way, we guarantee efficient and timely delivery of materials everywhere.

Supporting services: support for top performance

Our supporting services also play a crucial role at Audi Brussels. Just think of IT, HR, finance, mobility, the medical service, buildings and the environmental service.

Each of these services delivers a piece of the puzzle to make Audi Brussels a safe, efficient, stimulating, sustainable, accessible, financially healthy and optimally connected working environment. 

4 people are seen working on computers in an office
a car under a bridge with graffiti tags

The result: a cutting-edge car

When cooperation between all departments at Audi Brussels is successful, it generates magic and – above all – pioneering work. Of course, we are talking about our electric model: