Audi to become first car manufacturer to launch second-generation prelube oils
Audi production processes are set to become even more sustainable in the future: With the start of production of the Audi Q6 e-tron, Audi is introducing the second-generation steel coil lubrication Prelube II. This new product will help to significantly reduce the amount of lubricant required for protecting against corrosion and machining the metal sheets in the press shop. The idea originated from Audi employees in the press shop in Ingolstadt – and has already caught on at the Volkswagen Group. With the conventional lubrication Prelube I, one gram of oil is applied over every square meter of sheet steel. With the new lubrication class Prelube II, however, just 0.7 grams of oil are required for every square meter – and with almost identical processing parameters. The new oil class creates a protective film on the surface of a metal sheet that is thicker and does not run off. For the reinforcement frame of the roof of the Audi A4, for example, just 2.7 grams of Prelube II are needed instead of the usual 3.9 grams of conventional oil. Extrapolated to all steel components that Audi machines at its production locations in Europe and Mexico, this offers incredible savings potential of around 40 metric tonnes of oil every year compared with the same period in 2018. “At Audi, we’re always thinking about how to make our process steps in production and logistics more sustainable over the long term. Every contribution to increasing resource efficiency and achieving the ambitious targets behind our Audi environmental campaign Mission:Zero helps,” says Peter Kössler, Board Member for Production and Logistics at AUDI AG. With the start of production of the Audi Q6 e-tron in Ingolstadt, the Prelube II oil class has been set as the new standard for steel coil lubrication. Audi will then look at the other model series that are currently in production, trial the new product for each and every component and then switch the production process to Prelube II. The idea has caught on: “We have managed to persuade our steel suppliers to switch to Prelube II – a technically challenging process but one that will help to conserve resources over the long term,” says Dr. Ingo Faass from operations management at the press shop in Ingolstadt. “The Volkswagen Group, too, has eagerly adopted our initiative and is planning to introduce the new oil class in Europe as the standard. This will increase the savings potential even more.” The VDA has also been talking about the optimized lubrication, with other manufacturers likely to start using Prelube II in the coming years.