Updated April 2nd with further input from Skoda

VW’s Skoda division is planning to make further investments in logistics support as part of overall spending in its plant in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. The company said it is planning to increase annual output at the plant to 280,000 vehicles by 2018, up by almost 114,000 on total production last year.

“Skoda Logistics will play a key role in developing the Kvasiny plant, because the company will place even greater emphasis on the leanness of the entire process and the accuracy of its material flow planning,” said a spokesperson for the company. He added that the primary tasks on the logistics side include optimising material flow and logistics costs, as well as getting key suppliers nearer to the plant and improving the parts packing process. Skoda said it is also taking further measures in line with its 'Green Logistics' strategy.

The carmaker recently signed a memorandum of cooperation in Kvasiny with the Czech Government and Hradec Králové authorities. As part of that agreement Skoda plans to invest around CZK 7.2 billion ($2.8m) into the site over the next three years. At the same time, the Czech state and the Hradec Králové region will be making investments in the public infrastructure.

“The government funding totalling two billion [Czech] crowns is not credited directly to the client’s account, but rather benefits the infrastructure of the district in developing Kvasiny’s industrial zone,” said Jan Mládek, Commerce and Industry Minister of the Czech Republic, who was speaking at an event to mark the new agreement.

The public investments from the Czech state and Hradec Králové region will be focused on improving the transport infrastructure and technical infrastructure in Kvasiny and Hradec Králové regions. In addition, improvements are planned for education and healthcare in the region. Other companies are also expected to set up in the area.

For its own part Skoda said that in early 2016 it will complete an extension to the existing logistics hall used for the assembly line supply process. This new extension will increase the storage capacity by more than a fourth of the existing volume.

The carmaker told Automotive Logistics that investments would also be made in optimising the on-site flows and standardising the plant's logistics operations.

“In particular, the company is going to further develop its innovative 'Simply Clever' solutions, IT and support systems to provide a higher degree of process automation,” said the spokesperson.

This includes implementing an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) system to transport components to the assembly line and pick-to-light systems and related technology that is designed to make the process of picking components for the assembly line simpler and more accurate.

The carmaker has already made extensive investments into the production and logistics facilities at Kvasiny to support the recent launch of the Skoda Superb. These included logistics improvements related to the new welding shop and assembly line at the facility. For instance, a 6,000 sq.m logistics area has been built near the welding shop and there has been major investment in logistics technologies such as FTS and pick-to systems on the assembly line for the Superb

Kvasiny's central logistics provider is Preymesser, which is responsible for just-in-sequence (JIS) deliveries of components. Its halls and warehouses are situated only a few kilometres away from the Skoda plant. The company expects to make further developments at the logistics park adjacent to the plant in the coming years said the spokesperson.

Alongside the Superb, the carmaker produces Yeti and Roomster models at the Kvasiny plant. Last year output reached 166,200 Skoda vehicles there.