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Decoding Webasto Chongqing Plant's Success Behind Winner of Global Best Operation Award

By RAN ZHENG|Nov 20,2023

Chongqing- The Webasto Chongqing Plant outshone 40 other Webasto factories globally, clinching the Webasto Global Best Operation Award, and has recently attracted visits from brother factories across Germany, the United States, and various regions in China, including Guangzhou, Changchun, and Jiaxing.

Webasto's intelligent sunroof module for autonomous driving. (Photo/ Webasto)

The Webasto Sunroof System Chongqing Co. Ltd. is part of the Webasto Group in Germany, the largest global manufacturer of automotive sunroofs, specializing in automotive sunroofs and related products. 

Dominating the southwest Chinese market, it supplies over ten car manufacturers, including Chongqing-based Changan Automobile, one of China's top four automobile groups that boasts a product pass rate of over 98%.

The Chongqing facility's success is attributed to its efficiency and high standards in quality, production, and per capita output performance.

Wang Qifu, the General Manager of the Webasto Chongqing Plant, revealed impressive growth in the plant's per capita output. In 2022, the per capita output value reached approximately 2.5 million yuan (about 350,000 U.S. dollars); by October 2023, it had already surpassed three million yuan.

Recently, Chongqing announced a goal to increase the city's overall labor productivity to over 500,000 yuan per person by 2027. Based on this benchmark, the factory's current per capita output value is already six times the targeted amount.

Additionally, quality is a priority here. A notable achievement was improving a sunroof product's initial pass rate from 88% to 98% within three months. This improvement, a result of the efforts of a dedicated project team, placed the product at the top tier of similar products worldwide.

Besides, the plant's commitment to quality is comprehensive, encompassing everything from the meticulous selection of raw materials to rigorous quality checks. Advanced systems for supplier quality management and real-time production monitoring ensure that every product leaving the factory meets the highest standards.

The plant's digital transformation is accelerating efficiency. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs), robots, and intelligent systems handle materials transfer and assembly, enhancing operational productivity. Automation and intelligence facilities now represent over 30% of the plant's equipment. A sunroof rolls off the line every 1.73 minutes, with monthly capacity hitting 20,000 sets, according to Wang.

To ensure sustainability, the plant uses solar power extensively, with photovoltaic installations covering its roofs and lighting its streets. Green energy accounts for 30% of the plant's use, reducing carbon emissions by about 900 tons annually. Smart meters and an energy monitoring system help optimize electricity use, allowing the plant to adapt its production process for energy efficiency and cost savings.

Wang stated that managing energy use in the plant is challenging because of its extensive production scale. He noted that their green development efforts not only prevent energy wastage but also enhance energy efficiency and lower costs.


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