Logistics is embedded in Škoda Auto already in the most basic division of the company's organizational structure. Belongs to seven primary departments of management. The chief executive of each of these departments represents one member Board of Directors. The logistics system of ŠKODA AUTO a.s. is sophisticated and internationally recognized.

Green Future Strategy

Škoda Auto offers its customers not only safe, comfortable, but also environmentally friendly vehicles environment. The same friendly approach to the environment is also being sought in the production and supply process. This idea is aided by the Green Future strategy, which generally supports sustainable business development. The main objective in this industry is the production of environmentally friendly vehicles and the efficient use of natural resources without superfluous waste. These points the company achieves mainly by decreasing the consumption of energy and water, by reducing emissions of pollutants into the air and increasing the recycling percentage.

Throughout logistics, there is a trend towards emission reductions and environmental burdens. The transport is mainly about implementation of alternative or hybrid technologies, such as the use of CNG or electricity for external and internal transport. In handling and storage processes, they are advanced technologies for picking and checking goods such as RFID or pick-by-voice systems. Electronic paper "e-paper "or GPS technology to track the material being transported and individual sources in the logistics chain.

Simply clever logistics

At present, Škoda Auto is preparing a SAP project for all processes in production logistics. SAP S / 4 Simple Logistics for Škoda Auto is the largest project of this type in the industry not only in Czech Republic but also on a European scale. In this project, the Czech car works together throughout Volkswagen Group, so with other brands like Audi or Porsche. The aim of the project is to unify and standardize all existing IT systems in logistics that will be SAP replaced. The intention is both IT standardization and logistics processes. This should be brought to the end user simplifying manual work and working in the IT system itself. Unification of systems in logistics also bringsgreat economic savings both in the operation of the systems themselves and in their development.

"When I compare the development of logistics over the past few years, while I am in the position of chief of logistics at Škoda, the main one is constant accelerating the time. What has been done several years ago, today, must be done in half a year, what we were preparing for three month, today must be within a week. There are higher demands, complexity is growing, the World of Škoda is growing, tasks such as digitization, automation or robotization are important. Even in logistics, systems that will become increasingly successful will be enforced more vulnerable, more complex. In the past, it would not have occurred to us that we will be struggling with IT systems interventions into software and lots of other things. Previously we wrote a number on the paper and everything was clear. Today, one pirate program is enough and everything can collapse like a house of cards. So logistics will become more and more complicated, stress-intensive, but from my point of view logistics must always be simple. We have a slogan, Simply Clever Logistics, we are striving for simple and straightforward solutions, "said chief of logistics ŠKODA AUTO a.s. Jiří Cee and how says in the following interview, Škoda Auto realizes the impact of transport and logistics on the environment, so the idea of green logistics is firmly embedded in the company's 2025 Strategy. Skoda's logistics has taken a number of measures with a positive impact on the environment.

Logistics, these are savings - time, energy, material, work, storage, etc. Process savings also entail a reduction in environmental damage. Let's say this is the unintentional "green" effect of logistics. How would you briefly describe the wished "green" logistics?

Škoda Auto realizes the significant impact of transport and logistics on the environment, so the idea of green logistics is firmly embedded in the company's 2025 Strategy. As a logistics of the Škoda brand, we have introduced a number of measures with a favorable impact on the environment over the last few years. For example, compressed natural gas trucks, gigalinery trucks, recyclable, economical packaging, further use of packaging waste material from assembly lines, etc. Besides, we focus on green logistics awareness, educate our employees and spread awareness on these topics also between young people in professional lectures at universities.

Škoda Auto has developed a packaging system that has made it possible to place four of the original three bodies in a shipping container. This logistical savings has increased the efficiency of bodywork transport to your Indian factory and has also had a significant positive impact on the environment. Škoda Auto received the award for the Packaging of 2016 and the WorldStar 2017. Is it possible to quantify the savings that this innovation brought to Škoda Auto as well as the environment?

We appreciate these awards and prove the success of this project. The unique 4-in-1 transport concept uses Škoda logistics to transport bodywork and unloked parts from the main production plant in Mladá Boleslav to the Indian plant in Aurangabad. This concept is based on a special wooden construction that perfectly utilizes the space in the transport container. This is another milestone in the development of container transport. While the Škoda Auto logistics company transported two bodies in the container in 2000, since 2006 it has been using a three-container solution for the container. Thanks to the continuous streamlining of processes and the increasing emphasis on environmental friendliness and transport costs, four bodies have been shipped in one container since 2014. Thanks to this unique concept, more than 800 tons of CO2 per year are now saved on a 13 270 km long transport route. In addition, only fully recyclable materials are used for transport.

In the main Škoda Auto production plant in Mladá Boleslav and at the plant in Kvasiny, automatic small parts warehouses (AKL) are in operation. The control system provides robots to ensure that parts on the assembly line are delivered exactly in the order they are just-in-sequence. AKL is a good example of digitization of production and logistics processes, and Škoda Auto won the prize of the professional public in awarding the European Prize for Logistics to the ELA Award. What effects does this upgrading bring with regard to future car production requirements?

The AKL (Automatisches Kleinteilelager) warehouse in Mladá Boleslav was launched at the end of last year, AKL in Kvasiny ran about one and a half years earlier. By using this technology in both our plants, we continue to implement Industry 4.0. Thanks to this technology, we are able to streamline our material flows. The storage and removal of parts from racks takes place automatically and these parts are then delivered directly to the assembly line. Everything is done in just-in-sequence mode, which means we deliver the parts exactly in the order in which they will be assembled. Automation enables us to accelerate logistics processes and minimize error rates. In addition, robots take on strenuous activities, thereby improving working conditions on the ergonomic side. Employees can then engage in more qualified and less burdensome activities.

The Škoda Auto plant in Vrchlabí introduced a fully autonomous transport robot as a logistics innovation. Vrchlabí is supposed to become the factory of the future. Could you prove it in terms of logistics?

Skoda Auto factory in Vrchlabí is a hi-tech production plant. In 2015, it won the European title "Factory of the Year" in the "Excellent Plant Development" category, which was acquired for the rapid conversion of the car production plant into a component plant. The autonomous transport robot has been in full operation since June last year and its task is to transport a small number of parts between machine tools and a measuring center. Its uniqueness is in the ability to teach oneself. It can recognize obstacles and take other information from around the area into account when planning your route. These are the devices with the highest level of automation. However, this is not the only innovation used in logistics in the Vrchlabi plant. The transportation of the raw parts (forgings) to the first machining operation takes place fully automatically by means of a handling robot. Furthermore, for example, all material for automatic gearbox DQ200 assembly line is ordered automatically without worker intervention. Previously, we ordered parts from the warehouse in a classic way. Employees are then picked up by paper cards. Now large GLT pallets are ordered via the RFID chip through the RFID gateway, small KLT pallets by means of sensors in shelves and process material in the barrels by means of sensors monitoring the material level. In the future, we would like to introduce, for example, autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs). However, we have simple solutions, because too complex processes are not always profitable in automotive. We want to successfully combine automation, cleverness and humanity. From my experience, it goes that in logistics, too many techniques are sometimes damaging. After all, our motto is Simply Clever Logistics.

Prepared by Ivan Jemelka