Volkswagen Transparent Factory Shows Automation Up Close

Video show Volkswagen Transparent Factory — part museum, part factory — where the Volkswagen Phaeton is produced.

Transparent Factory is the English name of an automobile production plant owned by German carmaker Volkswagen, designed by architect Gunter Henn, and opened in 2002. The original German name is Gläserne Manufaktur (factory made of glass, literally vitreous manufactory). Both the German and English names are a word play on the double meaning of transparent and glassy, referring to both optical transparency and transparency of the production process.

Visitors are able to walk right into the production areas of the factory. Robot platforms bring car bodies to the assembly line. Tools are automated to apply the right torque to bolts. The transparent factory only handles final assembly. Stamping, welding, and painting are done at another location.