VW Multivan

Floor unit development, from concept to SOP   
Through an innovative idea, the co-operation between VW Commercial Vehicle Development in Wolfsburg and Bertrandt AG in Tappenbeck has grown: The “project house” for the development of the T5 floor unit.

Project house leads to important synergies
The T5 floor unit “project house” is the idea of WV-NE-GB department Head, Ernst Peter Otto, and also Roland Kirsch, Head of the Bertrandt office. The departments involved, the system supplier and the SE team are combined into a network. What was created in office containers is now, after six years, being successfully continued in a 4,300 sqm of office space and 2,300 sqm of testing and test rig area at the Bertrandt development centre. Through the direct link to the A 39 Autobahn, VW’s research and development logistics have also improved considerably.

The success of the “project house” idea is essentially based on three factors: Physical proximity, Integration of system suppliers involved, Hardware and software infrastructure The result is a close-knit group in which Bertrandt performs the integration task set by VW.

The physical and procedural integration of system suppliers, VW Commercial Vehicle Development and the Bertrandt developers, is leading to important synergies. The fruits of this benefit the project as follows:

  • Reduction of development loops
  • Higher degree of development progress through validation of the development milestones
  • Optimum confirmation of the development level at the start of the series


The hardware and software infrastructure makes an important contribution. An optimum data link to VW has been created through specific investment in a 100 MB/s data line. Complex vehicle development processes are much improved with the use of its own VPM system, which has been specially adapted to VW requirements. One highlight is the virtual proof of the vehicle front, platform and complete vehicle.

T5 floor unit – intelligent and variable systematic

The result can already be seen on the roads: The T5 Multivan went into series production in autumn 2002. As a premium segment van, the Multivan satisfies the highest demands and is also the top vehicle of a variable modular system. The basis for this modular system is the T5 floor installation with its intelligent system. It represents a wide range of variants, such as closed superstructures, open superstructures, two wheelbase versions, 4x4 drive and also chassis for superstructure variants. As a new vehicle generation, naturally the body seal is PVC-free. Instead of the PVC seal, a complete plastic floor trim is used that is easy to remove and therefore recyclable.

Conclusion
The project house model has proved ideal as a basis for targeted and successful development, clearly illustrating the future direction of automotive development. Increasingly complex and broadbased development projects and also increasing responsibility with regard to derivatives or even a whole model series are on the agenda. The experience gained with the T5 floor unit project house provides a basis for future challenges.