...from Győr to the world

My story of change: Ádám Horváth

2023. 12. 05.

I'm sure many of you know Adam, but did you know that he has worked in 5 different jobs at the engine factory over the last 9 years?! He told us his exciting story. Click!

Your career at Audi is not an ordinary one, you have worked in 5 different jobs in powertrain production in 9 years. Did you plan it that way from the beginning?

The passion for internal combustion engines is something that has been unquestionable for me since I was a child, ever since I could talk and walk. I'm a petrolhead, it's my passion and my hobby. So the route was there, but I shaped my own path based on my experience over the years. Initially, I was mainly interested in the engine itself, but I really found myself when I was given more and more opportunities to see the powertrain production process from a different perspective. In fact, each new job has broadened my perspective and made me even more curious. I wanted to find out as much as possible - not just about the product, but also about the different aspects of production.

Can you tell us about your different tasks over the last 9 years?

Sure. (smiles) In 2014, I fell in love with Audi powertrain production at an Automotive Day for students, and at the beginning of 2015 I was already a trainee and had the first professional challenge of my life in the V8-V10 Engine Assembly Shop. In this area, I was primarily involved in the analysis of production interruptions and customer complaints. It was an interesting challenge to be able to dig into such professional depths as a beginner to identify and solve potential production problems.

in January 2016, I got my first full-time job contract as a project engineer in the EA211 engine assembly shop. I worked on type integration. It was the debut of the 1.0 three-cylinder and 1.5 EVO engines, which I helped to ramp up. My primary project goal was to develop intelligent hot-air cabins - replacing the previous "Hottest" cabins that were not capable of minimal analysis. Here I started to see the benefits of gaining experience in several areas from my own experience, so I wanted to learn more about the other aspects of production.

It was a conscious decision on my part to take on a budget and finance coordinator job in the mechanical machining department after my years in the assembly shop. I wanted to see a completely different side of production and although I was away from the "product” itself, I got a much broader perspective on our processes and production mindset. So far, I have been working on the topics of one assembly line at a time, but here I have thrown myself into the financial planning of 6 mechanical machining lines with great enthusiasm. In this area, I have experienced the challenges of production first hand, mainly in the language of numbers. Previously, I had seen the technical side of production, but here I understood the economic impact of, for example, the management of a machine maintenance, line rebuild, the proper planning of the shift schedule, or even the issue of the number of pieces per day.

I was impressed by what I saw and I was also surprised by the complexity of thinking and the speed required for this job. It was a great challenge because I got into this position at a very young age. But all the time I have been surrounded by managers who have inspired me in an extraordinary way and from whom I have learnt a lot in terms of agility and mindset. In the meantime, I also completed a Master's Degree in Automotive Engineering (MSc) at the Széchenyi University of Győr.

Then a new opportunity came along within the segment. The EA211 cylinder head machining area was looking for a project engineer for a product update. The aim was to ensure the integrability of the new 1.5 EVO2 type. I liked the fact that it was again a completely new type of job for me, and it required a very close collaboration with my colleagues in the production technology design department on a day-to-day basis.
To be able to machine the existing and new series engines in the required quantities, new machines had to be procured both in-house and externally, commissioned and made ready for production. In this role, I was the link between production and production planning. Together with the production planning engineers, I represented the manufacturing side to the boards, giving me a high level insight into the day-to-day work of production planning.     Here, I also had to present and expound issues regularly to senior executives. Typically, once a month I would go to Germany for meetings and then to our manufacturing partners for preliminary machine takeovers, where I could see for myself how and where our future finishing machines were being built - always an exciting look outside the 'four rings'.

Over the years, I have been driven by the aspiration to gain a broader perspective on the workings of the engine factory through my experience, and later on I reached a point in my life where I not only wanted to see these processes, but also to be part of their development!

The wide network of contacts I have built up over the years and the experience I have gained in seeing the specific objectives of each area from their own perspectives have been a very good starting point.

I became an APS (Audi Production System - ed.) coordinator in January 2020 and I have been working in this position ever since. I am responsible for the continuous improvement of the production processes in the powertrain manufacturing areas, with the aim of manufacturing our products as efficiently and economically as possible. Every year we determine the development plan for the year, and I help the powertrain manufacturing departments to achieve the targeted plan. My tasks are very diverse and very wide-ranging, I always have to face different challenges, and that's what I like about it. Openness and creativity are essential in my work, as I have to deal with all kinds of tasks, from APS site visits to project work and to workshops and trainings. For example, in production optimisation, we don't just introduce quick, temporary measures, but we get to the bottom of the problem together with the specialist areas and try to identify and solve the issue together. In these processes, I have the particular advantage of having production experience, as I understand "what they are talking about", so we reach the possible solutions earlier. I also help to evaluate the options and support the areas in implementing them.

What do you consider your greatest professional success?

The current form of the so-called CIP (Continuous Improvement Process) presentation is like my own child. My aim was to make sure that the greatest, most successful developments of the year visible to everyone in the company. I have been able to achieve that everyone can follow the end-of-year presentations live online and/or in person.I believe that this opens a very useful professional gateway between the colleagues of the different specialist areas, which will also strengthen knowledge sharing within the factory walls.

But it's also very inspiring for me to be able to support the R4 OTTO Global team in the Volkswagen Group's SPEED+ efficiency competition to achieve a better position on the world stage.

They deserve to win! It's a very strong, agile area and it's extremely valuable for me to be at their side in this challenge.

In addition to developing my professional experience and my way of thinking, my past has also enhanced my professional relationships. I can visit my previous work areas as an old acquaintance. They know that I want to help in every case, so I can enjoy their trust from step zero.

What do you think is the most useful benefit of the change in position?

I can best illustrate this with a traffic analogy. As a trainee, I used to drive on a 1-lane road, but now I feel like I'm driving on a huge metropolitan motorway (laughs - ed.)

But I also won’t forget that I needed Audi Hungaria for all this, because although I have worked in 5 different fields, I was able to build my professional knowledge, contacts and future within one company.

If you're conscious when working for this company, in the long run you will have a very wide range of opportunities, you can do a lot of things. It gives me security in respect of my career and motivation to know that I can always think of more options.

What is the most important lesson of the last 9 years for you?

It's important to always look for and set goals that you can hold on to, and then do and fight for what you want to achieve! This can also be a great motivation to be able to accomplish your daily tasks!

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