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My story of change - Balázs Baranyi, Drive System Development

2024. 04. 24.

"When it comes to implementing groundbreaking things – that's my real field!"

Balázs worked in toolmaking and bodywork construction for 15 years, but last year he saw the time as right to embark on something completely new. He switched to Drive System Development. Read about his successes and inspirational thoughts in our article.

It's been almost a year since you switched from Toolmaking to Drive System Development. How much do you think was this the right thing to do? 

Balázs Baranyi: Absolutely. I think it's a question of attitude whether someone wants to try out different jobs. Some people do the same job well and enthusiastically for decades and have no desire for anything new. However, if you are driven by a constant, intense desire to develop, it is very good to have ways and opportunities to broaden your horizons within the company. I really like to challenge myself and when I feel I have reached my maximum, I consciously seek new professional potential. For 15 years, I found this within toolmaking and bodywork construction, but last year, in many ways, I felt it was time to embark on something completely new. My career had been mostly about manufacturing and production, but with this change I'm less “iron-focused", facing a whole new set of challenges every day. 


Do you think 15 years of toolmaking history can go away without a trace? 

Balázs Baranyi: Absolutely not! I've learned and grown a lot during this time and I'm proud to have been a project leader on ground-breaking projects, which are milestones in the life of our company. 


What are you most proud of from this period? 

Balázs Baranyi: It was a very nice time, I could highlight many things. 

In 2011 we didn't have a body shop, but we wanted to produce body parts for the world's luxury cars. To be honest, we were such pioneers that we didn't really know what we were doing at the time. But our goal was clear: we wanted to build the first exclusive production line in the tool shop. We had little experience, but our motivation drove us forward, so we found solutions for everything. Thanks to dedicated teamwork, in 2013 we inaugurated the first exclusive series production line of the tooling shop, which produced body parts for the B8 RS4 and C7 RS6, for example. I'm proud that we started it and that I could be the manager of the project.

Another task close to my heart was building the first robot training cell in the factory, which was a key factor in the launch of the body shop and its professionalism. It was a big responsibility, as it was necessary to ensure that new colleagues could learn to use the latest technologies in a professional environment. By building the robot training cell, my colleagues and I brought knowledge and technology inside Audi's walls that became the building blocks of the car factory. I still carry that experience with me to this day. I get goosebumps when I think about what I was involved in. 

As an interesting point of pride, I would also like to point out the project management of the extension of the tool shop hall. It was not easy to build with production running, I relied on my experience of the production in the tool shop, but, at the same time, I had the opportunity to learn about building construction and civil engineering. And now it feels good walking around the walls of the new building. 


What is the main change compared to your previous work? 

Balázs Baranyi: Up to now, my focus has been mainly on the bodywork and production, but now I understand the whole vehicle system. One of the main benefits of my new field is that it gives me a deep insight into the world of engines. I'm surrounded by designers, simulation and component engineers, and my new tasks and the complexity of the engine give me a level of excitement and challenge that keeps me going with the same enthusiasm after 16 years at Audi. At present, I manage change management for the Global Engine family. By the way, this engine is developed on 4 sites: In Dalian, Puebla, Ingolstadt and here in Győr. I’m responsible for the work on each site. There may be no change to this engine that I don’t approve of or that I wouldn't know about.

There is development and support in the bodywork field, but the bodywork rarely changes after it reaches series production. In contrast, in Drive System Development, our work does not end after the launch. In my field we monitor engines from series launch and, if necessary, we also develop them during series production. Here we are talking mainly about component changes, which can result from changes in environmental standards, production changes of component suppliers, the installation of new components, etc. The type responsibility is in Győr, so if any changes are made to the engine on a global level, we approve them here in Győr, in the Technical Development department, and we take responsibility for ensuring that the engine meets the requirements and standards even after the change. This essentially means that our work ensures that the engine parameters are not changed despite the changes. To do this, I work directly with the component engineers at the 4 sites, get the information from them, and then represent them in an international environment. I ensure the flow of information among the sites in the process. I only approve a change if the development has been approved – and in the meantime, I love working in an international environment. I have a lot of interesting cultural experiences through my contacts in China or Mexico, for example. Through our conversations, I can see how people in completely different parts of the world think and live. 


How did you experience the change, the transition? 

Balázs Baranyi: If I can get to know how another organization works, it brings with it another learning opportunity. This is motivating for me. 

I consider myself experienced when it comes to change. I think the most important thing to move forward is to be proactive, get ahead of things and ask questions. If you don't know something, don't be afraid, ask. I made the switch knowing what to expect in the new area. Before I arrived, I had already joined the meetings, asking for authorisations, making myself familiar with the technical issues. It was all extra effort and time, but it makes it much easier to join a new area. 

In the first period, you will certainly stumble and fall, but I don't think that should scare you, but you should learn from it. Whenever I made a mistake, I knew how to avoid it in the next similar situation. I've always considered myself a supportive person and I'm glad that after a few months I see that my new colleagues see it, too. I feel that they come to me with confidence, which is very valuable for me. 

The fact that my family lives 150 km away from Győr was an important factor in my job change. My youngest son is 4 years old, so in addition to the opportunity for professional immersion, I was looking for a field where telework is a common practice in everyday life. Personal contact is important to me, so I spend as much time as I can in Győr, but I usually work from home 2 to 3 days a week. 


Balázs, you love challenges, what will be the next big task? 

Balázs Baranyi: Since April, I’ve been the module designer for EA855, the R5 engine, which means responsibility for the complete engine. This is a really nice new challenge for me. 


If you are also interested in the world of Drive System Development, look for our open positions by clicking on the link: www.audi.hu/hajtasfejlesztes!

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