With the groundbreaking of the car plant of the future “Factory 56”, a project was launched at the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, which defines a new way of building cars.
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economics, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Michael Bauer, Head of Production of the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen plant, Dr. Bernd Vöhringer, Lord Mayor of Sindelfingen, and Ergun Lümali, Chairman of the Sindelfingen Works Council, accompanied the kick-off of the new assembly hall.
The ‘Factory 56’ combines three trend-setting features: It is consistently digital and flexible – and it brings the term ‘green production’ to life -explains Markus Schäfer. Digitized processes in the sense of Industry 4.0 are essential elements of the production concept. These include, for example, driverless transport systems (DTS) with product baskets that support logistics in the assembly and ensure the seamless supply of the required materials for the employees at the line. Through the integration of innovative Radio Frequency Identification-technologies (RFID), components and vehicles can be digitally tracked and linked with one another. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analyses and Predictive Maintenance guarantee high transparency and support in production planning, control and also in quality assurance. Through the analysis, for instance, predictions on potential faults or due maintenance work can be made in advance.
Energy efficiency and environmental friendliness play a decisive role in the new production hall “Factory 56”. A photovoltaic system on the roof produces green electricity and leads to a reduction of yearly 5,000 MWh of electricity. CO2 emissions in the “Factory 56” will be reduced by around 75 percent compared to today’s S-Class production in Sindelfingen. The translucent construction of the assembly hall creates a pleasant working climate for the employees in daylight. In addition, the temperature of the hall can be set at up to seven degrees below the outside temperature.
The human is at the centre of all activities in the “Factory 56”. The employees work at ergonomically optimised workstations and are optimally supported in their tasks by digital tools. The focus is on the use of intelligent, flexible technology.
In 2020, the “Factory 56” will already start production. Passenger cars and electric vehicles of the upper and luxury class will be produced. These include the new generation S-Class as well as the first electric vehicle of the product and technology brand EQ “made in Sindelfingen”.
With the ‘Factory 56’ at our Sindelfingen site, we realize the main part of our extensive investments from the transformation plan called ‘2020+’. Not least, this could be achieved because of our highly motivated and competent team. The construction of the ‘Factory 56’ is a commitment to our location and enables us to build high-quality and innovative vehicles of the present and future here in Sindelfingen further on. I am proud that the next groundbreaking step within the production of Mercedes-Benz Cars starts in Sindelfingen – says Michael Bauer.