The Daimler subsidiary’s new building at the São Bernardo do Campo plant will roll out lightweight to heavy trucks. According to Stefan Buchner , head of the corporate division, the new line sets benchmarks worldwide within the Mercedes-Benz truck production network. Effectively, it features state-of-the-art technology: The assembly line is connected with all other Mercedes-Benz do Brasil production areas. Using a smartphone app, employees can access all relevant data, including each and every one of about 60 driverless and automated transport systems. Electronic nutrunners with pre-programmed torques are also featured on the line. While forklifts with light-sensor technology ensure a fast material flow, 3D printers are readily available to produce new parts at lower cost.
Mercedes-Benz is clearly following the trend. According to a study carried out by consultancy PwC, last year, nine out of ten industrial companies invested in the development of digital factories. The main reasons were above all anticipated increases in efficiency as well as greater customer proximity. The new industry 4.0 assembly line in São Bernardo do Campo is also expected to be 15% more efficient than the old lines. By the company’s own account, parts logistics will even become 20% more efficient. For example, the number of parts warehouses was reduced from the previous 53 to just six. These concepts should now be extended to other production processes.