Even in a difficult economic situation Mercedes-Benz continues to improve its manufacturing process and tries to set a higher bar in the car industry. Another proof of that is the opening of a new Mercedes-Benz’s factory named Factory 56 in the German city Sindelfingen. The company itself calls this factory “Flexible, digital, efficient and sustainable.” Factory 56 was opened at the beginning of September on a ground area corresponding to 30 soccer pitches. It took 2.5 years to finish the project. According to the company’s web-site, Mercedes-Benz is planning to invest about 2.1 billion euros at Factory 56.
But what makes this plant the future of car manufacturing?
Flexibility. At one factory’s assembly line is possible to assemble cars with different body types. The production can adapt to current demand on the market and allows to easily restructure process of assembling to switch from sedan to SUV, for instance.
Digitalization. The plant has no conventional assembly line. A car is manufactured on a remote platform, which allows a car to stay in one place most of the time when all required parts are being transported by remote carts connected to one intellectual network. The digital ecosystem is built on a powerful WLAN and 5G network, which allows workers to supervise all systems automatically. From the monitoring of parts in stock to the system of electronic workflow, which would save 10 tons of paper every year.
Environmental friendliness. Factory 56 became fully carbon-neutral with zero CO2 emissions and significantly low energy consumption. The plant was built using recycled concrete. 40% of the factory’s roof is covered with plants and trees, the roof is also filled with solar panels, which is a sign that Mercedes-Benz does care about the environment.
Working conditions. More than 1500 employees are working at the factory in two shifts. While organizing the working space, Mercedes-Benz took into account employees’ preferences. For example, via an online survey, they were asked about personal opinions, preferable shifts to work, suggestions, and even people they want to work together with. More than 85% of the suggestions were successfully granted.
At Factory 56 Mercedes-Benz is manufacturing the new S-class W223 and EQS as start models to launch the site. It’s extremely crucial that the company approached this project with responsibility, taking care of the environment.
I would say it should be an example for major companies that it’s possible to remain eco-friendly and efficient at the same time. And, of course, technologies. This is really astonishing to see real technological development, not the one Apple calls “revolution” each year. This is a huge step towards efficiency. For me, it’s really boldly for a company with a reputation and history to do this. It’s clear to see their struggles on this occasion, let alone the new S-class. Mercedes-Benz proved that even investing an enormous amount of money to implement modern technologies is worth it when it comes to technologies.