Quality in every little detail: what it means to produce vans with a three-pointed star.
Mercedes-Benz Vans stand for quality. And that isn't marketing talk, it is the result of consistently monitored quality standards. We take a look behind the scenes as well as at the golden rules which form the structure of the Mercedes-Benz Vans production process.
Uniform production standards the world over.
They are visible to equal measure in all of the Mercedes-Benz Vans production locations, be that in Germany, Spain, Argentina or the US – at Mercedes-Benz Vans, the same set of production and quality standards apply everywhere. But what does that mean for you as a customer and driver of a Mercedes-Benz van? To find out, it's worth taking a look at the birthplaces of our vans. Let's take a closer look at the universally applicable requirements and how they are implemented.
We know what we're doing. At all of our production sites around the world.
The basis of our high-quality manufacturing is the Mercedes-Benz Production System (MPS). It defines a set of uniform processes based upon which each of our vehicles is manufactured – organisational models which ensure efficient working processes. For example, the shop-floor management ensures that employees – including everyone from the head of the plant to the work teams – meet up directly on the production line to co-ordinate the status of production and to resolve any problems which may arise.
The "IntelligentProduction@VANS" strategy brings the idea of automation up to an even higher level and makes use of networked manufacturing technologies to ensure faster, individual and high-quality production processes. So-called RFID technology, for example, enables automatic and contact-free localisation of components by using radio chips, thereby making routine tasks easier and faster.
Employees remain indispensable.
The smooth co-operation between man and machine plays a major role in this. Around 80 percent of the manufacturing in the plant's bodyshop halls are automated. The result of this is that work processes are always replicated with the same level of precision each time. But to help avoid any manufacturing errors, tests and finely detailed quality checks are carried out along the entire production process. Here, the trained eye of our employees is irreplaceable. In the paintshop, for example, a final delivery check is carried out in the light tunnel – centimetre by centimetre. In the finishing area, the engine is put on a test rig, then the vehicle is taken for a long test drive on the shake-up track.
A networked future.
The so-called "IntelligentProduction@VANS" ensures smooth processes and correspondingly consistent quality.
Space for individualists.
The bodyshell of a Sprinter chassis-cab alone is made up of around 350 individual components and is fixed together using approximately 5300 spot welds, 6.8 metres of welded seams and 8.2 metres of bonded seams. But that's just the beginning. Things start getting really complex in the production process when the numerous drive variants and items of optional equipment are added into the equation, which subsequently create a van which is ideally configured to your requirements. In the staff-intensive assembly area of the production hall, each Mercedes-Benz van is equipped with around 14,000 possible components. Ensuring the required components are stocked and delivered in the right sequence is a true logistical masterpiece – and this is the standard procedure in all of our production plants.
The final finish.
The shining outer layer: the paint finish. In the first instance, the almost finished vehicle goes through a multi-stage process to ensure perfect protection against corrosion. Then, it is given the desired colour. The fully automated rotation painting, also known as RoDip, is unique and ensures a perfect seal on the surface, right into the very smallest corners of the complex body structure.
Intelligent production of the future.
Extremely well-trained employees, modern production robots, effective and networked working processes as well as checks of all steps along the process chain ensure the constant high quality of our vans. And to make sure that this high level also keeps with the times in the future, Mercedes-Benz Vans invests in development and innovative trends. Up to 2025, more than 200 million euros will be pumped into the expansion of our intelligent production operations in order to establish a completely digital production line. This should allow us to fulfil the increasing requirements on efficiency and flexibility, plus it will also mean that employees are relieved of strain in conducting routine tasks.
A focus on intelligent production.
Up to 2025, manufacturing at Mercedes-Benz should be completely digital.
A logistical masterpiece.
Approximately 5300 spot welds, 6.8 metres of welded seams and 8.2 metres of bonded seams.
80 % automation – 100% control.
Precise manufacturing, precise to a thousandth of a millimetre.