Digital and Flexible Mercedes ‘Factory 56’ Car Plant Of The Future Launched

Mercedes-Benz Cars has announced its ‘Factory 56’, heralded as the world’s most modern car production plant. “The ‘Factory 56’ will define a new way of building cars. With its ‘Factory 56’, Mercedes-Benz Cars is creating the car plant of the future. It combines three trend-setting features: It is consistently digital and flexible – and it brings the term ‘green production’ to life. As the inventor of the car, we are reinventing production,” says Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.

To mark the laying of the cornerstone for the new assembly hall on 20th of February, high-ranking representatives from the worlds of politics and business came together at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen. The “Factory 56” will commence production of upper and luxury class cars and electric vehicles in 2020.

The production concept of the “Factory 56” will set new standards in man-machine-cooperation and digitally supported processes including work organization as well as logistics and quality assurance. The plant will digitally comply to Industry 4.0 and also be connected to other production operations in the global production network.

The 360 degree linkage across the whole value chain is an essential feature of ‘Factory 56’ from suppliers, design, product development, production and vehicle customers. Finished vehicles will drive off the assembly line autonomously to the transportation loading station.

In the assembly hall state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 technologies will be used including driverless transport systems (DTS) with product baskets supporting logistics in the assembly area ensuring the seamless supply of materials to the assembly line employees. Radio Frequency Identification-technologies (RFID) will be integrated into “Factory 56” allowing components and vehicles to be digitally tracked and linked with one another.

Artificial Intelligence, Big Data analysis and Predictive Maintenance will guarantee high transparency and support of production planning, control and quality assurance. Analysis of production data will allow potential fault predictions and advanced maintenance planning.

The human will be at the center of all activities in “Factory 56” with employees working at ergonomically optimized workstations optimally supported in their tasks by digital tools. The focus is on the use of intelligent and flexible technology. A new work organisation will provide for flexible and modern working time models.

On the roof of “Factory 56” will be a photovoltaic system supplying green electricity into the productions supply leading to an annual reduction of 5,000 MWh of electricity. CO2 emissions at the “Factory 56″ will be reduced by 75 percent compared to today’s S-Class production in Sindelfingen.