Mercedes-Benz AG has opened its Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus (MBDFC) marking the transformation of its Berlin-Marienfelde site into a centre for digitalization in automotive production.
With a series of state-of-the-art pilot lines and test cells, the campus is now a hub for global Mercedes-Benz digital production technologies, combining development, testing, and seamless and rapid global implementation of pioneering MO360 software applications for automotive production as well as acting as a digital start-up factory. In addition, the campus will become the MO360 training and qualification center for implementing digital approaches in the global network. MO360 is the Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations 360 digital ecosystem, which the company says is made up of a number of software applications which are connected via shared interfaces and standardised user interfaces.
With the MBDFC and the production of electric drive components, the site forms an important pillar of the Mercedes-Benz ‘electric only’ strategy. Mercedes-Benz is investing a triple-digit million euros amount into the transformation of Berlin-Marienfelde over the next five years.
“In Berlin-Marienfelde, we are putting the cornerstones of our strategy into practice with digitization and electromobility. The transformation from a location for conventional drive components into an innovation hub for software and a production site for electric motors, is enormous. At the same time, it shows how we can shape the transition towards a new digital-electric era together” commented Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG.
The digitalization of production is a key success factor for Mercedes-Benz. Through the introduction and consistent further development of MO360, the digital ecosystem, all core production processes have already been standardized, digitized and rolled out worldwide in all Mercedes-Benz plants. This ensures maximum efficiency, transparency and sustainability in a geopolitically increasingly volatile and challenging environment.
As a competence center for the digitalization of IT-based production, the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus is driving the development, testing and validation of future software applications and concepts for MO360 – in a real production environment. In the body shop, assembly as well as in technology cells, production processes are replicated and new features and software updates are tested before being transferred to real production lines. Virtual methods are combined with real-world validation. This shortens development time and increases robustness.
“With the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus, we have created a beacon of transformation at our oldest production site. As a competence center and driver of our digitalization drive and with a future product portfolio in the field of e-mobility, we are transforming the traditional location into the future. One of the most important pillars of the transformation is our flexibility. We also achieve this through targeted qualification and retraining measures, offering pioneering new opportunities for our teams worldwide” stated Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG for Production & Supply Chain Management.
MO360 Training and Qualification Center
The Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus is also an MO360 Training and Qualification Center, where innovative training programs are developed for the entire Mercedes-Benz production network. Targeted qualification concepts are an important prerequisite for successfully managing the electrification and digitalization of the working world in both production and administration.
The digital learning platform LES, the Learning Environment System, which was developed at MBDFC and implemented at Mercedes-Benz Operations, offers the optimal attachment point for the work of colleagues thanks to its maximum flexibility.
“The production environment is changing: Production facilities are becoming increasingly intelligent, networked and collect a large amount of data. Providing our employees with targeted training in the diverse topics of digitization and electrification is one of our most important tasks in the transformation. Our pioneers in Berlin are a very good example of the willingness to change and to pursue lifelong learning. The colleagues are now taking the next step into their digital future by completing their qualification” stressed Sabine Kohleisen, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Human Resources and Labour Director.
Transformation Through Qualification: Digital Pioneers and D.SHIFT
Electrification and digitalization in the automotive industry are bringing changes to production and to all job profiles. With Turn2Learn, the company has launched a comprehensive qualification offensive to make employees fit for this transformation. For production employees, for example, the company offers specially tailored digital retraining with individual support and defined target positions. Following an initial successful pilot project in which employees – the so-called ‘Digital Pioneers’ – from the Berlin plant, continue on their individual journey towards the career goal of ‘Junior Software Developer’. Retraining continues in the Mercedes-Benz Powertrain plant in Untertürkheim, where ‘Digital Superheroes’ from production and production-related areas, started their in-service qualification as Data Specialist in June.
A special retraining program for Mercedes-Benz Operations is offered under the name D.SHIFT. D.SHIFT is part of the Mercedes-Benz qualification offensive Turn2Learn with a focus on production and puts the focus on the further training of digital competencies of employees. D.SHIFT describes the path of each individual in the transformation to the digital future.
DFC Relies on Cooperation With Strong Partners
With its broad offering geared towards IT-based production, the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus also relies on cooperation with partners from business and science; for example, with universities, research institutions and innovative industrial companies.
Mercedes-Benz and Siemens, with the support of the State of Berlin, have already been working together on the sustainable digitalization and automation of the automotive industry since 2021. As a leading provider in the field of automation, industrial software and intelligent infrastructure, Siemens is contributing its expertise and technologies to the partnership for this purpose, in order to develop highly flexible, efficient and sustainable automotive production together with Mercedes-Benz. Optimized algorithms in the applied robotics of the production lines make it possible to operate more energy-efficiently and reduce production times.
“Here in Berlin-Marienfelde, we are taking a glimpse into the future: into the future of industry, into the future of CO₂-neutral production, into the future of work. But we know: Today’s future is tomorrow’s past. The digital transformation remains an ongoing task. We want to continue to support Mercedes-Benz in this transformation with our strong partnership” commented Cedrik Neike, Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG and CEO Digital Industries.