CAR FACTORY: Mercedes-Benz Industrie 4.0

24 Nov 2015 10:39 71
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The automobile industry is facing fundamental changes. Alongside the electrification of the powertrain and autonomous driving, it is above all digitalisation that is driving this process of change. This combination of the physical and digital is often referred to as "Industrie 4.0". Networking the entire value chain in real time is already more than just a vision for Mercedes-Benz.

The potential of the digital revolution is huge: If man, machine and industrial processes are intelligently networked, individual products of high quality can be created more rapidly, and production and manufacturing costs can be made competitive. Flexibility is another reason why Mercedes-Benz is actively helping to shape the digital revolution: The worldwide demand for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and mobility concepts is increasing. At the same time, the requirements of customers around the globe are becoming increasing diverse. While Mercedes-Benz was able to cover most customer requirements with just three basic passenger car models in the 1970s, there are now ten times as many. At the Sindelfingen plant, for example, it is extremely rare for two identical examples of the S-Class to leave the production lines. There is also an increasingly wide range of drive variants – alongside petrol and diesel engines, hybrid and fully electric drive systems are increasingly popular.

And the innovation cycles are increasingly shorter. All this culminates in the vision of Mercedes-Benz that automobile production will change from large-scale to "one-off" production, where every car is built to individual customer requirements.

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