Daimler has implemented a ‘synchronous plant’ system at its Mannheim plant for production of the new Mercedes-Benz OM 47x truck engine family that will require only 50% of the inventory levels maintained for earlier model series. The system has also dramatically reduced production and dispatch times from the facility.
Preliminary production of the redesigned range of heavy-duty engines – known as the Blue Efficiency Power generation – began last week following a multi-million euro investment programme of improvements to the facility.
Output of the engine, which has been specifically developed for use in Europe and is the first of its type to meet the Euro VI emission standard, is targeted to ramp up steeply for the third quarter of this year.
Foundry, machining and assembly work has been integrated into a continuous flow of production with the target of having each new-generation engine ready for dispatch six days from its origin in the foundry.
Dispatch of the engines takes place next to the assembly shop on a newly-lowered truck loading level, which means a significant reduction in the number of fork-lift trucks required according to Daimler. The company reports that dispatch throughput time has been reduced from two days to just four hours. Dockets attached to the completed engines show the precise time of dispatch.
The first engines from the new Mercedes-Benz OM 47x generation were produced on the assembly line in summer 2010. The series production that has just begun is seen as a preliminary to the production increase in Q3 when the Mannheim plant will be able to handle the annual production of more than 100,000 new generation engines.
All new-generation engines are produced at Mannheim, as are the drive units for Fuso trucks in Japan.
According to the company Mannheim is the lead plant worldwide for heavy-duty commercial vehicle engine manufacturing at Daimler Trucks. It is where all logistics and quality processes within the co-ordinated production system are controlled, ensuring availability of the necessary parts throughout the global network.