At the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant, the sapphire-blue Actros 1851 LS 4×2 was the first customer vehicle to roll off the production line. Stefan Buchner, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Gerald Jank, Head of Mercedes-Benz Trucks Operations, and Dr Matthias Jurytko, Head of Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant, accompanied the series production start of the Mercedes-Benz flagship truck together with the production team in the Palatinate town of Wörth.
Stefan Buchner: “For the new Mercedes-Benz Actros we have developed solutions with the clear goal of making it the safest, most efficient and most connected truck ever. Thanks to our expertise in the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Trucks, we are now putting it on the road. The Actros is now ready for its customers.”
“We are proud to be the first location to build the new Actros and to manage the worldwide start-up as center of competence. This gives us at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth a special role in the international production network,” explains Dr Matthias Jurytko. “ In more than half a century the Wörth team has built up outstanding know-how: They know exactly how trucks are produced to the highest quality standards. And they have once again demonstrated this impressively with the start of production of our new flagship.”
State-of-the-art technologies and extensive qualifications in Wörth
As early as 2014, the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant started intensive preparations for the new Actros along the product development process using state-of-the-art technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR). The assembly of the vehicle was simulated on the basis of digital models in a special VR room in order to realize the production process in an optimal way. Around 50 projects with suppliers, also initiated by the Wörth Supplier Management experts, were started early on in order to implement smoothly the new systems and technologies contained in the vehicle at the start of production.
Together with all other series of the plant, the new Actros runs flexibly, depending on the customer’s order, over one and the same assembly line. In order to deal with the further increased complexity, a large number of adjustments and innovations were also made in the assembly itself. The new Multimedia Cockpit of the Actros required a significant spatial expansion of the cockpit pre-assembly. Furthermore, comprehensive adjustments were made in the area of testing and commissioning technology and new test benches were implemented, where the employees individually calibrate every single MirrorCam – which replaces the conventional exterior mirrors in the new Actros standardly.
In preparation for the new Actros’ significantly increased functions over those of its predecessor extensive qualification concepts have been developed. Over 1,100 employees from Wörth were intensively trained to be optimally prepared for the start-up of the new truck and to pass on their knowledge later as multipliers. Appropriate training courses have been held in the work preparation workshop, in technical training and further education as well as directly on site at the assembly line.
Ergonomics also played an important role when planning the production processes. Each individual work step was carefully examined in advance – all with the aim of optimally designing the production conditions for the employees. For example, electrical connectors that connect the cab to the chassis have been selected with a plug and pull aid that is particularly easy to assemble for the employees.
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