Mercedes-Benz Cars has revealed its factory of the future – referred to as ‘Factory 56’ – which will be the world’s most modern car production when it begins operations in 2020.
Factory 56 will begin with the production of upper and luxury-class models, electric vehicles and robo-taxis at the Sindelfingen plant. These include the new generation of the S-Class as well as the first electric vehicle brand EQ.
Construction of the factory is underway and, on the site, 700,000 cubic metres of earth has already been moved. The land area is area is 220,000 square metres, which corresponds to about 30 football fields.
The cornerstone for the new assembly hall was laid recently, an essential element for a good future of Baden-Württemberg as an automotive location. “The ‘Factory 56’ will bring together two global megatrends that are of crucial importance for our country in particular: the digitalization of production and vehicle models of the future,” said Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economics, Work and Housing Construction of Baden-Württemberg. “The area will only be able to defend its reputation as a premium location for industry in the long term and secure the country’s prosperity if the manufacturers provide the right answers in both fields, production and mobility of the future. The task of the state would be to support this path by supporting innovation.”
The production concept of Factory 56 sets new standards. This includes man-machine-cooperation and digitally-supported processes including work organization as well as logistics and quality assurance. The plant is not only digitised consistently according to Industry 4.0, it is also connected to other productions in the global production network.
The 360-degree linkage along the whole value chain is an essential feature – from the suppliers, through to the development department, design and our production and to our customers. In the future, for example, the finished vehicles will come off the line automated to the loading station. Under ‘Digital Anticipation’ in the Mercedes me App and online, customers purchasing new vehicles can already today gain exclusive insights into the production of their vehicles and thus have a much more enjoyable wait for delivery.
The human is at the centre of all activities in the factory. The employees work at ergonomically optimised workstations and are optimally supported in their tasks by digital tools. The focus is on the use of intelligent, flexible technology. A new work organisation provides for flexible and modern working time models. The break areas are designed according to the latest standards – for example with a pantry, couch and info screen.
Modular building structures are characteristic for Factory 56, with a design that is both energy-efficient and green, so environmentally-friendly. The assembly uses renewable energies and reduces CO2 production, water consumption and waste significantly.
On the roof is a photovoltaic system which feeds ‘green’ electricity into the production areas. This will lead to an annual reduction of 5,000 MWh of electricity. CO² emissions at Factory 56 will be reduced by 75% compared to today’s S-Class production in Sindelfingen.
“Our Factory 56 will define a new way of building cars. With this new factory, 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,” said Markus Schafer, Member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.