Mercedes-Benz is nearing the final steps in one of its ambitious constructions: a high-tech factory made for engine production.
The new warehouse and production space being built in the Polish city of Jawor is set to employ more than 1,000 people, which is double the initial estimate announced last year.
What sets this factory apart from others is the fact that it’s a CO2-neutral space, equipped with advanced technologies to better facilitate day-to-day operations. Specifically, the factory will use renewable energy sources, as well a factory-owned power plant, which will generate electricity for heat.
The building will use 600 sensors to record energy consumption, controlled by touchscreen in real time, to reduce the factory’s energy requirements. Industry 4.0 applications (such as: real-time management information system and digital shop floor management) will play an important role in this factory’s engine production. The factory will also use driverless transport systems for materials and Radio Frequency Identification will eliminate the need for physical inventory.
‘As a so-called ‘greenfield’ project, the new engine plant in Jawor offers an excellent opportunity to establish an integrated production concept on a newly built site. Jawor will be our benchmark regarding green high-tech production. It is of course a challenge to transfer the same measures into existing, historically grown factories in our powertrain production network, but it is our aim to implement as many as possible, using Jawor to test feasibility’, according to the Head of Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars, Frank Deiß.
Once completed, the factory will be set to produce high-tech four-cylinder engines, which are in high demand, hence the need for extra workforce.
‘In our CO2-neutral plant in Jawor, we will build highly efficient engines for our hybrid vehicles and conventionally powered passenger cars’, according to a member of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, Markus Schäfer.
Efficient engine production
The factory in Jawor will produce four cylinder diesel and petrol engines for hybrid, as well as for conventional vehicles, able to supply Mercedes-Benz Cars production and assembly plants around the globe. The workers will produce Mercedes engines alongside corresponding crankcases on highly flexible lines, which allow for fast changes when needed.
The solutions developed for Mercedes consist of different drive technologies with an intelligent modular system, which rely on high-tech combustion engines with 48-volt on-board electrical systems.
By focusing on high-tech units, using advanced technologies, Markus Schäfer believes ‘the construction of this plant is an investment in the future and an important milestone on our way to the mobility of the future. This is a strong sign of our commitment to the location and to German-Polish friendship’.
If everything goes according to plan, the plant should be able to begin production by the end of 2019.