Inside its oldest industrial site, Mercedes has created a modern plant from an industrial and technological point of view.
The oldest and largest Mercedes factory in the world dates back to 1915 and is located in Sindelfingen, half an hour from Stuttgart in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. This industrial plant occupies an impressive 3 million square meters, has 35,000 employees, has all kinds of services (restaurants, theaters, public transport, kindergartens, etc.), and produces something like 240,000 cars per year. In it stands one of the most modern and advanced factories in the world: Factory 56. Built in 2020, with an investment of more than 700 million euros, it represents excellence from an industrial and technological point of view, thanks to high-quality collaboration. digital with a strong focus on sustainability. The most surprising aspect is its flexibility: car factories usually have production lines that do not allow to create different models (except for cars that share the same platform), and changes in production require weeks of minimum time. Factory Lines 56 allows any Mercedes, Maybach and AMG model to be connected without interruption, with any type of engine, transmission or equipment, intended for any country in the world (with right-hand drive and different regulations to be respected) and even to change cars with engines of combustion and electricity as if nothing had happened. The only exception is represented by armored vehicles (about 200 per year), which are assembled by hand in another area of the industrial complex. The degree of automation is impressive: for example, less than 50 seconds are enough to build the bodywork, engine unit and transmission. Robots are used more to support the workers than to replace them: more than 400 freely movable devices greatly contribute to the movement of the assembled pieces, while large-scale automated systems make the work of the workers easier, for example by rotating the whole part. frame so that the operator can work on the underside of the vehicle in an ergonomic way, or intervene in situations where high precision is required such as optical reading of tolerances. The entire factory uses high-performance WLAN and 5G networks, is energy independent and already operates neutrally in terms of CO2 emissions. 30% of the demand is covered by 12,000 photovoltaic modules on the roof that produce 5,000 MWp and are connected to the direct current grid, connected to a stationary energy bank based on electric car batteries: with a capacity of 1,400 kWh, it acts as reserve. for additional solar energy from a photovoltaic system. All operations are managed by the Mo360 digital platform, developed together with Microsoft, designed to make vehicle production more efficient, consistent and sustainable. Mercedes intends, in the coming years, to replicate the Factory 56 in all its production facilities around the world.