Production line in record time
More than 300 components are combined to create the new smart fortwo. System Engineering got the entire process rolling in record time.
Sparks fly as the orange robots work to weld the sides of the car body to the floor of the vehicle. Slowly but surely, the contours of the new smart fortwo are beginning to take shape. Here in the framer, where most of the work on the car body is completed, the dance of the machines is choreographed to perfection. Project Manager Uwe Kasper and Construction Site Manager Michael Gard nod in approval. The two men work in the thyssenkrupp System Engineering team that built up the complete body production process for the new smart fortwo. The team planned, fabricated, constructed, and commissioned the systems, and programmed the robots.
Once construction began at the facility site, it took only eight months to prepare for the first production test of the entire system. The manufacturing operation is laid out over around 12,000 square meters in three different halls. More than 500 robots help to assemble the car body.
Another unique feature of the project is the fact that the systems are operated by service provider Magna International. This meant that System Engineering was responsible for coordinating the expectations of the German client, Daimler; the French manufacturer responsible for developing the components, Renault; and Canadian-Austrian system operator, Magna. In addition to these major companies, a number of regional enterprises and employees from a total of 17 different countries are involved in the project.
More than 560 clamping tools were used, ten kilometers of piping and over 300 kilometers of electrical cabling were installed, and System Engineering utilized a total of 790 tons of steel. That’s a lot of work for such a small car. But it was all worth the effort. Daimler is expecting a “strong growth in revenue” for 2015, even following 2012 and 2013, both of which years saw record sales figures.