Today we visited the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen. Our tour guide Max, a man with spectacular hair, gave us a great tour through a couple of the assembly plants. We were not allowed to take pictures for safety and privacy reasons.
We started out with a short video on Mercedes-Benz as a whole and overview of the layout of the Bremen plant. We then drove to building 7, where the body of the cars come together. This facility is 95% automated. The cars travel on an assembly line from station to station where robotic arms install, glue, and weld the pieces together. Each station only takes about 64 seconds which keeps the line moving constantly all day long. It was incredible to see the maze of assembly lines, elevators, lines supplying parts, along with workers all working in unison to assemble these cars. It was also amazing that each car is different and the robots and workers have to know which car they are working on and which part go to that car.
We then drove to another building where the cars came after getting paint. Here, 98% of the work is done by hand. In this plant a lot of the final assemble takes place from windows to electronics to wheels. We walked above on a catwalk in this plant. It was really cool to see where the chassis with the engine and drivetrain and the body that we saw assembled before come together and are joined and “married.” Since all the cars on the line are different models and specifications, the two lines have to be perfectly in sync so the correct body meets the correct chassis. From this point all the final pieces are added like doors and wheels. The cars then get inspected at the end of the line.
It was really cool to see how this massive process is run so smoothly in order to put out 1,800 cars a day. The giant robots working together in the first building and all the different people working together in the second was an interesting contrast. Overall, great visit.