Dredging for the Future – Modernization in Sindelfingen
In 2014, the company and the Works Council concluded a works agreement for the modernization of the plant and the long-term safeguarding of jobs. Accordingly, the Daimler AG will invest about € 1.5 billion in the Mercedes-Benz Sindelfingen Plant until 2020. In the meantime, the construction work is already in full swing.
The main projects include the erection of a body shell facility, a new trailblazing painting process, and the construction of a new assembly hall. In addition, the group is investing in a modern office complex, the so-called Engineering Hub Operations, as well as about € 600 million in the Mercedes Technology Center for Research & Development at the site. Daimler is placing production on a competitive basis, with which will continue to secure employment at the location.
Move of the news technology center underground
The expansion of the body shell facility requires to move some buildings, that currently and amongst others, house the computer center and the news technology center. The “communicative center of the site” will therefore obtain a new building. Most of the facility is located underground. The previous nodes must be interlinked again. With around 32,000 cable pairs and 3,200 light wave fibers running across the plant, this constitutes a complicated process requiring several small construction measures. A new computer center is under construction for the future-proof and disturbance-free IT infrastructure. This new building will offer big opportunities: The state-of-the-art technical equipment will lower energy consumption, running operating costs, and improve the CO2 balance.
Modern workplaces for 1,600 employees
The “Engineering Hub Operations” is being erected in the northwestern part of the plant. This is a modern building in which the main units of Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations will work together in innovative office and workshop concepts. Around 1,600 employees from Quality Management, Supply Chain Management, Production Planning, and Technology Factory units will move into modern office environments in the new building in 2018. Initially, the old buildings in the area will be torn down. This means: Before the new construction can begin, 23,000 tons of rubble will have to be transported away by several dozen trucks in the months ahead.
Contract awards in packages
Together with Factory Planning, Building Procurement is drawing up suitable concepts for the implementation of the measures and choosing the suppliers. The supplier selection is based on a comprehensive analysis: In what areas is it reasonable to source as a package? Where are individual contract awards necessary? For large projects like those at the Sindelfingen Plant the goal is to source with general contractors, who can cover most of the construction work. This enables operating everything from a single source; in addition, interfaces and coordination efforts are minimized.
„Business as usual“
More than 25,000 employees work in the Sindelfingen Plant. They are not to be disturbed in their activities during the construction phase, despite the fact that up to 800 construction trucks must drive through the plant during busy times, that roads are blocked, and that detours have to be set up. Production logistics have to remain fully functional. That is why Factory Planning is scheduling the upcoming changes exact to the minute in the weekly meetings together with Work Safety, Logistics, and Production. They ensure the smooth integration of the infrastructural measures into the daily processes in the plant. Furthermore, Procurement and Factory Planning make sure, that the suppliers use noise-buffered construction equipment and that the dust particles remain far below the legally specified limits.