Mercedes-Benz has a long history in bus chassis production in Brazil. The production facility in São Bernardo do Campo, is the largest Mercedes-Benz Trucks assembly plant outside of Germany. In 2020 it was converted by Dürr to become one of the most modern assembly lines in the country. The plant now benefits from a fully automated assembly line with automated guided vehicles (AGVs) that are used as conveyor system through the entire assembly line from the start of production process to the entire assembled chassis including the engine.
With 20 Dürr professionals and approximately 15,000 engineering hours, one of the most advanced assembly lines in terms of technology, connectivity and information processing was created. Before launching the line at the Mercedes-Benz site, all results were simulated in a virtual environment. This led, right from the beginning, to high efficiency and less system failures when realizing the project.
Unique conveyor system
To achieve a maximum of flexibility and efficiency, Dürr installed a unique conveyor system, consisting of 51 pairs of AGVs. The pairing of the AGVs brought flexibility in the assembly line, solving the customer demand to produce all bus chassis models in a single line, from microbus chassis to articulated bus chassis, with wide variation in weight and length. One or two AGV pairs are used and connected by Wifi. They are able to operate in absolute synchronization and can handle the huge bus chassis with up to 20 meters in length.
One of the AGV models allows assemblers to adjust heights in any assembly station through controls installed in each of them independently, allowing ergonomic operations at workstations. Equipped with security scanners and safety bumpers, the AGVs ensure a safe environment and reduce system failures. A transport system with these characteristics in payload capacity, ergonomic features and safety standards is unique and brings great benefits for the customer.
In addition to the AGVs Dürr has installed overhead conveyors (electric overhead monorail, EOM) in the assembly line. Their task is to carry and move axles and engines. For the process of marriage, they work synchronously with the AGVs enabling the production to run smoothly at any time. The entire equipment is digitally networked in an integrated, robust Industry 4.0 solution. All relevant information is captured by a management system that allows control of all project activities and results in man and machine working hand in hand.
Benefits for the customer
The Dürr technicians and engineers planned the turnkey project in close coordination with the customer. “Converting an established assembly line to a completely new environment was a big challenge,” Paulo Sentieiro, Vice President Sales and Marketing at Dürr Brazil said. “We mastered it by developing unique solutions with most modern technology in the market.”
As a result of the plant conversion, Mercedes-Benz benefits from a highly secure and efficient production line with improved logistics and a decrease of production time by 12%.
Dürr Brazil with its headquarters in São Paulo has been a partner for the local industry for 55 years. "We provide our customers with fully integrated systems that span from the initial project planning phase through the entire implementation phase. With highly qualified professionals and specialists, we support our customers throughout the entire process," Paulo Sentieiro says about the focus of the company.
Final assembly at Dürr
For the final assembly business, Dürr has set up the NEXT.assembly strategy globally. The strategy integrates all of Dürr’s technology and consulting spectrum in a one-stop-shop solution aimed at enabling manufacturers to assemble vehicles as efficiently as possible at competitive prices. The building blocks for this are conveyor, bonding, assembly, filling, and inspection technology as well as digital solutions for intelligent control of overall production. Dürr offers the portfolio as a modular system of individual components or as a complete solution.