Mercedes-Benz is investing a double-digit million amount to transform its Berlin Marienfelde plant into a campus for developing, testing and implementing pioneering software applications for its global production network. In the future, e-mobility components will also be assembled in Berlin.
Together, the works council and Berlin’s Mercedes-Benz management team have reached an agreement to ensure a sustainable future for the Berlin plant, which is the oldest site in the Mercedes-Benz global powertrain production network. The agreement will convert Berlin’s traditional role as a conventional powertrain production plant into a new competence centre for future production processes. Berlin’s activities will thus change from producing conventional powertrain components into developing, testing and validating future software applications and concepts for the digital Mercedes-Benz ecosystem MO360 in a real production environment. Investments are planned to build a digital ramp-up factory with a number of state-of-the-art pilot lines and test cells.
With the planned setup, the company will cover topics such as predictive maintenance for production by using artificial intelligence. Berlin will also become the MO360 training and qualification hub for all Mercedes-Benz plants worldwide, strengthening the digital skills and mind-set at Mercedes-Benz Cars Operations. Comprehensive know-how is already anchored at the site as it has used Industry 4.0 applications for years in order to follow the concept of a so-called “smart factory”.
The Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus will play a key role in ensuring the quick and seamless roll-out of software application products to the Mercedes-Benz global production network. The campus will develop and implement new qualification concepts, using latest digital training tools including virtual and augmented reality. The digitalization of production has been an important success factor for Mercedes-Benz for 30 years. The new digital MO360 ecosystem was launched last year. Large parts of the modular and expandable digital ecosystem are already in use in about 30 plants around the world.
Mercedes-Benz is also preparing its Mercedes-Benz Drive Systems division for an “Electric First” future as part of Ambition 2039, the company’s path towards carbon neutrality. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Berlin will focus on e-mobility components while gradually phasing out conventional engine and component production. From 2021 onwards, Berlin will supplement its production portfolio with the final assembly of electric components for future compact all-electric Mercedes-EQ models and the assembly of the so-called EE-compartment for the intelligent integration of power electronics for EQS battery systems.