MAN to invest over €2.4 billion in its sites by 2020
Europe’s most cutting-edge and eco-friendly cab paint shop begins operations // MAN Development Center starting to take shape // €1.1 billion to be invested in the Munich site between 2015 and 2020
The cab paint shop and the new central building of the MAN Development Center are indicative of the commercial vehicle manufacturer continuing to invest in its main plant in Munich. The Company has vowed to improve efficiency across all divisions while also rejigging its international production network as part of its program for the future. Each site received a clear and independent profile as a result, which went hand in hand with a hefty investment to modernize the site in question and perform capacity adjustments. The Munich-based commercial vehicle manufacturer will have invested around €2.4 billion in modernizing its sites by 2020. The Company is to invest approximately €1.1 billion in Munich alone between 2015 and 2020 with the aim of making its main plant, which produces heavy-duty trucks, fit for the future. Along with building a new CHP plant and other projects like the expansion of the body shop, the Company has now put a new paint shop into operation attended by Munich’s deputy mayor, Josef Schmid.
“The new base coat line has a giant hall, which is symbolic of all the measures we have initiated here in Munich over the last few years. While under construction, the building’s cranes and scaffolding were a reflection of the relentless optimism prevailing at our Company, as well as its forward-looking approach. The construction itself was an amazing feat of logistics. I am now pleased to say that the cab paint shop is working as planned, making a major contribution to protecting the environment here in Munich,” Joachim Drees, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus and MAN SE, pointed out.
“Being able to witness these fundamental changes at our Munich site is a dream come true. Here at MAN, we have spent many years fighting for the chance to be able to work with modern systems. The new paint facility will provide job security to 1,500 people working in Munich – both in cab production and in administrative functions. The new Development Center building has finally created the right conditions for our engineers, constructors, and test engineers to work in. The investment secures the future of our workforce and of the MAN brand. The new building only serves to reinforce this spirit – impressively so,” said Saki Stimoniaris, Chairman of the Works Council.
Josef Schmid, deputy mayor of the city of Munich, was clearly delighted as he pointed out: “Munich is an economic hub that thrives on its one-of-a-kind diversity. MAN is of key significance for the city’s industrial sector. In investing substantially in its Munich site, MAN is making a long-term commitment to the Bavarian capital, showing just how attractive Munich is for large companies.”
Europe’s most cutting-edge cab paint shop begins operations
The hall of the new cab paint shop is spread out over five levels and has a total floor area of 18,000 m2, housed in a building that is 150 meters long and around 30 meters high. The investment volume amounts to approximately €85 million.
The highly efficient painting process in the new hall consists of pretreatment, cathodic dip coating by rotation, seam sealing, and filler application. The rotation process in the dip painting enables a significant reduction in the use of consumables and chemicals by applying the latest systems engineering. In addition, extremely effective cleaning lowers the level of particulates in exhaust air by 90 percent while reducing water consumption by 80 percent. Furthermore, the use of innovative and resource-efficient technologies enables MAN to halve emissions in the processes concerned, to lower paint use by 15 percent, and to cut energy consumption by up to 25 percent. The new systems are equipped with the latest green technology and thus significantly help the Company along on its journey towards becoming a “Green Factory”. The green space on the roof of the building with a total area of around 6000 m2 also does its bit to make this goal reality. 56 load-bearing concrete columns were installed, each weighing 50 tons. It took a total of 280,000 tons of concrete and 6,800 tons of steel to build the new paint shop.
MAN Development Center starting to take shape
Not only is MAN Truck & Bus driving innovation in production, it has also embarked on a major construction project in Munich’s Allach to revolutionize research and development. The new central building of the MAN Development Center is set to open its doors in January 2018 and will cost around €90 million. It is located inside Test Track I and promises to provide the ideal environment for the Company’s increasingly complex development activities.
“Alternative drives like electric mobility have a more and more important role to play in commercial vehicle production. At the same time, demand for our clean combustion engines will continue for some time to come – for instance in long-haul transportation. This means that we have to develop alternative and conventional drive technologies side by side. In order to do this, we need both the necessary financial support and the most motivated and qualified employees. What it ultimately comes down to, however, is plain and simple: space. The new MAN Development Center is setting the benchmark in this area when it comes to technical equipment and a design that is tailored to suit a modern way of working,” said Drees.
Around 360 engineers will be working on trucks and buses in the new MAN Development Center in the future, with room for another 100 employees in the workshop. The building has a total area of 33,000 m2 and will, for example, be home to prototypes that are created using state-of-the-art rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing. Drive train test benches will be used to put test drives through their paces, employees in the Environment Simulation department will try to understand the impact wind and weather have on a wide range of bus and truck components, while another department will investigate the interaction between various different control units.
The next construction stage is already in the pipeline and will kick off as soon as the first parts of the building are complete. Its main element will be a special roller test bench that will allow MAN engineers to examine the noise properties of drive systems and of entire vehicles.
The new building’s architecture is one of a kind. In order to keep walking to a minimum and to make optimum use of floor space, which production plants never have to spare, the Company decided to look for a solution up in the clouds, hence a building whose all five levels are perfectly connected. This was made possible thanks to an intelligent floor marking system and an elevator for buses and trucks, the first of its kind in the world. The elevator is 14 meters long and has a load capacity of 15 tons.
The charging points and quick charging stations located across the building ensure flexibility and make it possible to charge electric trucks and buses in no time at all. The new central building of the MAN Development Center will consolidate departments that are currently still scattered across the plant grounds in Allach, as well as locations outside. In doing so, it will guarantee a quick and efficient dialog and ensure optimum synergy between the different research and development projects. The open-plan offices are equipped with various meeting areas and have been designed to suit new agile project management methodology like SCRUM from the outset.