Mercedes-Benz Vans is pumping resources into developing ‘intelligent production’ in the run-up to the launch of its new Sprinter at the end of this year.
In one pilot trialling new technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID) was used to track and identify door mirrors and seats automatically and contactlessly via radio waves.
By using RFID Mercedes said that production workers would know exactly where components are at all times, allowing them to respond flexibly to changes in the sequence. In the past, employees had to manually and repeatedly scan barcodes on the parts. RFID eliminates seven documentation-related work steps per vehicle for these two components alone, Mercedes claimed.
The brand is to invest £178m in a drive to fully digitalise its global production operations by 2025. Mercedes said employees would benefit by being relieved of routine tasks in order to give them more time for higher-end assignments.