The new C-Class estate is being presented to the public for the first time today at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen.
Through this presentation the company is affirming its commitment to its automotive manufacturing operations in Germany. In addition to the C-Class sedan, the new generation of the estate will also roll off the assembly line at the production plant in Bremen. This German plant plays a key role as a center of competence for the global production of the highest volume Mercedes-Benz model series. The investment in the production of the new C-Class in 2014 and 2015 will amount to €2 billion. Daimler is investing more than €1 billion in the production plant in Bremen alone this year.
Andreas Kellermann, Head of the Mercedes-Benz production plant in Bremen, says, “After the successful production launch of the new C-Class sedan at the beginning of February, today we are celebrating the world premiere of the estate at the Bremen plant. We are proud to be the exclusive producers of the C-Class estate here at our plant. By comparison to the predecessor model, we’ve made a huge leap in terms of design, quality, and innovative technologies.”
Cutting-edge production processes for aluminum-hybrid construction
For the new edition of its best-selling model series, Mercedes-Benz constructed a series of completely new production halls during ongoing three-shift operation at the plant. One of the halls is for body-in-white construction. Numerous newly developed production technologies demonstrate the Mercedes-Benz brand’s claim to leadership and set new standards in the automotive sector.
Aluminum components make up about 50 percent of the body of the new C-Class estate. That’s a considerable increase compared to the predecessor model. The use of the innovative aluminum-hybrid construction method poses new challenges to joining technology, because steel and aluminum can not be welded together. This is why Mercedes-Benz is the world’s first automaker to use the ImpAcT joining process. In this process, the components are quickly and effectively joined by means of injected elements. The process makes it possible to manufacture stable and lightweight profiles in body construction. The body components themselves are molded in one of the world’s most modern servo presses.
Other innovative processes include the use of self-pierce riveting. In this process, steel and aluminum sheets are joined in such a way that the rivet flares out in the bottom sheet. Another process involves self-tapping screws, in which the screws bore their own holes and cut their own threads. And finally, in the clinching process metal sheets and profiles made of steel, aluminum or stainless steel are joined without any supplementary work materials. No rivets, screws or welds are necessary.
Even, narrow gaps and smooth transitions in body components, especially on doors and hatches, are an important quality criterion for vehicles. In order to ensure optimal production quality, Mercedes-Benz installed an ultra-precise gap measuring device in the assembly line. A further innovation at the Bremen plant is the ultramodern device for gluing the roof onto the body. For the first time ever, this process is taking place not in the body-in-white area but on the assembly line.
Ergonomically designed workstations
The assembly process itself has been designed in line with the latest findings of ergonomic research. Every individual step in the work process was closely examined before the production process started, with the goal of designing the optimal production conditions. For example, the seats of the assembly line workers are cushioned against vibrations. Special handling devices and lifting assistants make it easier to install heavy components and modules.
The production of the C-Class estate also sets benchmarks for energy efficiency. Mercedes-Benz has been able to reduce the energy consumption per vehicle by more than 30 percent compared to the predecessor model. The optimized paint technology plays a major role in this achievement.
Source: Daimler AG