Goodbye Rhineland-Palatinate, hello South Africa: The 750,000th truck kit from the CKD Center (= Completely Knocked Down) at the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant was packed today in a 40-foot sea container for its journey overseas. Shortly it will be shipped to Rotterdam before it embarks to Port Elizabeth/ South Africa, its destination country. After being transported to East London, it will be assembled at the local Mercedes-Benz plant into the complete truck: a white Actros 2652 LS 6×4, which is expected to be delivered to its owner in mid-July.

Since more than 50 years, the CKD Center in Wörth stands for the successful implementation of its original concept of “shipping quality”. Since 1966, the center sends high-quality individual truck components produced at the site to the international assembly plants. The kits are assembled reliably and flexibly at the foreign locations in accordance with Mercedes-Benz’ high quality standards. The Mercedes-Benz truck kits, which have been delivered since the founding of the CKD Center to a total of 60 countries around the world can consist of up to 2,500 individual components.

In order to keep operations, processes and handling as efficient as possible, sets of four identical trucks are usually packed together, which in most cases also fit into four overseas containers. Such a four-packed set consists of a total of 48 packages and weighs between 50 and 70 tons, depending on the design. The re-usable packaging is individually produced in the CKD Center from cardboard and wood to guarantee resource savings.

The experienced production team from Wörth plays an important part in safeguarding these strict quality requirements all over the world. The specialists in Wörth regularly support colleagues at foreign plants with production start-ups, for example, as part of special training programs. Thus, as the CKD Center of competence Wörth plays a key role in the international Mercedes-Benz Trucks Production Network.

Assembly Kits from Wörth Tap into International Growth Markets
Since 1966, the CKD Center of competence significantly helps to tap important growth markets for Mercedes-Benz trucks from Wörth. Thanks to its high degree of flexibility, the CKD Center is always able to meet customers’ requirements at short notice in other markets around the world. By now, the CKD Center uses this model in an exceedingly flexible and reliable manner to supply parts kits for Mercedes-Benz trucks to numerous markets like South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia, in accordance with customers’ specific requirements. Also, the planned return to the Iranian market will henceforth be covered with parts kits from the Mercedes-Benz Wörth plant. The local assembly in the markets allows meeting the demands of truck customers, which vary significantly by region, rapidly. Customers also benefit economically from local production due to the significantly lower import duties at many places.

More than half a Century of CKD Know-how from Wörth
CKD production at the Wörth plant started in 1966 with around 500 kits. The first truck kits were sent to Iran. In 1969, the CKD Center produced more than 11,000 CKD kits for the first time. Since 1978 parts kits are assembled at the CKD packaging hall with container loading. Today, the CKD Center in Wörth employs about 500 people. The current portfolio of the CKD Center in Wörth includes the Mercedes-Benz Actros and Arocs in the fields of road and construction site transport. The special Unimog and Zetros vehicles are also shipped as kits. In the course of digitalization, the IT infastructure in the CKD Center is currently being converted to latest technologies so it can be controlled, picked, packed and scanned paperless and using handhelds in the future.

Source: Daimler AG