Most of the people who own and drive a Mercedes-Benz vehicle are not aware of what is takes to assemble and produce these high-end cars. The process of building such cars is complex and detailed.
The assembly line production not only involves highly skilled labor but is also highly mechanized. All the vehicles that come out of the production line have the same specifications and are of the highest quality.
Mercedes-Benz has earned a reputation for luxury, safety and the latest technological features. This means that a lot of work goes into producing the different Mercedes-Benz models that blaze the trail and meet the expectations of customers.
Raw Materials and Design
The first step to assembling an automobile is to get the necessary raw materials. The raw materials to be used will depend on the needs that the Mercedes-Benz model is intended to meet. The atmosphere of the interior will also influence the choice of materials to be used.
The design is another important process in the making of a Mercedes-Benz. It takes an average of three to five years from inception to completion of assembly. Since it requires that the Mercedes-Benz designers anticipate a car that buyers will want to drive in the next five years, this is no small feat.
The manufacturing process
The manufacturing process is one of the last steps in the production of a new model Mercedes-Benz. However, the process involves a lot of work, coordination and complex steps. This is the most mechanized part of the manufacturing process.
The different components are supplied to the assembly plant by the various contracted suppliers to Mercedes-Benz. During this process, it is estimated that over 4000 suppliers deliver their components to the automaker and production facility. The components are brought together, with those that will form the chassis in one place and those to be used on the body in another place.
All Mercedes-Benz vehicle models are assembled from the ground up. The chassis forms the frame on which the body and all the other parts of the car will rest. Once the frame has been constructed, it is placed on the assembly line after which it is firmly clamped to the conveyor system.
The conveyor system moves the chassis through the different stages of component assembly. These stages will see the installation of rear and front suspensions, rear axles, gas tanks, drive shafts, components of the steering wheel, gear boxes, braking systems and wheel drums.
After the lighter components have been fixed, the automobile will move to the next stage. Here, workers will use robotic arms to install heavy components such as the engine and the transmission system. Once the engine and transmission are in place, the radiator is installed and bolted into place.
The floor pan, the largest body component on which numerous components will be bolted or welded is placed next on the assembly line. The floor pan is held in place by clamping fixtures and is moved along the assembly line, allowing the outer body of the automobile to be built. Both the right and left panels are placed on the floor pan and are firmly welded together.
At this stage, robotic arms are used to assemble other components such as door pillars, the side panels, and the roof. The robotic arms can fit the heavy parts with precision and can withstand the gasses, smoke and weld flashes resulting from the intensive process. The shell is then moved further down the line where fully assembled doors, bumpers, deck lids and hood panels are installed.
Before the shell can be painted, it has to be taken through a rigorous inspection process. The inspection process allows the workers to correct any defects in the body of the automobile. Once the defects have been repaired, the shell is cleaned, taken through a drying booth after which the first coat of paint is applied using robots. The robots are programmed to apply the same amount of paint over a specific period. The painted body is then taken through baking ovens so that the paint can be treated.
Once the body has been painted, the interior assembly begins. Carpeting, radios, speakers, seats, interior lights, wiring systems, brake and gas pedals, headliners, vinyl tops, the steering column and wheels as well as other interior features are assembled. The robotic arms then lift the windshield and seats from their containers and fit them into the body. The body then goes through a water test to ascertain proper fit before it is ready to mate with the chassis.
The conveyors with the body shell and that with the chassis meet at this point. The robotic arms lift the chassis and place it on the frame of the car. The workers at the assembly plant will then bolt the car firmly to the frame. The assembly process will then proceed for trim components, gasoline, anti-freeze, tires and battery to be put in place.
The fully assembled Mercedes-Benz is then driven out of the plant, where defects are checked and repaired before the car is released into the market for sale.