Cutting-edge assembly system goes into operation at Deutz

Deutz, the German diesel engine maker for the off-highway machine industry, has officially brought a new assembly line on stream at its Cologne site.
Ancillary Equipment / October 9, 2020
By Guy Woodford
Dr Frank Hiller, Deutz CEO, speaking at the official bringing on stream of Deutz’s assembly line 5 at the firm’s site in Cologne, Germany

On assembly line 5, the production processes for Deutz’s successful 2.2, 2.9 and 3.6 engine series now benefit from a new set-up, making them more streamlined and increasing overall capacity. Diesel, gas, and bi-fuel engines will now be assembled in Cologne.

The new production line is located where the 2011 model series used to be made before those operations were moved to Ulm. It has been designed to optimise the flow of materials. Fully automated guided vehicle systems, for example, are used to transport materials directly to the material staging areas at the assembly line completely automatically. The materials for the workstations are then pre-assembled and moved to the appropriate stations.

The new final assembly line also helps to minimise process risks. A high production rate is achieved thanks to a flowing system, enabling work to take place at more than 70 assembly stations where the pre-assembled components and modules are put together. Another priority for the assembly was an end-to-end quality concept, which includes the monitoring of all threaded connection processes, the use of cameras to document critical assembly steps, and support from collaborative robots for individual processes.

The engines are subsequently checked using a cold test that is integrated into the value stream. The introduction of cold testing for engines with a capacity of fewer than 4 litres brings lasting reductions in busy machine time and fuel consumption at the plant.

Virtual simulation of the processes and movements enabled the production processes to be optimised for employees too, taking particular account of ergonomics and health & safety aspects.

“We are delighted to have brought on stream our new ultra-modern assembly line at our Cologne site. The process-driven design of the line will enable us to use our internal resources even more efficiently and therefore to considerably increase our performance,” says Deutz CEO, Dr Frank Hiller.

 

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