Production and Logistics

In production and logistics, the main areas of focus in 2018 were quality, output and efficiency.

The Cologne and Herschbach plants, Germany

Last year, we initiated various steps aimed at improving quality at our largest site, Cologne-Porz. For example, we made further improvements to delivery quality by engaging in PDCA management 1) and by tightening feedback loops. We also ran Six Sigma projects and Kaizen weeks in order to optimise processes on an ongoing basis. To implement the assembly strategy for engines with capacities of up to 4 litres, a project team for a new line was set up that has already commissioned all major new capital spending. The new assembly strategy included the integration of the gas engine variants, which were successfully built in preproduction, and the introduction of cold testing as a replacement for some of the hot testing. We have also adopted agile methods for making ongoing improvements to the way we work together within assembly. A high degree of flexibility and numerous extra shifts were required in production to compensate for disruptions at suppliers, particularly in the case of Neue Halberg-Guss. The high output targets were achieved by the end of the year as a result of this.

In the mechanical centres of excellence in Cologne and Herschbach, new plant was brought on stream primarily to create sufficient capacity for engine series with capacities of less than 4 litres. We also invested in new technologies. For example, we installed a 3D plastics printer for jigs that will enable us to quickly print covers for our engines’ paintwork.

The Ulm plant

The Xchange processes that were relocated to Ulm in 2017 were consolidated and fine-tuned last year. In January 2018, the decision was made to relocate the 2011 engine series from Cologne to Ulm. We took a number of preparatory measures at the Ulm site in connection with this. Customer-specific applications were implemented as part of the alliance with Liebherr.

The Zafra plant, Spain

At our plant in Zafra, we worked at full capacity for most of the year to ensure that components were delivered on time to the assembly lines in our plants in Ulm and Cologne-Porz. In the second half of the year, the plant in Zafra worked with agile project management methods (scrum and kanban) to bring new production lines for the DEUTZ Group on stream in record time and to incorporate new Industry 4.0 concepts into our approach to the management and quality assurance of processes.

The Pendergrass plant, USA

Last year, to support the planned growth strategy for Xchange and value-added production in the USA, we initiated a project aimed at expanding and optimising the existing sites. This is further increasing capacities in the Xchange business and in spare parts fulfilment. We are also making space so that we can commence production of Xchange engines in the 2.9 and 3.6 model series and are installing the assembly infrastructure for powerpacks with capacities of up to 18 litres.

1) Plan Do Check Act.