The Daimler Trucks plant in Saltillo produces a Cascadia, the flagship product of its Freightliner brand, at the assembly line every 4.4 minutes. To achieve this level of efficiency its engineers developed a non-stop process where the production line never stops while workers add components of the Cascadia P4, product responsible for 60% of sales in North America.
"It seems easy, but marrying the chassis with the engine and then coupling the body without stopping the assembly line, it is not. There are plants that need to stop at these points to fit the pieces," said Francisco Emilio Cham, operations manager, in an interview to Forbes Mexico.
To reach this level of efficiency, hands and contributions of 3,500 employees and an investment of US$ 426 million have been necessary, as well as many hours of work in a "no waste" model or lean production.
All this contributed to reduce the final assembly time from 6 to 4.6 minutes between 2014 and 2016. This means that in four years, between 2014 and 2018, it went from producing 160 to 210 units a day, six days a week. Up to July 2018, the Saltillo plant has produced more than 350,000 Cascadia trucks.
In 2017, the Saltillo plant was honored twice. First, it was recognized as the best plant of the company globally in the commercial vehicle segment. And second, because it received the National Quality Award in the Manufacturing category.
You can read the whole piece by Forbes here.