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Products and solutions, 2005-09-12, 10:02 AM

ThyssenKrupp Automotive - Specialists in worldwide just-in sequence manufacture

ThyssenKrupp Automotive possesses extensive chassis expertise. New materials and efficient processes form the basis for a very wide range of components for every class of vehicle. The company's capabilities include modern services such as engineering, system integration and module assembly.

Just-in-sequence pre-assembly including delivery to the final assembly line place very high demands on suppliers to car manufacturing plants. With the aim of maximizing flexibility and efficiency, many vehicle modules today are supplied ready-assembled to the OEM?s production line. Around two million vehicle axles a year are produced in 17 ThyssenKrupp Automotive plants worldwide. Depending on customer requirements, the challenges range from involvement in the development process, assembly, logistics and quality management through to change management. The latest start-ups illustrate the diverse demanding challenges involved:

Leipzig has developed into a major center of auto production. ThyssenKrupp Automotive built its second axle assembly plant here in 2005. As with the first plant, ThyssenKrupp Automotive is responsible for planning and realization, and as well as assembly also handles supply chain logistics and quality management. A suitable assembly concept based on planned volumes and model variety was developed. Main assembly lines and various pre-assembly lines are in place for the different front and rear axles, coordinated and monitored by an intelligent control system.

Due to high safety and quality requirements, selected operations are automated, with process data such as torques and press-in forces being documented and archived for each vehicle. Key facilities such as axle pre-setting equipment were developed jointly with the car plant. In the
same way logistics - to the OEM and to the supplier network - and supplier development were closely coordinated. This example illustrates the way ThyssenKrupp Automotive works with customers to develop tailored solutions.

In Puebla/Mexico, ThyssenKrupp Automotive set up a new car axle assembly plant that began operation just six months after the start of planning work. The facilities are so flexible that the replacement model required no new investment and parallel production is guaranteed for some time to come. Here, too, the model variety is so great that just-in-sequence (JIS) assembly with a lead time of less than three hours has to be guaranteed.

In this project ThyssenKrupp Automotive was able to build on its excellent supplier relationships. The project was successfully implemented thanks to the company?s strong international presence and the use of Group synergies. The efficiency of the development and implementation phases and networking with parts suppliers were made possible by a new project engineering center built recently in Bochum. Together with the chassis components offered by ThyssenKrupp Automotive, such as structural components, springs, stabilizers, shock absorbers and steering systems, this provides ideal conditions for offering competitive solutions from a single source.

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