Germany – The funds, equivalent to $2.8 billion, will go towards modernising the company’s sites and improving efficiency across all divisions, and will include a €1.1 billion upgrade at its main plant in Munich between 2015 and 2020. In Munich, MAN is opening a new paintshop, expanded bodyshop, a combined heat and power plant, plus an R&D centre.
The new cab paintshop, costing €85m, consists of five levels covering a total area of 18,000 sq.m. According to MAN, the paint process is “highly efficient” and includes cathodic dip coating by rotation, which enables a reduction in consumables and chemicals. Overall, the company says its new facility cuts the level of particulates in exhaust air by 90%, water consumption by 80%, emissions by 50%, energy consumption by 25% and paint use by 15%. There is also 6,000 sq.m of green space on the roof, further contributing to MAN’s Green Factory policy.
Costing €90m and covering 33,000 sq.m, the MAN Development Center is located inside Test Track 1 and, once it opens in January next year, will accommodate 360 engineers, with space for another 100 employees in the workshop. The facility will feature 3D printing for rapid prototyping, environmental simulation, drivetrain test benches and a department to investigate control unit interactions. MAN says that the building is nearly complete and the next stage of construction will soon begin, involving the installation of a special roller test bench to check the noise characteristics of both drivetrains and entire vehicles. There will also be charging points and stations throughout the facility to cater to electric trucks and buses.
“Alternative drives like electric mobility have a more and more important role to play in commercial vehicle production,” commented Joachim Drees, member of the executive board of MAN Truck & Bus and MAN SE. “At the same time, demand for our clean combustion engines will continue for some time to come, for instance in long-haul transportation. This means that we have to develop alternative and conventional drive technologies side by side.”
He added: “The new MAN Development Center is setting the benchmark in this area when it comes to technical equipment and a design that is tailored to suit a modern way of working.”