Automotive Lean Production Award goes to Mercedes-Benz Plant in Untertürkheim


* Awards presented at third Lean Production trade conference for automotive industry

* Plant wins award for second time

Stuttgart, Germany, Nov 28, 2008 – At the third Automotive Lean Production trade conference, which was held at the Mövenpick Hotel in Stuttgart on November 25 and 26, the managers of the award-winning companies presented their experiences and successes with lean production processes. The Lean Production Awards were also presented at the event. The award in the category Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) went to the automatic transmission production line in the Hedelfingen sub-plant of the Mercedes-Benz production facility in Untertürkheim.

Volker Stauch, head of Powertrain production and director of the Untertürkheim plant, accepted the award jointly with Andreas Engling, head of chassis production. "The outstanding performance of our colleagues in engine production is being recognized through awards like these," said Stauch. "I’m happy for our team. Not only does this award honor their work; it also gives them additional motivation.”

Said Andreas Engling, head of transmission production at the Untertürkheim plant, "Thanks to individual solutions and fast networking, at transmission production we have been able to increase our efficiency by 30% within three years, while continuously improving quality. Now we're going to consolidate these increases in efficiency and improve them by means of rigorous shop floor management."

More than 2,500 men and women work on transmission production at the Hedelfingen sub-plant. The plant's two-millionth seven-speed automatic transmission rolled off the assembly line here last August. This transmission generation, which was launched in 2004 under the sales designation "7-G-TRONIC," is characterized by low fuel consumption and enhanced dynamics. The transmission is offered in six-cylinder and eight-cylinder engines for rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

The Automotive Lean Production Award is presented to corporate units that are among the best when it comes to efficiency. The award can be won in five different categories: OEM, International Group, International Medium-sized Company, National Medium-sized Company, and Lean Start-up. This year's award winners, besides Daimler AG, included the automotive supplier Johnson Controls in the category "International Group" and the supplier Kautex Textron in the category "International Medium-sized Company." Last year, the award in the category "OEM" went to the Engines production center of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Untertürkheim.

For the third time in a row, Agamus Consult is cooperating with the trade journal Automobil Produktion to conduct the study "Automotive Lean Production," which this year is focusing on the topic "Leadership and Influence of the Managers." More than 100 companies in Europe participated in this international benchmark study. The questionnaire campaign carried out in the spring of 2008 was followed by on-site validation by Agamus Consult of the companies that had posted the strongest performance up to that time.

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