English

Mercedes-Benz

Wörth, Germany

State-of-the-Art Testing Technology in Practical Applications

[ Published in HOERBIGER@MOTION 01/2010 ]

The increasingly complex electric and electronic equipment of vehicles continually demands new and innovative quality control solutions in the manufacture of trucks and passenger cars. The integration of the necessary technology into the production processes must be seamless. For exactly this purpose, HOERBIGER offers tailor-made cutting-edge technology for testing and diagnostic systems. The Mercedes-Benz Wörth Plant, the largest truck plant in the world, employs state-of-the-art testing systems from HOERBIGER Elektronik GmbH.

The interiors of commercial vehicles have become decisively more complex. Trucks built today are equipped with advanced electronics. In an effort to ensure that the electronics meet the high quality standards customers expect from a brand like Mercedes-Benz, innovative and flexible testing technology is required, which ensures early in the production process that each unit can be delivered to the end customer without defects.

The Mercedes-Benz Wörth Plant is considered the largest truck plant in the world. The site manufactures various truck series of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Quite a few Unimog-based special-purpose vehicles also roll off the line here.

The Wörth Plant employs a staff of more than 10,000 people. They ensure that the Daimler Trucks Business Unit remains a global market leader for medium and heavy-duty trucks.

The production operation of driver's cabs in Wörth began more than 45 years ago with approximately one hundred employees. A lot has changed since then. Hundreds of thousands of vehicles have rolled off the line. And what's more, the interiors of the commercial vehicles have become more complex. This makes innovative testing technology applied at the production stage a key factor.

The Wörth Plant of Mercedes-Benz utilizes the Global Truck Testing Tool, in short G3T. The support software developed by HOERBIGER allows prompt and flexible visualization of the work processes and offers assistance with installing the software on the on-board computer and activating its desired components in the vehicle.

The Plant has nine HOERBIGER parameterization stations alone. In addition, it has several hundred testing stations, with the hardware and software of them also being supplied by HOERBIGER. The majority of diagnostic devices used are HOERBIGER Porty units, which are mobile test computers with convenient touch screens. The latest model is the Porty EVO III. Weighing less than seven pounds, the high-performance computer is comfortable for the employees to wear during work and convenient to connect to the vehicle interfaces. Using a wireless connection – the in-house WLAN – the test results of each truck are transmitted to a data center and stored.

While in the past completed trucks had to be painstakingly disassembled if any malfunctions occurred, today quality control is integrated into the production process. Aligning the production processes saves valuable resources, lowers rework and protects the production operation better from defects.

Part

The passenger car and truck production operations already employ the third generation of the Porty for a wide variety of programming and testing tasks. The first generation was launched in 1995, even then bearing the Porty product name. The latest model, the HOERBIGER Porty EVO III, supports all Windows versions as well as Linux and QNX, has up to one gigabyte of RAM and two processors with 1.0 and 1.4 gigahertz, respectively. When connected to the vehicle to be tested, the battery charges even while in use. As a result, the Porty can be used virtually continuously.

Part of

As part of the HOERBIGER Group, HOERBIGER Elektronik GmbH in Ammerbuch, Germany, specializes in testing and diagnosis technology, control technology and general industrial electronics. The company was founded in 1985 and presently employs a staff of 60 people. The majority of the hardware and software for the system solutions developed by HOERBIGER Elektronik is produced in-house. The best selling products are standard testing and diagnosis systems, including the present Porty EVO III series.

Partnership

In 1985, today's Daimler AG was one of the first customers of HOERBIGER Elektronik GmbH. In 1995, the cooperation with the Mercedes-Benz production plant in Wörth began. Since then, the Porty has been a key technology in the plant's testing technology of its truck production operation.