Digitalization push: Mercedes-Benz and Siemens launch strategic partnership for sustainable automotive production.

Strategic partnership for sustainable automotive production.

March 29, 2021 – Mercedes-Benz and Siemens plan to cooperate on advancing digitalization and automation in the automotive industry, supported by the State of Berlin. Mercedes-Benz AG aims to digitize its production processes. Siemens, a leading supplier in the field of automation, industrial software and smart infrastructure, will bring its expertise and technologies to the partnership to develop highly flexible, efficient and sustainable automotive production together with Mercedes-Benz.

In this context, the Mercedes-Benz Berlin-Marienfelde site in Germany will be transformed into a competence centre for digitalization with a focus on the development and implementation of the digital Mercedes-Benz Cars ecosystem MO360, in addition to the redesign of production activities. In the future, e-mobility components will also be assembled in Berlin. The company wants to secure the future for the Berlin plant, which is the oldest site in the Mercedes-Benz global powertrain production network. The Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus in Berlin is the technological and digital nucleus for the whole Mercedes-Benz Cars production network. Its objective is to roll out the new developments that have been tested in Berlin at the Mercedes-Benz plants worldwide and to provide the users with the required qualifications.

With the Werner-von-Siemens Centre for Industry and Science in the Siemensstadt in Berlin, there is already an excellent wealth of experience that can be incorporated into the cooperation. With the synergies of the Siemensstadt² and the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus Berlin, plants that represent the origin of industrialization in Germany, will be transformed into two modern digital sites.

Siemens leading automation and software solutions lay the foundation for the digital transformation of automotive production. The physical and virtual worlds as well as operational technology and IT can be combined with them. This opens up new possibilities for gathering, understanding and using the huge amounts of data generated in engineering and production. With innovative IoT applications, for example, production processes can be made much more flexible and energy efficient.

The State Government of Berlin welcomes and supports both the clear commitment to the production and innovation location, the transformation and the cooperation between the two companies. The State of Berlin will support the partnership, which is part of the excellent science and start-up landscape in Berlin. Against this background, the Governing Mayor of Berlin will sponsor the cooperation.

Strategic focus topics at the start of the partnership

  • The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects of operational technology (OT) and IT.
  • Siemens brings together data from the virtual and physical world with hardware and software solutions.
  • This enables products and production processes to be digitally improved through continuous data evaluation, for example.
  • Data technology prerequisites for the IIoT are flexible, modular communication systems, for example local and highly flexible location systems based on 5G.
  • Using agile software development, Mercedes-Benz has created the MO360 digital production ecosystem as an important step in the digitalization of its production processes.
  • Various applications of this flexible ecosystem are already being used in around 30 plants of the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars, helping to increase efficiency.
  • In the automotive industry, only a small proportion of manufacturing, engineering and administration employees currently have in-depth programming skills.
  • That is why Mercedes-Benz introduces the low-code platform mendix from Siemens.
  • This allows employees to quickly and easily develop apps for their workspaces and to further qualify. At the same time, new job profiles are emerging.
  • Siemens and Mercedes-Benz have set up a working group to optimize engineering and production processes using mendix apps.
  • In addition, a hackathon for app development for sustainable automotive production will be conducted.
  • Existing automation solutions are to be expanded at the Berlin site with new technologies such as virtualization, artificial intelligence and edge computing.
  • This enables Mercedes-Benz to react even more flexibly to changing market requirements.
  • Automation, digitalization and the intelligent use of production data can make a decisive contribution to reducing energy and resource consumption, CO₂ emissions and costs.
  • In the cooperation, Mercedes-Benz and Siemens want to focus on energy efficiency and a sustainable heat supply of the production plants.
  • To this end, the companies are expanding their existing energy efficiency partnership:
  • The aim is to decarbonize the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus Berlin and roll out into the global Mercedes-Benz Cars production network.
  • Siemens develops holistic solutions for energy efficiency for Mercedes-Benz, for example at the interface of infrastructure and production.
  • In addition to innovative technical solutions, Siemens offers new financing concepts in which remuneration is based on the savings.
  • The aim is to create a blueprint for the global Mercedes-Benz production network and the industrial landscape of Berlin with the digital and sustainable transformation of the Berlin-Marienfelde plant, which was founded in 1902.
  • Experience from Factory 56 at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen and Siemensstadt2 in Berlin will also be used, exchanged and further developed.
  • In addition to the design of a sustainable "zero emission building", the focus is also on the establishment of modern working environments.
  • The partnership will focus on the creation of state-of-the-art working environments by interlinking production processes, technologies, infrastructure, and people.
  • The Comfy app, which is already used at Siemens locations, shows how this can work in practice. It allows employees to report their presence or check the availability of rooms and places. The app creates the foundation for future-proof, digital work environments.
  • With the help of the Digital Factory Campus Berlin, Mercedes-Benz will qualify all its production staff in the global Mercedes-Benz Cars production network with regard to digital key competencies. The focus is on topics such as the use of digital tools, data literacy and low-code platforms.
  • Mercedes-Benz AG is already using digital solutions such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) for example in qualification.
  • Digital simulations and gamification are further approaches to learning the future.
  • Concepts and experiences from the Siemensstadt2 and the Mercedes-Benz Digital Factory Campus will serve as a basis for an in-depth exchange.
  • Siemens, for example, offers digital learning opportunities for flexible, continuous, individual online learning as well as solutions for virtual training for production employees with the help of 3D models.
  • In addition, Siemens supports programs at various educational institutions in Berlin to impart digitalization skills.