MAN trucks and buses started Indian journey in the year 2006 and is an early European bird to enter Indian mass truck market. The earlier joint venture with Force was completely taken over by MAN in 2012 and since then going strong with the brand USP – Reliability, Robust and Durability.
MAN is now a fully charged, post Mr. Joerg Mommertz, took charge as Chairman and Managing Director. MAN has recently announced new initiatives for the year 2018 and have also confirmed series of truck and bus launches in the coming days. MAN has invited CV News.in for a plant visit to their Indore facility and here we share with our readers on How MAN trucks and buses are made.
The plant has a installed capacity of 9000 units and has machine shop for machining engine and axle parts, engine and axle assy conveyor line and vehicle assy and cabin assy conveyor. Gearbox is sourced from ZF Indian plant.This plant also exports trucks to 22 countries like Srilanka, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and 40% of the sales is from Export. The trucks sold in India are relatively with high level of localisation at around 82%.
Truck chassis assy, as always starts to assembled from bottom. The frame is laid down to the conveyor, and the VIN plate is punched. Henceforth the trucks are addressed with VIN only. The Rear under run protecting device fitment bracket comes as a chassis fitment.
Subsequently dressed axles, which also includes the suspension is fitted.
Once the basic fitments of Axles, fuel tank mounting brackets are all fitted, the chassis is now rotated 180 deg. Notice the large belts and the chassis is tilted on the go without stoppage of conveyor.
Subsequently Air intake system, cabin mounting brackets, Deaerated tanks, tyres are all fitted.
Tyres are fitted and the trucks are soon ready to stand on their foot.
Notice the FUPD – Front Underrun protecting device, and interestingly foot rest is apart of chassis fitment.
In the sidelines, the engine is dressed along with radiator, CSO – Change Speed operation and is lifted into the chassis assy conveyor. In this case, the radiator and engine moves as one unit and is mounted on to the chassis.
Same way the cabin trimmed separately in another conveyor line. The plant doesn’t have any cab weld or a cab paint shop. The completely painted cabins are imported from Sino Truck, China, in which MAN has a stake. Untrimmed painted Cabins are common for tractor and trucks and are stored in the storage area and consumed as per the daily plan.
The plant has a small paint touch up shop which is used for touch up and polishing. It also doubles up as a inspection area for painted cabs. The inspection area has a defined Lux level for identifying any visible paint defects.
Primarily there are two conveyor lines in the vehicle assy shop – One for chassis assy and other for Cab trim. Cab trim line, trims the cabin and are sends as a ready for fitment to the vehicle assy conveyor.
The cab trim conveyor has a parts bin stand and it travels along the cabin in the conveyor. All the unique and necessary parts for fitments are available in this and an Associate needs to pick and fit the same.
All the parts and necessary tools for assembly are all available in the most ergonomic way and ensured lesser fatigue to Associates.
Post the Cab is ready with complete trim, they are lifted and moved to vehicle Assy conveyor through over head conveyor.
Cabin is now fitted on to the chassis and now this stage is often called ‘chassis marriage’.
Post which bumpers, headlights are fitted and are now almost ready.
Even then at the end of conveyor means still the truck is not ready to off track..
After the main conveyor the truck is started and moved to the next stage where the wheel alignment is done.
Also at this stage, the truck is checked for any oil leakages before they are send for a test drive.
Here the test drive means not on the Test track but on the Dyno Test Rig and are brake tested 100%.
Now yet an another Happy MAN is ready.
Inorder to ensure greater level of quality checks the trucks are audited at random and there is separate stage for it.
The plant also houses dedicated assy line for engine and axles. The engine blocks and necessary parts are imported and rough machined and subsequently complete machining is done here in the same facility.
The facility does the engine assy and has high level of local content. The engine plant still makes Euro II and Euro III for export markets.
This is the center of attraction of MAN trucks. The Unitized, sealed for life front hub is the big USP of MAN trucks and they are the only manufacturer to offer them in the segment they operate. Otherwise these hubs are greased anywhere between 40k Kms to 80k Kms.
The front axle assy, seen here are brake assy. The brake drum will be covering the lining and S Cam.
MAN axles are tough nuts and here we see legendary, planetary hub reduction rear axles getting assembled in India.
In the complete plant tour, we haven’t seen a single place where the machines were neither leaking nor the parts weren’t placed in an order. A neat machine and assy shop.
The plant also has SKD shop, which MAN calls as Truck in Box – TIB shop. The trucks are exported as Semi Knocked Down units and are assembled at respective countries. While engines, gear box and fan is in one box..
Engine is in another box..
And a completely trimmed cabin is sent separately.