Grammer expands site to invest in Seat Production 4.0

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Project Mayflower is ushering in exciting times for the Grammer plant in Haselmühl, Germany, where one of the company’s largest production facilities for commercial vehicle seats is being completely realigned with immediate effect. The goal is for Haselmühl to become the world’s most modern site in its field.

Unlike the historic sailing ship of the Pilgrim Fathers, it is not only the destination of the Mayflower which is clearly defined. All the stages of the project have been planned in as much detail as possible. The basic structure is composed of nine fields of action whose initials form the word “Mayflower” – from “M” for “Mastered and Predictive Processes” to “L” for “Leadership in Digitalisation” and “R”, which stands for “Resilience to External Influences”.

“We want to create a blueprint for ‘Seat Production 4.0’ with the aim of turning Grammer into the world’s most advanced manufacturer of commercial vehicle seats,” explains Jens Öhlenschläger, COO at Grammer AG. “With Project Mayflower, Haselmühl will become our lead plant, from which all Grammer locations worldwide will benefit. In addition, many of the planned innovations will help us to achieve our sustainability goals.”

Comprehensive investment programme
To start off, sub-projects have been defined and a comprehensive investment program set up: “We will be focusing on metal processing, assembly, logistics and our tool centre” explains Klaus Bauer, plant manager in Haselmühl. “In doing so, we are combining state-of-the-art tools and technologies from the ‘Industry 4.0’ environment with our many years of unique expertise in seat production of the highest complexity and variation.”

Bauer cites as examples a new, highly flexible 800-ton transfer press, the use of driverless transport systems in intralogistics and AI-supported control processes as well as the implementation of a new, highly flexible assembly concept. “All the innovations that we will be implementing here now and in the coming years will help to secure the site’s continued viability,” says Bauer. “Accordingly, one key focus is also on workplace design. In this respect, we will be using state-of-the-art automation and digitization options to protect our employees’ health as effectively as possible and to achieve optimum working conditions and levels of safety.”

Capacity expansion for greater model diversity
In response to the steady increase in demand from commercial vehicle OEMs for model- and brand-specific seat variants, Grammer is laying the foundations for highly efficient and flexible production with project “Mayflower”. “We already assemble several thousand seats a day in Haselmühl for more than 400 customers, processing over one million parts each working day. We will be boosting our productivity significantly thanks to ‘Mayflower’ – and thereby further expanding our leading position in the world market for offroad seats,” says Bauer.

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Saul Wordsworth is deputy editor of the iVT brand - which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine and Off-Highway Annual, as well as ivtinternational.com. He is a keen cyclist and lives in north London.

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