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Volkswagen’s MAN to invest €2.4bn across all facilities by 2020

ABR Staff Writer Published 13 November 2017

Volkswagen’s truck & bus business MAN is planning to invest up to €2.4bn across all of its facilities by 2020.

The company is poised of improving efficiency across all of its divisions and to rejig its international production network. At its Munich facility alone, it was poised to invest €1.1bn between 2015 and 2020. The investment is expected to make its heavy-duty truck producing plants to be fit for the future.

The present investment at Munich will be for upgrading its cab paint shop and a new research & development facility.

MAN stated that the new cab paint shop will spread out in five levels and will have a total floor area of 18,000m2 and will be housed in building which is 150m long and 30m high. For this paint shop, the company is investing about €85m.

The paint process, as per the company will include pretreatment, cathodic dip coating by rotation, seam sealing, and filler application. The dip painting involves a rotation process where a significant reduction in the use of consumables and chemicals is achieved by applying the latest systems engineering.

It claims that a highly effective cleaning can lower the level of particulates in exhaust air by 90% while reducing water consumption by 80%. Furthermore, the use new technologies enables MAN to cut down its emissions, lower the use of paint by up to 15%, while reducing energy consumption by up to 25%.

MAN Truck & Bus and MAN CEO Joachim Drees said: “The new base coat line has a giant hall, which is symbolic of all the measures we have initiated here in Munich over the last few years. While under construction, the building’s cranes and scaffolding were a reflection of the relentless optimism prevailing at our Company, as well as its forward-looking approach.

“The construction itself was an amazing feat of logistics. I am now pleased to say that the cab paint shop is working as planned, making a major contribution to protecting the environment here in Munich.”

Apart from the paint shop, the company is also investing in research and development. The new central building of the MAN Development Center will be opened in next January and it is being constructed at a cost of €90m.

The new R&D center will be a place where 360 engineers along with 100 employees will be working on new trucks and buses for the future. The new building has a total area of 33,000 m2 and will be home to prototypes created using state-of-the-art rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing.

The new center will also house drive train test benches where newly designed drivetrains will be put to test their paces. The Environment Simulation department will try to understand the impact of wind and weather on a wide range of bus and truck components, while another department will try to find out the interaction between several control units.

Drees said: “Alternative drives like electric mobility have a more and more important role to play in commercial vehicle production. At the same time, demand for our clean combustion engines will continue for some time to come – for instance in long-haul transportation. This means that we have to develop alternative and conventional drive technologies side by side.

“In order to do this, we need both the necessary financial support and the most motivated and qualified employees. What it ultimately comes down to, however, is plain and simple: space. The new MAN Development Center is setting the benchmark in this area when it comes to technical equipment and a design that is tailored to suit a modern way of working.”

Image: The new cabin paint shop is 150m long and 30m high. Photo: Courtesy of MAN SE.