The new B-Class enters series production, as the second model in the newest compact car generation. The first B has already rolled off the assembly line at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Rastatt.
Mercedes-Benz is thus continuing the story of success with the small MPV, that sets new standards in its class in terms of space, technology and safety. Introduced in October, The B-Class joins the compact exclusive family, keeping company to its siblings: the A-Class hatchback, the A-Class Sedan sedan and the long-wheelbase L variant made in China for China, the B-Class, the CLA, the CLA Shooting Brake and the GLA crossover.
“Our entire team is proud of the fact that Rastatt will remain inextricably linked with the B-Class in future, too. A start of production is always a highlight for a plant. For this one particularly, we have prepared ourselves intensively”, states Thomas Geier, Site Manager of the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant.
The production center in Rastatt also plays the part of the training site for new employees and hosts the production of all the compact car plants. Digital production technologies and Industry 4.0 solutions are taught as key roles in professional training.
The car parts of the sophisticated modern new B-Class are transported via driverless systems that deliver baskets to the line containing the component parts precisely matched to the individual vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz implemented the “paperless factory” concept in Rastatt. The system replaces the documentation on paper, gradually integrated by means of data transmission and new hardware solutions. The employees visualize the necessary information on mobile devices such as tablets, smartphones and smart watches.
Fitted with a head-up display, the B-Class requires additional attention. Therefore, an employee sits behind the steering wheel with a tablet computer equipped with two additional cameras. One camera measures the tablet to a specific point in the instrument panel. Arrows on the screen will show him the exact location where the tablet must be placed. A recording is automatically triggered via the second camera and the image is analyzed. The derived setting parameters are sent via Wi-Fi via OBD interface to the control unit of the HUD and adjusted accordingly. The second camera then checks the position and the shape of the image.
The car also comes with the newly in-house developed MBUX system. The new B is available for order starting 3rd of December. Deliveries commence in the beginning of February 2019.