Daimler Chairperson Ola Källenius Opens New Manufacturing World Congress

In his opening speech at the New Manufacturing World congress in Böblingen near Stuttgart, Daimler’s Chairperson of the Board of Management, Ola Källenius, focused on the transformation which is currently taking place throughout the automotive industry. Innovative production techniques such as megacasting, flexible production and cyber security – that is the subject which renowned automotive manufacturers, suppliers, plant manufacturers and software companies will be discussing from today onwards.

More than 400 guests, 40 speakers and 55 corporate partners make the New Manufacturing World a leading platform for the exchange of international experience around the automotive industry. Among the guests is also a delegation from Beijing Chaoyang. The two-day event is organized by Professor Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, a renowned automotive expert, and Stuttgart-based consulting firm Drees & Sommer SE.

With sales revenues of 564 billion euros in 2023, the automotive industry is Germany’s most important sector in terms of revenue. It has an influence on several other sectors, from machinery manufacturing through the electrotechnical industry to the development of software. Innovative production techniques and reliable economic framework conditions are essential to ensure competitivity. In his opening speech, Ola Källenius, Chairperson of the Board of Management of Mercedes Benz spoke about the strategic direction of Mercedes: “Digital, efficient, sustainable and flexible: the setup of our plants at Mercedes-Benz enables us to react quickly to the market and build the perfect Mercedes for every customer. For example, we are able to offer vehicles with a fully electric drivetrain and an electrified high-tech combustion engine in parallel until the 2030s. The star on our cars is our promise: A Mercedes is a Mercedes – regardless of its drivetrain,“ says the Chairperson of the Mercedes Benz Group. 

Megatrend Megacasting: the Panel Gives Insights into the Future of Production

The automotive industry has always been a driving force for technical progress. From the first internal combustion engines to the introduction of production conveyor belts and even today's electric vehicles and self-driving cars – the industry's pioneering work has driven innovation in many different sectors. “The megatrend of megacasting will dominate the future of production. It allows the manufacture of large and complex aluminum vehicle parts in a single casting process,“ explains the automotive expert Professor Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer. In contrast with conventional methods which involved producing numerous smaller parts and then fitting them together, megacasting enables these components to be manufactured in a single step. “This not only saves time and costs, it also improves the quality and safety of our vehicles,“ adds Dr. Dudenhöffer.

Companies such as the Bühler Group and NIO have already successfully integrated this approach into their production processes. They shared their experience with the congress guests on the first day. The main potential obstacles mentioned by participants were the high initial investment in diecasting machines and the adaptation of the production line. The processing of aluminum also requires specific knowledge and technologies to ensure the desired material properties. In the long term, however, Professor Dr. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer believes that the advantages will outweigh these obstacles. “With further technological progress, this method could become the standard which could fundamentally change the way vehicles are produced,” the automotive expert points out.

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