Daimler India Commercial Vehicles


Power of commitment

From 2008, Daimler's every move has been to reinforce its long term vision for India. The biggest testimony of its commitment is the state-of-the-art plant in Oragadam near Chennai, spanning 400 acres with an investment of Rs. 4,400 crores.

The plant is the manufacturing hub for modern, indigenously-made trucks (85% localisation) in the 9 tonnes to 49 tonnes category catering to needs of BharatBenz and FUSO brands and their diverse applications.

Following the construction in a record time of about 24 months, the new state-of-the-art production plant of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. (DICV), a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, was inaugurated by
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Dr. J. Jayalalithaa on 18 April 2012 in the presence of Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the board of management Daimler AG and Head - Mercedes-Benz passenger cars.

With a built-up area of 176,000 sq. mtrs., the plant also houses a full-fledged test track, R&D centre, an integrated training facility apart from its in-house supplier park and other support infrastructure.

Test Track facility and R&D Protoshop

The comprehensive, in-house, state-of-the-art test track was the first initiative of DICV in developing trucks for India. The test track was designed based on meticulous research done on road-load data patterns across the country, on various terrains.

It consists of a super elevation track that enables testing at three different speeds (40/60/80 kms.) including a jump section, ramp section and a noise pad. The testing facility also includes a bump track with 40,832 cobble stones laid to precision, articulation and potholes, which together simulate the toughest conditions that a truck may have to negotiate on Indian roads.

The R&D protoshop plays a crtical role in
development of proto-samples which are precision tested for conformance to the global benchmarks of quality. It also provides simulation and other testing trails of aggregates and sub-assemblies during the product development phase.

The rigorous testing ensures that every truck that rolls out of the plant is of the highest quality and reflects the legendary Daimler standards of engineering.

Manufacturing facility


While the two suppliers in the plant's supplier park provide pressed sheet metal for the cabs and chassis members for the frame, the initial manufacturing sequence commence in the Cab-in-white facility. This is where 22 robots perform precision weld activity on 3,800 spots per cabin thereby ensuring seamless finish.

Paint shop

The paint shop which is the next stage is completely pressurised using filtered air as the Daimler painting process is a very sensitive one. Here the welded cabin is degreased, cleaned and painted with a two coat process ie., ED and top coat. While the interior is manually painted, the exterior is performed by robots. Then the cabs are sent to the 'trim shop' which has a line each for HDT and MDT wherein the cabin 'trim' elements are fitted into the cabs.
  Assembly line

The truck assembly line is the longest and widest of its kind in India for assembly of both HDT and LDT chassis. The first stage here is where the painted cab is placed on the chassis frame and then the assembly of a truck is done progressively in stages. The parts for assembly are fed, both just in time and just in sequence, from the adjoining logistics building and by trucks bringing them from the suppliers via the dock levellers for each shop/stage.

To ensure that work is done right each time, robust quality measures are conducted in between the stages and at the end of the line where the vehicle is inspected before the braking and steering alignment checks. Only after crossing these quality gates are the vehicles sent out of the assembly line.

Quality Lab

The plant has one of the most sophisticated and comprehensive quality labs in the auto industry here in India. Its state-of-the-art measuring, checking and testing equipment ensure that the quality of the parts conform to the exacting requirements of what it takes to manufacture a Daimler Truck. The lab also has a 3 co-ordinate measuring or Horizontal Arm measuring machine apart from the best-in-class laser equipment which can check the
measurement of the chassis outside the lab, thereby ensuring the trucks have the perfect dimensions. The lab also houses the material testing facility where even liquids like diesel and oils are checked for the correct composition so that only the right quality of material goes into the material manufacturing sequence itself.

Integrated Training Centre

Daimler believes in its people as much as its products and processes. The mix of talent from India and abroad brings global experience and exposure which is moulded at this training facility. It is the clear and complete understanding of the market and the customer that gives Daimler the edge to deliver products that are tailor-made for its markets. Separate wings within the training centre cater to behavioural and technical aspects of honing
the skills that are required to manufacture the modern truck and knowledge to offer the best sales proposition to the Indian trucking market. The enthusiastic workforce aligned to the company's vision reinforces DICV's commitment to India.

Sustainability initiatives

It takes a visionary to understand and respect the environment. One of the major projects is the construction of a water harvesting pond on an area of 27,000 sq. mtrs., to hold over 65,000 kilo litres of run-off water which is used to charge ground water and irrigate the in-house landscaping projects. Additionally, 40 acres
have been set aside as green area within the plant.

Recently, the Solar Power project used the roof structure of DICV’s Parts Logistics Warehouse and installed more than 1000 Poly Crystalline Solar PV modules each with a capacity of 280W. The total installed capacity is 300 KW. It also has separate facilities to handle, store and dispose the hazardous materials and harmful effluents within the plant complex.