• 26-SEP-2013

Iveco Magirus concentrates fire-fighting division in Ulm

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Following the restructuring programme, at the Ulm-Donautal plant arises the new Magirus Brandschutz World. Around 30 million Euros is being invested in the development of the new Competence Centre for the benefit of the customers.

The new Competence Centre for fire fighting technology is a central element in order to further strengthen Iveco Magirus Brandschutztechnik’s leading position in the world. In total, up to 950 people will be employed in the fire fighting intercompany area. Iveco is therefore investing in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to ensure more efficient production as well as being able to respond much faster to customer-specific requests. The research and development centre is also being expanded with the aim of integrating this area far more in company operations.

The conversion of the former truck assembly plant to a future fire fighting production facility is moving ahead at full speed. By the end of 2012, the halls were stripped of everything that could have stood in the way of realizing a high tech fire fighting manufacturing plant. The complete truck assembly lines were removed and new flooring was installed for the most part. Currently, work is being carried out on the latest, mostly fully-automatic building central control systems such as the electrics, lighting, ventilation and heating installations. Furthermore, pump test benches are being installed along with new crane systems and assembly equipment. In the area of the future chassis prearrangement, new floors will be laid while workshop pits are being added to the TÜV inspection and approval section. Currently, the carpentry workshop for the shipping department and packaging for CKD deliveries are being fitted along with new paint shops. The new large facility consists of four assembly lines and has an area of 12,000 m². The plant features now both an assembly line for large quantities as well as customized configurations for make-to-order vehicles. For more technically demanding vehicles, over 15 additional individual assembly stations for an assembler group are provided. Furthermore, a 4,000 m² ancillary area is also available, e.g. for pre-assembly of superstructure framework, pump pre-assembly, roller shutter and component manufacturing.

Designated storage areas for aluminium profiles, superstructure components, pump parts and all other required materials amount to a total of around 4,000 m² are provided. A painting, film coating and finish line facilitate customized and modern paintwork operations and a wide range of vehicle’s design options through to the finishing and polishing phase prior to delivery.

Quality inspection centre and authority approval ensure quality at top level

A generously-sized quality centre with over 10,000 m² of space allows the installation of up to date testing stands, acceptance and audit areas. The calibration and software programming of the vehicle pumps is now carried out in modern pump test benches which works with vacuum-pressure tanks having a flow rate of 8,000 litres. For heavy tank pumpers, testing equipment for handling a flow capacity of up to 15,000 litres per minute is available. Additional facilities include tilting test beds, a cable winch test installation and a rain simulation facility. After a quality check on a rolling test bed followed by a last cleaning and polishing station, the vehicles are handed over to the final quality inspectors for acceptance and approval by the customers or authorities. For this complete final control and acceptance procedure, bright and spacious working areas including testing facilities and inspection pits as well as dedicated office space for the authority representatives are available.

Modern and pleasant work conditions

Future working conditions in the production halls will differ very positively from the current situation as well as at the previous fire-fighting vehicle manufacturing facility. Through the large dimensions, including the very impressive height of the production area, sufficient light and air are available. As a result, the workplaces are friendly and spacious designed. The positive energy efficiency is provided by additional non-combustible insulation in the walls and ceilings.

Training for assembly workers

While conversion work at the plant has been taking place, training for former truck production workers has already begun. Since December 2012, around 200 employees have been enthusiastically preparing for their new jobs. Thanks to their solid professional experience and by means of a special training programme, the move to production of fire fighting vehicles has been quickly mastered. For the manufacture of pumpers, the expert craftsmanship of the skilled workforce is of far greater benefit than in truck assembly operations. Working in teams instead of assembly line production provides each individual with a strong validation of his individual performance. A further 100 former truck assembler also successfully participated in the training and then joined their colleagues at the beginning of 2013 in the manufacturing.

This work will be carried out in the former frame assembling workshop which has been converted since summer 2012 for fire-fighting production. However, the frame workshop remains a provisional arrangement and will only be used as long until the new manufacturing facilities are in place in the former truck assembly halls. This is scheduled for summer 2013.

Turntable ladder production maintained

In order to meet the global market requirements for the reliable MAGIRUS turntable ladders, the production facility for the ladders naturally remains in place. Altogether, the manufacturing area covers a total of 34,700 m². Furthermore a generously-sized high-rack warehouse for over 8,000 pallets is available.

Modern delivery options

For ensuring the best-possible customer service during the vehicle handover as well for the training of multipliers for the operational crews, spacious handover offices and eight additional handover halls will be realized. Furthermore, the pump test benches with integrated vacuum-suction function facilitate real induction training on pump operations and thus excellent preparation for daily duty. For training with foam proportioning systems and real discharge of foam or wetting agents, a training facility complete with collecting container is planned. A 100 m long practice course then allows also training with foam and water monitors. For testing the chassis and the fully equipped vehicles, a proving ground with an high-speed track is available on the plant site. The testing track has a 2,200 m long road surface in oval form which features steep-banked curves, as well braking and noise measurement tracks. Through the use of a sprinkler system, the simulation of different road conditions and testing of braking systems on wet or dry roads is possible as well as on different pavements. Thus, a memorable induction training course and vehicle handovers to the customers are possible.

Customer centre as central contact point

An additional improvement is the totally refurbished customer centre in the former cab production facility. Ample opportunities are provided here for vehicle presentations. On an area which is large enough for more than 20 new vehicles, a cross-section of the extensive product range of Iveco Magirus vehicles can be showcased at any time. Through the presentation of portable fire pumps, built-in pumps, foam proportioning systems, AluFire superstructure modular frameworks along with other important components and assembly parts, all elements of a modern Magirus fire-fighting vehicle can be shown. Large sized, well equipped meeting rooms as well as a range of catering options serve to ensure that the appropriate care and attention is provided for a profitable day of discerning customers. Info points for fire-fighting equipment as well as a shop for model vehicles, merchandise and fan-gear are also available to fully satisfy customer expectations. An exposition featuring historical vehicles from the almost 150-year history of Magirus will superbly complement the Centre of Excellence.

Everything from one hand - from production through to delivery

With the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for production and delivery in Ulm, one of the largest contact points for fire brigades and civil protection units worldwide will soon be open. This will allow the product selection via the proper manufacturing itself through to the quality control and the induction training for the ordered vehicle along with its proving - and this from the portable fire pumps and the wide range of pumpers and tank pumpers, rescue equipment vehicles through to specialist vehicles with more than 40 tons GVW, plus the complete range of Magirus turntable ladders with 20 to 60 m operating heights.

Customer service and the Academy likewise expanded

For meeting the requirements demanded by generous service opportunities during the long service life of a vehicle, the customer service department will also be expanded with an additional 2,200 m² of hall and workshop space. For the provision of product technology training as well as optimal tactical operations in real emergencies, the Magirus Academy training opportunities are be increased still further.

26 September 2013