CUSTOMIZED BUSINESS CONCEPT FOR INDUSTRIAL PLANT:
Working to a tight schedule, Gestamp Umformtechnik GmbH has installed ultra-modern plant in Bielefeld, where industrial robots weld the chassis for the VW Amarok. CHG-MERIDIAN is supporting this capital expenditure project with a sophisticated lease model based on the ‘Pay-on-Production’ principle, thereby helping Gestamp Umformtechnik to achieve business excellence.
ROBOT BALLET IN BIELEFELD
Strong, robust, versatile: The Amarok pick-up from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is a dependable workhorse for use on construction sites and in off-road applications. Obviously, this successful all-rounder from Volkswagen needs a solid base, which takes the form of a steel ladder chassis comprising nearly 240 individual parts. Since March 2014, this chassis has been supplied by Gestamp Umformtechnik GmbH’s Bielefeld facility for use in production of the Amarok in Hannover. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles began manufacturing the pick-up for the European market in Hannover in 2012. Initially, the chassis was imported from VW’s core Amarok facility in Argentina, where the pick-up – named for a mythical wolf fea-turing in the wealth of Native North American legends – first rolled off the assembly line in 2010. However, the logistics of transporting the chassis from the site near Buenos Aires to Hannover were too expensive as a permanent solution. That is why Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles decided to find a capable supplier to produce the chassis in Germany. Talks with the international Gestamp Group, which is headquartered in Madrid, began in summer 2012.
In 2013, Volkswagen chose Gestamp Umformtechnik to supply the chassis, requiring the latter to invest in a brand-new production facility that is to be used exclusively for this order and is equipped with welding and assembly robots. Everything then had to move very fast in Bielefeld: “ Chassis construction for the Amarok was a demanding and time-critical project,” explains Bernd Willenberg, Member of the Management Board responsible for Accounting and Financial Control at Gestamp Umformtechnik. Trained as an economist, he is visibly proud of the project and the achievements of the employees who spent a year preparing thoroughly for the successful production start-up with support from plant supplier KUKA and the technology and finance experts at CHG-MERIDIAN.
MADE-TO-MEASURE PLANT CONCEPT
Because the factory building already existed, one of the biggest initial challenges for Gestamp Umformtechnik was to plan the plant within the available floorspace. “ We overcame this challenge to our utmost satisfaction in cooperation with KUKA,” says Jürgen Lohmann, Head of Process Optimization at Gestamp Umformtechnik.
CHG-MERIDIAN provided support at every stage of planning, development, construction, and start-up of the production line. “ We don’t simply offer finance; we are a genuine project part-ner that provides customers with professional advice through-out the lifecycle of the industrial plant,” says Martin Goldin, Managing Director of CHG-MERIDIAN Mobilien GmbH. “ We are there from the first idea for the project to the dismantling of the plant when it is taken out of use. ” According to Goldin, transparency, adaptation to the general parameters of the par-ticular capital expenditure project, and complete control over costs are the advantages of the solutions that CHG-MERIDIAN develops for its customers. “ This form of intelligent support for capital expenditure projects is especially important in the auto-motive component supply industry because component suppli-ers are taking on responsibility for an ever larger proportion of the value creation process for complex automotive products,” explains Goldin. This perfectly reflects the corporate philosophy of CHG-MERIDIAN, which provides expert, all-round support throughout the technology lifecycle, thereby creating secure conditions for capital expenditure in an ever-changing envi-ronment. This security was especially important to Gestamp Umformtechnik in the case of the Amarok order because the company had little more than a year from developing the ini-tial idea to bringing the plant on stream – which is a lot short-er than the typical lead times in the industry. Moreover, the ‘running change ’ – i.e. the switch to supplying the new ladder chassis from Bielefeld without disrupting Amarok production in Hannover – had to go smoothly. “ If you get behind schedule in a project like this, you can rarely catch up again, ” is how board member Bernd Willenberg describes the particular chal-lenge faced by Gestamp.
SUPPORTING EXCELLENCE: SOLUTION EXPERTISE FROM CHG-MERIDIAN
For the production of the ladder chassis for the VW Amarok at Gestamp Umformtechnik, CHG-MERIDIAN teamed up with KUKA Roboter GmbH to develop a comprehensive lease model for industrial robots and automation systems based on the pay-on-production principle. This enables Gestamp Umformtechnik to align its own capital expenditure with the planned income from the order. The lease payments are oriented to production output at Gestamp Umformtechnik – an approach that provides an all-round view of the ladder chassis project that goes beyond the purely sales perspective. Ultimately, Gestamp Umformtechnik will increase its earnings potential from this project by assessing the entire plant in terms of alternative uses and the possibility of modernization after the first production cycle and then incorporating the findings into the lease structure. Following the pilot project at the Bielefeld site, CHG-MERIDIAN was also involved in production orders based on the pay-on-production principle at Gestamp Group factories in Spain and Hungary.