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English   Henschel Kassel plant
19.08.2010 von admin

Locomotive manufacture has also continued to play a role in Kassel for many years. High-speed electric locomotives have been manufactured here since 1985. Following an interlude involving Thyssen and ABB, locomotive production within the group became part of the Adtranz rail rolling stock equipment manufacturer. It formed the competence centre for diesel locomotives as well as manufacturing high-power electric locomotives such as the 101 series, and employed around 500 staff. However, DaimlerChrysler sold the Adtranz group to the Canadian company Bombardier Transportation in 2001.

Separate product division set up

The Kassel axle plant still remained the largest of its kind in Europe, operating from 1997 onwards within the newly founded Powertrain business unit as the axle product division, with integrated sales and development departments and a second production site in Gaggenau. In 2001, Kassel celebrated production of its 10 millionth axle, including 100,000 units of the trailer axles under production since 1996. They were based on the disc-braked front axle of the heavy-duty Actros truck and made a substantial contribution to ensuring that disc brakes soon also became standard on the towed unit. Operators expressed a great deal of interest in this solution, not least since the use of identical parts on the towing and towed unit provides major benefits.

Global footprint and brand affinity

The Kassel site was renamed in October 2007: instead of "Kassel plant" it is now called "Mercedes-Benz Kassel – A Daimler AG plant". On the one hand, it represents a statement of its affinity with the renowned brand, but also serves to differentiate clearly between the corporate and product brand. Further milestones followed in 2007: the 14 millionth axle was produced, of which around 400,000 were trailer axles.

In 1996, the Kassel plant started manufacturing trailer axles with a great deal of success.

Axle production in Kassel used to be part of the former Powertrain business unit, later renamed "Operating Unit" of the DaimlerChrysler Truck Group. This has in turn been superseded by the "Truck Powertrain Operations & Manufacturing Engineering" unit which brings together global major-assembly production, with responsibility for production planning of the vehicle and major-assembly plants. The aim is consistently to further develop the already widespread exchange of major assemblies within the Daimler Truck Group's global production network.

The total number of axles produced in Kassel now stands at over 15 million. The current product line-up is wide-ranging: front and rear axles for MPVs, off-road vehicles, vans, trucks, buses and coaches; added to which are trailer axles and propeller shafts as well as differential cases for passenger cars. Highly innovative products include the trailer axles that are brought together in the Mercedes-Benz TrailerAxleSystems (TAS) unit. "Durable Compact Axle" (DCA) is the overarching term for the current axle family which has made Mercedes-Benz the technology leader in this segment. The most innovative member of the DCA family is the "Airmaster" trailer axle, which can store compressed air for the brakes and air suspension in the axle housing, hugely reducing weight and opening up the prospect of entirely new vehicle concepts.

Daimler AG
Daimler AG

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