The 750,000th truck kit from the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) centre at the Mercedes-Benz Woerth plant was packed in a 40-foot sea container for its journey overseas.
Shortly it will be shipped to Rotterdam before it embarks to Port Elizabeth, South Africa. After being transported to East London, it will be assembled at the local Mercedes-Benz plant into a complete truck: a white Actros 2652 LS 6×4, which is expected to be delivered to its owner in mid-July.
Since 1966, the KD centre has been packing truck kits for assembly plants worldwide. The kits have gone to 60 countries and can consist of up to 2,500 individual components.
To keep operations, processes and handling as efficient as possible, sets of four identical trucks are usually packed together and, in most cases, also fit into four overseas containers. Such a four-packed set consists of a total of 48 packages and weighs between 50 and 70 tons, depending on the design. The reusable packaging is individually produced in the CKD centre from cardboard and wood to guarantee resource savings.
Specialists at Woerth regularly support colleagues at foreign plants with production start-up as part of special training programmes.
Current KD markets include South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia while the planned return to Iran will also involve KD shipments from Woerth.
CKD production in 1966 totalled 500 kits with the first sent to Iran. In 1969, the CKD centre produced 11,000 kits.
Since 1978, the kits have been prepared in a dedicated CKD packaging hall with container loading and the centre now employs 500 people.
Actros, Arocs, Unimog and Zetros models are all available in kit form.
For digitalisation, the IT infrastructure in the CKD centre is currently being converted to the latest technology so it can be controlled, picked, packed and scanned paperless and by using handheld devices.