After a three-year project to modernize plant operations in Le Mans, France, CLAAS has begun manufacturing at what it has dubbed the “future factory.”
The company characterizes the investment as a “complete renewal of assembly equipment and digital transformation of the plant” and a “rethink of many complex processes—especially in the area of in-house logistics.”
The company went on to say the newly designed plant “creates entirely new opportunities for the manufacture of increasingly complex and individually configured tractors.”
CLAAS used virtual reality technologies to simulate processes, which allowed planners to prepare for processes for tractor models not yet in production.
“Innumerable options were acted out using 3D animations and VR goggles in order to play through all stages of assembly, from the powertrain to the finished and tested tractor,” the company said.
The project also introduced automated guided vehicles—40 driverless carrier vehicles to transport the tractors from the first to the last assembly station. They can move up to 20 tons.