VDL Nedcar, based in Born, is the only large car manufacturer in the Netherlands. The entire production process is carried out in-house. The production capacity is around 200,000 cars a year, based on a two-shift operation.
In the ultramodern factory, occupying floor space of around 330,000 m2, several models of passenger car from various automotive marques are produced simultaneously, while maintaining the highest quality standards. Thanks to almost 50 years of experience, VDL Nedcar has established an excellent reputation in terms of quality and craftsmanship.
The pressing hall comprises eight mechanical pressing lines with a capacity of between 400 and 1,800 tonnes. Deep drawing, bending, cutting, punching and edging of structural and external body parts are all part of the basic processes that are perfectly mastered by the experienced and dedicated staff of the press hall. Their work is permanently subject to process monitoring and quality controls. The production process is characterised by high efficiency and flexibility, short tool changeover times, minimum disruptions and minimal material use. The tool shop has huge experience in developing new products and processes. VDL Nedcar also produces high-quality deep-drawn products on behalf of OEM and truck manufacturers.
At an unimaginably high pace, around 1,200 robots join the body parts together using spot welding, laser welding, seam joined, screwed and glued connection techniques. These joints are accurate to the nearest tenth of a millimetre. This is verified with special cameras that examine more than 300 measurement points at two different stages of the process. All spot welds are inspected several times every day using special ultrasonic test equipment. Cameras automatically check all sealed connections. Absolute concession-free top quality in the interests of safety.
The entire routing in the factory is laid out to ensure maximum efficiency. The bodies are automatically transported from the body shop to the painting line. In the painting line, the body first passes through a number of anti-corrosion baths. This is followed by the sealing process, after which all dust particles are removed from the vehicle by a system that employs more than 10,000 emu feathers. Finally, four water-based paint layers are applied. At the end of the process, the paint is minutely inspected in the light tunnel, for any imperfections.
The Final Assembly Shop (FAS) is the ultimate combination of smart, ergonomically responsible production techniques and ingenious logistics. At the start of the process, the doors are removed to improve access to the vehicle. They are then reinstalled, at the perfect moment.
The mats, cable harnesses, dashboards and other components are built in. Eventually, the engine is united with the body; the so-called ‘marriage point’. The scale of the logistic process and the complexity of the factory control systems become truly visible in final assembly. Each vehicle is assembled to order. Each part is made available at precisely the right moment. During the entire production process, a number of quality control rounds are carried out. This ensures that every car perfectly meets the requirements of the customer.