In mid-April, we successfully completed the three jury rounds for the IFOY Award 2024 at TEST CAMP INTRALOGISTICS and can now count ourselves among the select circle of Best in Intralogistics. With the project in Hall 46 at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen, we were able to impress the judges in the Integrated Customer Solution category.

However, no winner has yet been announced in Dortmund. The jurors will not vote on who wins the IFOY Award 2024 until after the event. The winners in the individual categories will be announced on June 14 in Baden near Vienna. The excitement will therefore build over the coming weeks.

We applied for the coveted trophy with the following project description:

Conversion and modernization of an assembly hall for the production of the E- and GLC-Class series at the Mercedes-Benz site in Sindelfingen.

In the SC (SupplyChain) as a key component of this production, the focus was on the networking and complete transparency of all intralogistics supply as well as the necessary data collection, evaluation and adaptation.

Innovation and customer benefits

An in-house Mercedes-Benz development enables as a self-service platform transparent real-time and historical monitoring of AGV fleets and data-supported monitoring of AGV processes. The use of the system increases the efficiency of troubleshooting and supports the sustainable optimisation of supply processes.

As a digital twin, the real-time monitoring system makes it possible to monitor the location and status of the AGVs at any time and to the second. The system collects defined data and displays this information graphically: the shop floor becomes digital and transparent – in the event of malfunctions or problems, an alarm is automatically sent to a defined terminal of the maintenance team.

The so-called IoT data from the automated guided vehicle is made available as data products via the MO360 Data Platform and for cross-domain data analyses. They thus make an SC contribution to the data-driven company.

Defined “heat maps” can be used to identify problem patterns and suitable measures can be derived at an early stage – keyword: predictive. The efficiency is increased and the stability and productivity of the system enhanced.

The “ghost track function” is a tool that allows you to look back – a historical image of the shop floor at any point in the past. Analysing past data, identifying bottlenecks and inefficient processes- fast, systematic and automated support for analysing countless data volumes (LOGin entries) – so that the cause of line stoppages can be quickly recognised and explainable.

The system combines a standardised user interface for automated guided vehicles with a maintenance and control system. This made it possible to implement a continuous optimisation and improvement process during the ramp-up phase, including:

– Stable and robust ramp-up
– Increased availability
– Reduction of response times in 1st and 2nd level support
– Savings in resource requirements through reduced fleet dimensioning

The software ensures that from now on all subsequent starts are realised in a much more structured way and with significantly less disruption.

Proven partners

In this complex interaction of software and hardware, Mercedes-Benz AG relies on strong suppliers. Pick-by-light systems and AGVs from Safelog GmbH in Markt Schwaben are used both for subsystems such as the picking of shopping baskets and for transport to the assembly lines to be supplied. New technical solutions were jointly developed and standards implemented in close co-operation.

A networked mini PC with a Linux operating system is used for order picking. It controls the pick-by-light systems, which signal to the employees in the pick zones which parts belong in the shopping basket and in what quantity. However, it also enables a combination of the pick and AGV processes. Cost-intensive implementation processes are a thing of the past. The software can be customised and installed “over the air”. Everything is automated and the processes no longer require paper. Of course, this is also good for the environment.

A fully networked AGV fleet is responsible for transport and supply. Over 350 AGVs in various circuits transport the parts and components in the assembly hall to the production lines “as if by magic”. Over 3,000 of these standardized robots are in use worldwide in the global Mercedes-Benz production system, serving a wide variety of supply processes.

In intralogistics, the AGVs transport the loaded shopping baskets from the picking area to the defined sections of the assembly lines. However, pre-assembled components such as wheels and seats are also delivered directly to the installation site.

To ensure that the AGVs find their destination, they are guided via a hybrid navigation system consisting of magnetic tape and virtual guidance. To be able to execute the necessary commands on the course, the AGVs have the same mini PC as the Pick by light systems.

The AGVs are able to make decisions independently. At critical points, e.g. intersections with other circuits, a conveyor system or before entering a mechanisation system, the higher-level control system developed in-house regulates the traffic.


The assembly hall at Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen stands for the consistent further development of a digital and technical transformation in the automotive industry – complexity is becoming manageable. Success factors are the development and support of in-house software and control systems in order to operate independently of licence models and to be as flexible as possible in the event of errors, changes and adjustments.


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