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According to a Bloomberg report, bigwig German automaker Mercedes-Benz has halted the use of robots at its Sindelfingen vehicle assembly plant, and is switching back to human workers.
As per the Bloomberg report, Mercedes’ move to replace robots with human workers at its Sindelfingen, Germany, assembly plant is rooted in the fact that traditional automotive assembly robots cannot effectively handle intricate options which the automaker is offering on its new S-Class sedan.
Specifically, the S-Class options which are apparently overwhelming the robots include the sedan’s carbon-fiber trim, heated and cooled cupholders, and four different kinds of stem caps for the vehicle’s tire valves.
About Mercedes’ decision to replace robots with human workers at the Sindelfingen assembly plant, Markus Schaefer – the automaker’s production chief – told Bloomberg: “Robots can’t deal with the degree of individualization and the many variants that we have today. We’re saving money and safeguarding our future by employing more people.”
However, the switch from robots to human workers at Mercedes’ Sindelfingen plant does not imply an across-the-board replacement of robots by the automaker. Robots are still excellent at doing cyclical tasks such as welding, painting and engine installation; but human workers evidently outshine robots when it comes to the manufacturing process of specially optioned cars.