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Spotlight

Nissan Aguascalientes A2

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 15:49

After just 19 months and with the effort of 7,000 workers, Nissan started operations at its second plant in Aguascalientes on November 12, 2013. The new A2 facility has a total area of 222,000m2, a functional space of 184,000m2, and it currently employs close to 3,000 people with an average age of 24 years, divided between administrative and manufacturing operations. The plant operates 23 hours a day, six days per week, while the robots in the production line only rest 5% of the total operation time. With a total investment of US$2 billion during its initial phase, this new facility was designed to produce 170,000 units annually, and it reached its full capacity just 103 days after its inauguration. As a result, the plant hit a daily production of approximately 630 to 640 units, reaching a total of 32,770 by the end of 2013. 

Furthermore, combining the production of Nissan A1 and Cuernavaca’s production from Nissan CIVAC, the company is able to manufacture a new car every 38 seconds.

A2 is currently solely focused on manufacturing the Nissan Sentra for export markets, with most vehicles going to the US while the rest are shipped to Puerto Rico and Brazil. The manufacturing process in this plant starts with stamping the raw material. The press in the plant is one of the fastest Nissan has globally, capable of producing 575 parts every hour. After that, the components move to the body warehouse, to then be sent to the painting process. Subsequently, the cars go to the final assembly line and then every single one is tested in a test track of 880m. Apart from these facilities, A2 includes plastic injection operations, training rooms, administrative offices, a data center, and a complete vehicle distribution center.

In terms of automation, Nissan A2 works with top-of-theline technology. The 190 robots in the body warehouse are automating 72% of the process, excluding mainly quality inspection operations. Additionally, once the body is fully constructed, vehicles are moved to one of the 120 individual platforms that are equipped with every tool and material needed to complete its construction. All of the extra components are supplied in a fully synchronized way, so there is no inventory in the process whatsoever. That means that all the suppliers must work at the same rate as Nissan, being able to deliver exactly the right amount of components at exactly the right time. The plant’s main suppliers, namely POSCO, TACHI-S, Sanoh, Vantec, Nitco, Jatco, and Calsonic Kansei, are located less than 200km away from Nissan’s facilities, which allows them to support the production operations of A1 and A2 while reducing logistics and production costs. A2 is considered one of the most efficient facilities in Nissan’s network and throughout the world. The whole facility is ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 certified, has noise levels lower than 90dB, and has received Clean Industry and Environmental Excellence recognitions thanks to the efficiency of its operations. Furthermore, A2 has a water treatment and waste recycling plant where it treats 100% of the total waste from the manufacturing process. In addition, A2 has 68,500m2 of green areas to compensate for the environmental impact of its operations, leaving 70,000m2 of extra space for future expansions.