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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #1
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Default Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory

Team-BHP's earlier Factory Reports - For those interested in the science of car manufacturing!

Ford's Chennai Factory (PICS : Ford's Chennai Factory. Detailed report on the making of Figos, Fiestas...)

Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory (PICS : Jaguar's Castle Bromwich (UK) Factory. Detailed report on the making of the XJ)

Eicher Polaris factory in Kukas, Rajasthan (PICS: Eicher Polaris factory in Kukas, Rajasthan - Report on the making of the Multix)

Tata Motors Factory (PICS: Tata Motors Factory! Detailed report on making of the Indica & Indigo eCS)

Hyundai's Chennai Factory (PICS: Hyundai's Chennai Factory. Detailed report on the making of Xcent & Grand i10)

AMG Factory Visit (Report: AMG Factory Visit & the 2014 Mercedes C-Class (W205))

Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03199-large.jpg

Team-BHP was recently invited into the kitchen of India’s largest auto manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. in Manesar, Haryana to see what’s cooking. Here is an auto plant whose products every one of us has experienced or purchased at some point in our lives. In the context of India’s auto industry, the numbers are staggering; a car is produced every sixty seconds by MSIL, a number that allows it to command its dominating market share, selling over a million vehicles per annum in the process. A tour by MSIL’s senior production personnel with an invite to click as many photographs as we liked? Sounded like a superb opportunity for us to give you a peek into what goes on behind the towering numbers, and how the cars actually come together behind the scenes. We were as excited as you are reading this report! Some notes about MSIL:
  • MSIL is currently owned in majority by Suzuki (56%) while the remaining ownership is listed publicly (44%).
  • With sales of 1.42 million units in 2015-16, MSIL commands a 47% market share in the passenger vehicles segment, aided by its 13,259 employees spread across four locations including two manufacturing plants producing 15 model lines and over 1,000 variants.
  • The company’s footprint continues to expand rapidly to sustain its dominance, having added 1850 sales outlets (1495 cities), 150 Nexa outlets (90 cities) and 1025 True Value outlets across the country.
  • Its highest service outlet in Kaza – Spiti Motors – is at an altitude of 12,270 ft. and the company also operates a service outlet in the Andamans.
  • MSIL started exporting vehicles as early as 1987 – some of the cars you will see on the assembly line are LHD – and a majority of the vehicles (41%) go to Europe. Asia accounts for 22% of exports which is slated to rise given that the company has begun Ciaz exports to Japan. Latin America accounts for 18% of the volume, Africa 8% and Oceania (Aus + NZ) accounts for 2%.
  • The company has established a large presence around the NCR region, with a head office in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi supported by two plants in Gurgaon and Manesar, and an R&D facility in Rohtak.
  • The Gurgaon facility is spread over 300 acres and contains two plants, one for vehicles (annual capacity 500,000 units) and another for engines (1.3 million units annually).
  • The Gujarat plant should start production by January next year and is expected to significantly contribute to the planned production ramp-up as Maruti targets annual sales of 2 million vehicles by 2020.

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 15:47.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #2
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We were welcomed into the Manesar facility and introduced to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, Executive Director – Production and Mr. Sanjay Thakar, Vice President – Production and Plant Head of Plant A (covered in this report):
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03088-large.jpg

Mr. Gandhi and Mr. Thakar kicked off the day with a brief presentation on MSIL and the Manesar plant. They then guided us through the entire plant tour themselves, their experience making the visit all the more interesting. Mr. Gandhi has previously worked in vendor development for close to two decades, and shared his account of the development of parts and materials suppliers in India from the raw beginnings to a highly competitive and world-class marketplace as it is today. Some information shared on the plant:
  • Construction began in June 2005 and the first vehicle for sale rolled off in September 2006. By January 2011, the plant had produced its one-millionth vehicle.
  • Sprawled over 600 acres (2.4 million square meters), the Manesar location has three manufacturing plants, capable of producing 800,000 vehicles annually, 300,000 engines for passenger cars and 540,000 engines for two wheelers. That’s right, the engines for bikes are also produced at this plant.
  • We had the opportunity to visit plant A, which started production in 2006 and produces about 300,000 cars spread across the Ciaz, Dzire and Swift annually. A car rolls off the line every minute!
  • Plants B & C – added in a phase-wise capacity expansion in September 2011 and September 2013 respectively – have a combined volume of 500,000 vehicles annually, producing the Swift, Dzire, Baleno, Celerio and the Alto. As you can guess, the Manesar facility really brings home the bread for MSIL, churning out their greatest hits at a dizzying pace.
  • The engine plant is annexed to the main campus and produces 300,000 of India’s favourite D13A 1.3 DDiS engines a year, and about 540,000 two-wheeler engines on the side. Definitely some economies of scale achieved by sharing facilities there?
  • A supplier park within the campus houses critical component manufacturers that supply major components directly to the assembly line just in time and are coordinated with the vehicle on the production line. This is critical since the three parallel assembly lines consist of multiple models per line according to production schedule. As estimated 1,700 - 1,800 trucks carrying components from suppliers drive into the factory premises every single day!
  • The campus also includes a utilities plant to supply energy to this behemoth of a facility. A gas turbine, steam turbine, diesel generator and solar plant combine to generate about 115 MW of power.
  • The plant currently runs two shifts and is capable of running three as per production requirement.
  • Two annual plant shutdowns are in effect for routine maintenance, one in June and the other in December
Soon after, we hopped into the convoy of sparking S-Cross and Ciaz cars to get to the beginning of the manufacturing process – the Press Shop:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03139-large.jpg

Also part of the convoy was a very well-maintained ol’ mountain goat. Always happy to see one of these. Needless to say, I saw a handful of beautiful olive green Army Gypsies around central Delhi during my visit:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03086-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:27.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #3
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Process Overview:

Vehicle production at Manesar basically involves four processes – press shop, weld shop, paint shop and assembly line. The four operations are then followed by testing, inspection and quality control. This is the order in which we visited the plant, with the exception of the paint shop which we did not visit as it is a sealed area to maintain a controlled environment and ensure quality of the paint finish.

Safety first:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03087-large.jpg

Stage 1: The Press Shop

This process involves cutting and stamping metal sheets into the shape of body panels using heavy duty stamping machines and dies. 19 robots process 10,250 tons of steel per month to produce 213 different panels, producing a panel every 6 seconds. That adds up to 80,000 panels per day or 2 million panels per month! The operation sources 53% of its requirement of steel from domestic suppliers while the rest is imported.

Coils of raw material are received from suppliers, and they are cut and blanked into sheets of metal as per the requirement of different body panels:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03095-large.jpg

The panels are then loaded into the stamping machine:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03098-large.jpg

Suction cups (in blue) raise the panels into position, and then the die stamps the panels into shape:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03100-large.jpg

A body panel exits the stamping machine every six seconds! The machines are capable of producing similar panels (e.g. left and right door) or dissimilar panels (e.g. outer hood and inner hood panels) simultaneously in a single stroke, reducing the need for manual intervention:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03108-large.jpg

Interestingly, the excess material exits the line from the side. These panels are reused to make other components, reducing wastage and thereby increasing yield on the material!
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03106-large.jpg

There is no manual intervention during the stamping process. Panels are checked at regular intervals for quality control and compliance with defined tolerances:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03123-large.jpg

Speaking of quality control, the plant prominently displays kaizens (continuous improvements) suggested by line workers to improve the quality and finish of each operation’s output. Seen here is a panel which exhibited noticeable quality differences from the desired output, and the improved panel after refining the process:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03090-large.jpg

Any feedback to be escalated for a process change is given by putting a non-compliant panel into the ‘feedback panel’ rack shown below:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03109-large.jpg

The finished panels are then transferred to the weld shop. Guess who?
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03114-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:29.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #4
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Stage 2: The Weld Shop

The finished panels from the press shop come together to form a car body frame in the weld shop. Think of all four doors, the hood, the trunk, roof, floor and the frame panels coming together to be welded and form a single car shell. The shop is 100% automated, and it is fascinating to see the huge robots work in sync, programmed to perfection as they finish one weld spot after another seemingly as if they were alive. The weld line does not have any workers operating machines or the panels, just some overseeing and supervising the process for compliance. The machines are sensor based, and read the PSN (production sequence number) to recognize the model and correspondingly the job at hand, and they weld spots accordingly. Complete automation!

The mount on which the side frame is held in place for welding:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03120-large.jpg

An army of robots:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03129-large.jpg

Fun with numbers as I like it: A total of 1,153 fully automated robots across the plants (assembly lines) A, B and C work on 10,600 weld spots with precision to bring a body shell to life from its component panels. Here is a video to demonstrate the excitement, complete with R2-D2 like whirring motor sounds:


A typical body has 20-24 panels depending on model, and about 3,000 weld spots which are critical to maintain the strength and rigidity of the car. Hence QC is very frequent on this operation. A current is passed along the weld spots, and any fluctuation indicates a red flag. Speaking of red flags, these warning lamps are scattered at every stage of the process and alert the workers and managers of any non-compliance:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03207-large.jpg

Interestingly, to save material and reduce weight without sacrificing on strength, panel thicknesses vary at different spots. Take the example of the door panel below:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03138-large.jpg

The panel needs to be stronger along the hinge where it will be joined to the body, and therefore a weld line is seen on the door. The panel thickness along the side of the hinge is greater than on the rest of the door panel. This is courtesy of the tailor welding machine:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03136-large.jpg

The left and right doors are fed to the line together to be attached:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03134-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:29.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #5
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Stage 3: The Paint Shop

Once the shell of the car takes life, it’s time to put some paint on it. This actually involves several processes and coats: Pre-treatment (cleaning for the next process), Electro deposition (for corrosion resistance), Sol-Sealing and Undercoat, Top Coat Paint (base coat and clear coat), and Inspection. These layers ensure that the paint sprays onto the body efficiently and evenly, and the sheen of the paint is seen once the operation is completed. Each of these coats can be measured in microns and is very fine.
  • The paint shop uses a total of 40 robots, can paint 27 colours and uses 664 kilolitres of paint every month. That’s 26.5 kilolitres every single day!
  • Once the panels are painted, they are closely inspected under light for any imperfections and blemishes. These are rectified immediately, and the body is then sent to the assembly line where all the interior and exterior fittings take place.
  • Concurrently, the engine and transmission are being produced in the engine plant which we did not visit. Also not a part of the tour was the injection moulding facility which produces plastic parts such as the bumpers and interior panels manufactured in-house. These parts are painted by robots and then relayed to the assembly line.

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:30.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #6
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Stage 4: The Assembly Line

The final assembly shop is where all the components come together in sequence to form the cars as we see them on the showroom floor. The general sequence is as follows. The doors are separated for sub-assembly and the lining and steering column brackets are fitted along with the pedals:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03174-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03170-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03158-large.jpg

The wiring harness goes in. Interestingly, the system detects vehicle model by PSN, and a light above the correct wiring harness goes on. The operator knows immediately which harness to use and installs it without spending any extra time identifying the correct harness. The assembly line is full of such optimizations that make the operator’s life easier and the operation quicker and more efficient:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03165-large.jpg

Speaking of operator convenience, all along the assembly line there are ventilation ducts blowing fresh air to reduce fatigue:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03224-large.jpg

Also, operators move along the assembly line as they work. Once done, an innovative, powerless, gravity-dependent system slides the operator back along the line to the next car. Saves power and optimizes worker movement!
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03225-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03226-large.jpg

Seen here is a rest area for employee lunch breaks. Yes, the vessels can slide effortlessly from one end of the table to another on those rails! By the way, employee lunch breaks are staggered by department so that load on the facilities is even and not rushed:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03181-large.jpg

Back to the assembly line. The interior panel going in:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03161-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03154-large.jpg

The roof lining goes in:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03167-large.jpg

Headlamps and tail lamps being attached:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03171-large.jpg

Rear parcel shelf and parcel tray:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03163-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03180-large.jpg

Windshield goes on as well:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03230-large.jpg

The body is then eased onto the chassis on which the engine and axles are already mounted:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03212-large.jpg

In manufacturing terms, marriage is when the body is united with the chassis on the assembly line:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03208-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03209-large.jpg

Handbrake and interior panels:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03223-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03232-large.jpg

The wheel well linings will go in now:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03195-large.jpg

Time for the seats to go in:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03220-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03221-large.jpg

Remaining components are fitted into the engine bay:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03222-large.jpg

The doors are then re-joined to the body:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03145-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:31.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #7
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Quality Control & Inspection

Let’s get some wheels on them already, and then test them! The cars are given a thorough bath to check for any leakage and to inspect the paint finish:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03228-large.jpg

A variety of tests are performed including engine and transmission on the dynamo, electrical component testing, and underbody inspection. The cars are also sent to a test track for rough road inspection, and this was not a part of our tour:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03206-large.jpg
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03214-large.jpg

Once OK, the cars are covered with this white coating that you may be familiar with if you have seen cars being transported on trucks or have gone to the stockyard for a PDI prior to taking delivery of your new car:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03234-large.jpg

The cars are then sent to the stockyard, with a segregation based on local market / export stock. The process is complete, and here’s a line of sparkling new Maruti Suzukis!
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03237-large.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 20th July 2016 at 11:31.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:08   #8
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Sustainability initiatives:
  • The heat produced from the generators is used make steam which runs the steam turbines. These turbines have a capacity of 17.5 MW. This has brought down power consumption and resulted in a 21,500 ton/annum reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emission
  • 100% of street lighting is sustainable energy and further plans are in place to scale up use of solar and sustainable energy. The solar plant is claimed to result in reduction of CO2 emission by 1,014 tons annually
  • MSIL claims that in 2015-16, sustainability initiatives have led to a 25% decrease in the use of water per car produced, and a 7% reduction in power consumption per car. Impressive!
The plant is so well lit with natural light that I reckon the power consumption on that front would be quite low during the day. I could be wrong, but this is just an observation:
Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory-dsc03111-large.jpg

Employee Connect initiatives:
  • The establishment of quality circles has resulted in many initiatives to elevate the quality of output using suggestions directly taken from operators on the shop floor. A clear escalation matrix in place ensures the voices that matter are heard. Mr. Gandhi emphasized that the shop floor workers know best where the improvement areas are, and that he listens to feedback from this channel very keenly. Good to know that quality is a top-down approach here
  • MSIL regularly conducts skill-specific competitions to pit competing departments against each other, encouraging healthy competition between them.
  • Families of employees are invited to the plant on a weekly basis to see operations, and there are several festival celebrations in place for employees to connect with one another on an informal level.
Skill Development at Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs):
  • MSIL supports the vocational skill training and development across 131 facilities in 27 states across India. The initiatives include faculty and student development, infrastructure upgradation and automotive skill enhancement centers.
Disclaimer: Maruti invited Team-BHP for the factory visit. They covered all the travel expenses for this event.

Last edited by FlyingSpur : 21st July 2016 at 01:01. Reason: Typo. DECREASE in water used up per car produced.
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:35   #9
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Indian Car Scene. Thanks for sharing, rating 5 stars!
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Old 20th July 2016, 11:55   #10
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Default Re: Pics & Report: Inside Maruti-Suzuki's Manesar Factory

Very impressive report, FlyingSpur.

A couple of queries:

Do all the component parts fitted inside the car during the assembly line process belong to the vendors/suppliers only, or are any of them manufactured by the MS plant too?

Also, what kind of sprays do the robots conduct inside the Paint Shop? Do all cars get the mandatory 3-coat paint jobs? Did you notice any orange-peel effect on the car shades under lights, when they were being assembled?

Rated the thread a fully-deserving 5-stars!

Last edited by RavenAvi : 20th July 2016 at 12:00.
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Old 20th July 2016, 12:16   #11
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This is quite a visual treat, thank you!

It is heartening to see the various initiatives, be it the commitment towards going green or HR related.

This thread serves well to "put a face to a name"; in the sense that it shows you the people and the effort between a car, the finished product. This makes you appreciate the car even more!
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Old 20th July 2016, 12:22   #12
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An extremely informative and interesting article. Having owned a string of Maruti cars starting from the little red 800 DX of 1984, was always curious to know more about the company and the manufacturing process followed by them. Rating it a fully deserved 5 stars!
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Old 20th July 2016, 13:03   #13
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Excellent report FlyingSpur. Quite some innovative methods on conserving natural resources, especially on using the heat generated to run steam turbines.


I read this particular line twice, just to make sure I was reading this right about the two wheeler engines. Wonder whom is this supplied to; is it exported or to Suzuki Two Wheeler Indian operations?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSpur View Post
  • Sprawled over 600 acres (2.4 million square meters), the Manesar location has three manufacturing plants, capable of producing 800,000 vehicles annually, 300,000 engines for passenger cars and 540,000 engines for two wheelers. That’s right, the engines for bikes are also produced at this plant.
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Old 20th July 2016, 16:47   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenmz View Post
Wonder whom is this supplied to; is it exported or to Suzuki Two Wheeler Indian operations?
The engines are for Suzuki Two Wheeler India Operations. This is similar to Japan where facilities are shared between 2W, 4W and Marine divisions.
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Old 20th July 2016, 19:06   #15
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Absolutely wonderful thread, rating it 5 stars.

It must have been an absolute dream to see how these beauties are made from scratch.

Being a mechanical engineer it is truly awe inspiring to see these manufacturing processes, which we learn in theory, actually working on such a grand scale.

Thanks a lot for this detailed thread!
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