DAF invests EUR 200 million in Westerlo cab plant

In Uncategorized, DAF4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 25, 2019

Minister Muyters and DAF president Wolters at the building site of the DAF cab factory expansion.

DAF is to invest EUR 200 million in its cab plant in Westerlo, Belgium in order to be prepared for future production volumes. DAF made the announcement this week during a visit by Philippe Muyters, the Flemish Minister for Work, Economics, Innovation.

DAF opened its Westerlo plant in 1966, where – in addition to cabs – it has also manufactured its own axles since the early seventies. The current workforce of 2800 employees produces axles and cabs for the heavy and medium duty trucks that come off the production lines in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and in Leyland, United Kingdom.

DAF Trucks Vlaanderen new factories.

DAF has become the second largest truck brand in Europe and the market leader in the important tractor segment. To further strengthen its leading position in Europe as well as in international markets beyond, DAF is creating completely new state-of-the-art processes at the Westerlo plant.

With the EUR 200 million investment, production capacity of the cab plant increases by some 45% to 300 cabs per day in a two-shift operation. This number will be in line with capacity of the new cab paint factory, which was officially opened at the end of 2017, following an investment of EUR 100 million.

DAF Trucks Vlaanderen new factories.

For the ‘body-in-white’ assembly of the DAF CF and XF cabs, the existing 17,800 m2 cab body welding factory will be expanded by 13,200 m2. The extension will feature a single-line lay-out with some 130 highly advanced robots and 135 fully automated welding guns, to provide world-class quality, efficiency and ergonomics.

The cab trimming plant (15,600 m2) will be expanded by 20,000 m2. The new facility will have multiple sections, including a main assembly line, a roof assembly line and door and cockpit sub-assembly lines. It will also include a highly advanced test and inspection department. In the main assembly line an advanced ‘skillet’-system will be applied for class-leading ergonomics, enabling employees to adapt working height to suit operations and individual preferences.

Minister Muyters and DAF president Wolters at the building site of the DAF cab factory expansion.

“The new state-of-the-art cab body and cab trimming factories are required for DAF to further grow both inside and outside Europe,” said DAF president, Harry Wolters. “Upon completion, the new facilities will be the most modern of their kind, setting the benchmark in quality, efficiency and ergonomics. Above all, the investment of EUR 200 million once again illustrates DAF’s confidence in the future of its plant in Belgium.”

Construction of the new body and cab trimming factories at the DAF Vlaanderen site has started. Belgian construction company Cordeel has been contracted to do the work. The body-in-white welding line will be supplied by VDL Steelweld from The Netherlands.