Individual projects » Automotive South Africa


New build and conversion Assembly Shop

Individual projects » Automotive South Africa

In the South African plant of a well-known German car manufacturer, the entire production had to be designed for the extended requirements and the integration of a new model. A large-scale order, which ROFA AG was able to win in the commissioning of the final assembly. Already before there was a collaboration at this site.

Since the 1970s, the work of the German manufacturer in the south of the country has already been in operation. The production of a new model beginning in 2020 required a profound change in local structures. Adjusted cycle times and a significant increase in production capacity to serve the global market from here – these two requirements were the focus. To do this, new buildings had to be built and existing systems made more flexible and enlarged. ROFA AG won the contract for several Greenfield and Brownfield sites, a total of seven linked systems. The conversions were made in system areas that ROFA AG had previously managed, so that an extensive knowledge of the local conditions was decisive in the contract assignment.


The manufacturer was searching for a partner who, as responsible general contractor, coordinates all trades and has the corresponding network in South Africa. At the same time, the activities had to be coordinated with an external planning office – another interface that came into play. Here ROFA AG was able to fully convince the client. Besides the main and pre-assembly lines, the powertrain was merged with the body. The technologies were provided by several companies of the group. The assembly conveyor systems (EMS, AGVs) were covered by ROFA AG, the joining station contributed by MOLL. Skid conveyor and slat conveyor from ROFA-LEHMER rounded off the portfolio.


The coordination on site was carried out by a German-South African dual leadership. The construction work, as the "heart" of the order, was carried out in Germany and at the Eastern European sites of the ROFA Group. This is where the know-how is at home, in order to fully comply with the strict European quality standards and also the technical specifications of the manufacturer – even if the subsequent result is more than ten thousand kilometers away from the parent company. Local partners were involved in parts of the production (electrical and steel construction), while ROFA AG worked with network partners for the assembly, whose reliability they knew from many previous projects.


Implementation started in November 2019. Christmas 2019 saw the big shutdown in the existing facilities to be retrofitted. The new production lines were integrated and put into operation under enormous time pressure and with considerable manpower. "The tension in this phase is enormous, because every minute of downtime generates high costs. Here our client could rely 100% on the professional implementation by ROFA AG and its partners. Everything was implemented in the agreed time frame and in compliance with all specifications,” summarizes Sales Manager Rainer Asner.


Customer: Premium car manufacturer from Germany
Project: New build and conversion in South Africa
Production area: Final Assembly (Assembly Shop)
Contract volume: 37 Mio. Euro

Involved companies:

  • ROFA AG: heavy duty EMS, engine EMS, doors EMS, AGV
  • MOLL Automatisierung GmbH: marriage station
  • ROFA-LEHMER GmbH: skid conveyor system, slat conveyor

Project duration from start:
May 2018-January 2020 (SOP old model) or August 2021 (final acceptance new model)


Final (Mech 1/2)

  • 464 m track expansion
  • 31 heavy C-carrier
  • 51 electronical carrier upgrades
  • 1 lowering rail
  • 1 skid shuttle with transfer to EMS
  • 2 scissors lifting carriers with roller conveyors for skid handling technology
  • 2 turntables for skid handling technology
  • 6 skid roller conveyors
  • reconstruction of one skid stapler to latest technology
  • 2 control groups


Engine Line

  • 286 m EMS KB240 loop with 22 work stations
  • 41 carriers with chain unit
  • 2 pallet conveyors incl. shuttle for transfer to EMS, stapler loading / unloading
  • 1 semi-automatic unloading to AGV
  • 1 control group


AVG Line

  • 240 m inductive track
  • 16 inductive AGV with 2 scissors lifting tables each (6 t lifting capacity)
  • 7 clocked work stations
  • 2 marriage positions for different models
  • 5 parking lots for sequencing
  • 1 maintenance area with crane
  • 1 control group

Door Line

  • 660 m track expansion
  • 5 work stations
  • 50 carriers
  • 200 mountings for new models
  • 2 control groups


Trim Line

  • 31 roller conveyors for skid handling technology 
  • 2 lifting stations for skid handling technology
  • 2 eccentric lifting tables with roller conveyors
  • 6 eccentric lifting tables 
    (maintainance stations)
  • 2 plastic cross belt conveyors
  • 6 associate conveyors
  • 1 control group


Final (Mech 3/4)

  • 2 steel two-strand slat conveyors
  • 6 plastic two-strand slat conveyors
  • 2 turntables with two-strand slat conveyor
  • 1 transfer unit from EMS to slat conveyor -> shuttle with lifting table
  • 1 control group marriage
  • 1 marriage, divided into two stations (marriage + honeymoon)
  • 11 AGV mountings for former model
  • 11 AGV mountings for new model
  • 1 control group


Skid Return

  • 3 plastic cross chain conveyors
  • 1 transfer from skid stapler
  • 4 times integration and reprogramming of existing control groups


Trim 1

  • upgrade of existing system