HELLER solutions:

Customer-specific solutions with measurable results

Detroit Diesel Corporation: development and implementation of a highly flexible hybrid manufacturing system incorporating HELLER machining centres and FTS for the new DD15 heavy-duty engine

Task Setting

  • Production of the new DD15: 14.8l 6-cylinder in-line diesel engine
  • Product and process development in simultaneous engineering with Detroit Diesel
  • Optimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) throughout the complete life cycle of the hybrid system

Project scope and solution

  • Hybrid solution for complete machining comprising several machining centres model MCH-400D, one head changer system model HCS 450 D, linked to FST transferline (Flexible System Transferline)
  • Transcontinental development of a manufacturing system in simultaneous engineering by HELLER Germany, HELLER USA and Detroit Diesel
  • Flexible manufacturing system: adaptation to increasing production volume, suitable for batch size 1, mixed production


  • Precise investment planning and flexible expansion of the production volume at Detroit Diesel
  • Complete heavy-duty machining of workpieces up to 4000kg in weight, diameters of up to 170cm and lengths of up to 130cm on HELLER MCH 400D
  • FST provides short lead times, small footprint and high system availability
  • Increased machine availability: rough milling of bulkhead on Head Changer System enables tool change during machining avoiding unnecessary idle times
  • Engine assembly in close proximity to engine manufacturing keeps distances short and provides a better overview of the complete manufacturing process; possible due to excellent enclosure of HELLER machines
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