Visiting Benimar Motorhome Factory During our winter journey, in january 2020 we had a unique opportunity to visit the Benimar factory in Peniscola. Product manager Maurits Geensen gave us a tour and he showed us how a bare chassis is turned into a brand new motor home. Except for a few critical steps, we were allowed to film everything and we saw how 17 new motorhomes were completed every day. We will gladly take you for a look inside the factory. We have an appointment with Maurits Geensen, product manager at Benimar Maurits, first of all, we really appreciate that we could be here today. There are a lot of brands of motor homes, what separates Benimar from the pack? The color on the inside is one of the biggest differences as opposed to typical German vehicles. In German vehicles there is a lot more wood, whereas we use a combination of dark and bright colors. That’s one of the differences. And from a technical standpoint, our vehicles are also different from the other brands. What are the technical differences? We don’t use wood or plywood on the inside of the walls so the motor home should stay bright for longer. Our insulation in the floor and in the roof is also a lot thicker than usual. We use 35mm of Styrofoam insulation, which is a lot thicker than usual. What are the benefits of that? The insulation is a lot better. So in the winter the camper stays warm, and in the summer it stays cool? Yes, indeed. Here’s the start, where the motor homes come in right? Yes, every day we get trucks full of chassis. And this the start of the process. We recieve the chassis like this, and then they go inside to be transformed into motorhomes. I can see that the backside of the cabin is closed, is that for protection? Yes, the backside is closed so the inside is protected from the rain during transport. These are chassis and engines made by Ford, where do they come from? These come from Turkey, they travel by boat to France, and then to here by truck. We also have chassis made by Fiat, and those come from Italy, also by boat and truck. So before the customer starts driving, the motor home has had quite a journey? Yes, without mileage, they have had a long journey. I’m very curious to see the inside of the factory. Let’s take a look. This is the start of the production process. The chassis comes in, the backside and the roof are removed. Then we install the floor, and the chassis is extended. After the floor, the heater, water and gas installations are added. These are all installed on this workplace. The factories that I know have very little robots. The making of a motor home is human work. We have 40 different products, so making that with robots is impossible. I don’t know about other brands, but for us it’s impossible. At this stage of the production, we install the watertanks. We also install the backseats here. After this stage, it goes to the next stage where the furniture gets installed. This is where the chassis comes out of the first stage of the production line. And now they go to the part where the furniture gets installed. We are back inside the factory, this is the stage where the furniture gets installed. The furniture gets produced in one of our factories elsewhere. They produce furniture for us and for a different factory. Every day we get 5 trucks full of furniture, ready to be installed. I see a lot of numbers hanging around, could you explain what they mean? Those numbers represent the stages in the production process. At every stage a different production process takes place. We have 42 stages and at every stage new people go in the motor home to install different things. So if I understand it correctly, if you are done with stage 42, the motor home is done? Yes, after that it gets cleaned and from there it goes via truck to France, the Netherlands or Italy; wherever the customer is. Do the employees always work at the same stage? Usually, yes. But if they do good, they can move to a different stage. If they do an exceptional job, they can grow to be the manager of a team, and eventually of all of the teams. We are now halfway through the production line. This is stage 23, and the motor home is now closed off, so the roof, sides and the backside are now installed. Now we get to work on the inside of the motor home, for example securing the furniture. What does the clock at the middle of the hall stand for? That clock tells us how much time is left before the employees have to be done with their stage. So everybody can see the clock, and know how much time he or she has left before the motor home moves on to the next step. What if somebody finishes before the timer ends? Each stage takes about 25 minutes and usually everybody finishes in that time. However if they don’t make it, they have to ask their team leaders for help. Those motor homes driving back and forth, is that the only time it’s driving before it goes on the truck? Yes, in the factory they drive around 800 meters by themselves but the rest of the production line is automatic, so nobody has to drive them. Except for here? Yes, except for here, but only because there is a turn. That ledge underneath the motor home, is that the automatic system that drags them along? Yes, that’s the system that drags them along. It starts at stage 6 and ends at stage 36. As you said this is where a lot of the inside production happens and I see a lot of female workers. Is that for a specific reason, are females neater than men? For some tasks, yes. Around 30% of our employees are female. For installing electricity and bathrooms we have female workers so not just, like we see here, cleaning. So for more detailed work, females are better than men. Maurits, what’s happening here? This is the stage where the motor home undergoes a quality inspection. This is also done by female workers, because they look with critical eyes. Every spot that is dirty or not installed correctly gets a red marker This one has quite a lot of markers! Yes, the silicon has not been removed correctly, so that has to happen again. Is that the last step, removing the red markers and correcting the mistakes? Yes, from here we have 3 more stages, to finish the process. I don’t see any more equitment here, does that mean we are at the last stage now? Yes, the motor homes are finished now. Now it goes to the point where the outside gets cleaned and after that it goes onto the truck, to the customer. Maurits, thank you very much for the tour and all the answers you gave us. We were fascinated and really enjoyed it. You’re welcome. As Wilma said, what an experience we’ve had. When you walk around the outside of the factory, you don’t really understand how many motor homes get produced here but a flight with the drone, truly shows the scale of the factory. 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