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MERKO has completed the first phase of development of UAB “Continental Automotive Lithuania” production building in Kaunas

Merko statyba has completed the construction of a modern production plant of automotive electronic components for UAB “Continental Automotive Lithuania” in Kaunas, which currently meets the highest building standards applicable to the automotive industry.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the entire team of Kaunas production plant, as well as our contractors. The first phase of the project was completed successfully, with all the objectives met and a solid foundation laid for future development. The project was completed on time despite the pandemic and disrupted supply chain. We are currently preparing to move forward with the second phase of development,” said Shayan Ali, CEO of the “Continental Automotive Lithuania.”

Merko statyba has completed the first phase of development of “Continental Lithuania” production plant of electronics. The production area was increased by 5,000 m2, while the additional office space was increased by 1,600 m2. The newly expanded production area will be fully operational in 2023. The product portfolio of Kaunas production plant will remain unchanged, with the primary focus remaining on automotive parts ensuring safety, comfort and autonomous driving functions. Electronic components manufactured in Kaunas production plant will be available in the latest car models.

“We appreciate the trust placed in us and we are pleased with the mutual cooperation and successful completion of the project — after all, new buildings were constructed over the course of a year, as planned. Despite the pandemic, disrupted supply chains and rising material costs, all works were conducted in accordance with the agreed work schedule,” stated Saulius Putrimas, CEO of UAB Merko statyba.

Focus on the environment and sustainability

UAB “Continental Automotive Lithuania” building was designed and built to meet the international “LEED Gold” standard for sustainable buildings, which requires a high level of attention to construction processes, environmental protection and sustainability.  Building Information Management (BIM) was used in the design and construction of this building, as it had been in a number of previous UAB Merko statyba projects. This methodology facilitates in ensuring the high-quality work, reducing operational risks, saving resources and preventing potential errors. The project of the “Continental Automotive Lithuania” building won “the Best Lithuanian BIM projects of 2022” award in the industrial buildings category.

The new building is also an excellent example of a focus on employee comfort and health. The control of factory operating parameters and energy management systems was automated and smart and environmentally friendly engineering solutions were used in the building. They ensure building climate control and more efficient use of energy. The buildings are equipped with intelligent interior lighting solutions, which regulate and control light intensity remotely by selecting the optimal amount of light for employees. 

The facilities provide a healthy microclimate, in which temperature, humidity and dustiness are strictly controlled. The floor of the production area was coated with a conductive epoxy coating that does not accumulate static charge and is resistant to friction and the liquid spills.

The challenge of carrying out construction works alongside the precise manufacturing process

According to S. Putrimas, these construction works were also one of the more complex challenges faced by UAB Merko statyba team because a new building had to be built and connected to another building, where “Continental” production plant already operated and where automotive electronic components were produced. The manufacturing process of such equipment is extremely precise and sensitive to external vibrations. Therefore, it was necessary to construct a building adjacent to it without causing any vibrations. It made us wonder if it was even possible. To find it out, it was necessary to first determine which vibration frequencies already affect and may harm the production process.

“We collaborated with scientists from Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) to develop a solution in which we determined the background vibration frequency of the existing equipment in the manufacturing plant and established the limits for possible vibrations that would not endanger the production process. As a result, we had to work in strict compliance with the established requirements,” explained CEO of UAB Merko statyba.

Another challenge was expanding the production area without interrupting the production process. For this reason, we had to first install a temporary, hermetic partition that met the operational requirements, then begin dismantling the walls, columns and windows of the operating production plant, and only then connect the two areas of production plant.

“We are glad that all of these unusual challenges were successfully overcome, and that works were completed on time while not interfering with the operations of the “Continental Automotive Lithuania” production plant,” said S. Putrimas.