smart factory - how bmw is optimising production lines

smart factory - how bmw is optimising production lines

In 2016 BMW introduced fully-automated vehicles to the production plants of its Innovation Centre in Wackersdorf. But this is only one component of the Smart Factory concept that is making the BMW production lines so efficient. The manufacturing site of the future is combining innovative materials with self-driving systems and smart data analytics.

The modular design consists of the electric drive system and a lightweight carbon fibre passenger compartment. After the carbon fibre forms have been moulded into shape, they are assembled into larger components with a unique automated bonding technique no need for of screws, rivets and welding.

By injecting liquid resin into the preformed fabric sections the carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) gains stability while still being of manageable weight. This results in passenger cabins that are 30 per cent lighter than aluminium and 50 per cent lighter than steel.

The CFRP curing process also reduces the work phases in the paint shop. This results in a much shorter production line. The i-model assembly uses a 110-metre production line as opposed to traditional lines that can measure several kilometres.

Supply Logistics are the core of the of the BMW production system. A step towards fully automated production systems are the self-driving robots that have been transporting components through logistics at the Wackersdorf plant since 2016.

The robots move freely through the logistics halls, giving them a whole new level of flexibility: While automated transportation isnt new at all, most conventional systems depend on rails or floor-mounted induction loops for navigation.

In the smart factory each component can be identified with an individual code. That makes it possible to locate the parts on a digital mapping system. Every physical production plant has a digital twin visualising the position of the registered objects at the site accurately.

In the long-run BMW is planning on reducing 5 per cent of the annual cost of a vehicle, and plans are afoot to take their manufacturing process to that objective. A further 200 million is being invested in a new plant in Leipzig. The building work will begin in 2018 and is scheduled to finish in 2020. The plant will be designed to meet the high standards of an increased production flexibility for future BMW model generations.

ai - a core part of bmws production system

ai - a core part of bmws production system

These are exciting times within the automotive industry and BMW is leading the way through its use of AI. Work to the most exacting standards is now being delivered by novel digitisation solutions designed by human expertise. Matthias Schindler will be explaining how these processes work at this years The Sensor Show.

Matthias is Head of AI Innovation in production at the BMW Groups research and innovation centre in Munich, a new role and one which hes held since January 2018. Hes worked for the company since graduating in 2013, after studying mechanical engineering to Masters level at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Its notable that BMW has been open about its work in AI and there are, for example, YouTube videos showing the production of cars with workers in collaboration with robots. At the BMW Group technology supports people. BMW want humans to be involved in creative tasks, putting the finesse on a premium product, whereas automation performs repetitive, boring and heavy tasks BMWs goal is the ideal division of labour.

The shop floor workers understand their roles may be changing, but our goal is to support them and they can also see the benefits. We involve them when developing AI software, so that they clearly see the benefits. Our overall goal is to bring an innovative software tool as an additional option, so that the workers can improve their daily production processes.

The BMW Group uses AI in manufacturing to support the workers. AI should facilitate work processes so that employees have more time for creative tasks The role of AI in manufacturing can be compared with robots which took the most physically demanding tasks that is clearly a win-win.

So, rather than sweating it out, production workers are now more likely to train their own AI. Therefore, they will be taking photographs with their mobile devices from different angles on the production line or overseeing these being taken with stationary cameras. Working on the BMW production line is also about sitting behind a computer and using the companys labelling tool its intuitive AI software to ensure customer orders are being properly fulfilled.

This digital image tagging software allows users to train an AI software which is able to spot differences and problems at an early stage. The automated image recognition involves comparing one picture of a component or at a stage of the production process with a correct version and if there is deviation from what is required, then the worker is notified and can put matters right.

In terms of the workforce adopting more use of technology, Matthias says it has gone well, with employees older as well as younger quickly picking up how to use it, which could include selecting tools from a digital toolbox, according to what they are doing on the production line.

Some 7 out of 10 customers want individualisation and there are one billion different combinations with the new 3 series, for example. Before dispatch, we check we are delivering the right product by checking via AI against the order.

Around 30 million parts are used daily, with many arriving at one location from global suppliers. We have also moved to having all cars produced on one line, but when you are dealing with fuel, hybrid and fully electric, this can mean further complications.

In January, BMW received recognition at the Consumer Electronics Show when it won the Connected Car Award in the Pioneer category. This was voted for by a panel of experts and was for BMWs use of AI in the production system Matthias was on hand with colleagues to pick up the award in Las Vegas.

AI is being implemented at rapid speed across the automotive industry and BMW is demonstrating its use of the technology to boost quality and reliability. The company is also sharing some of its algorithms, linked to object recognition, on the code-hosting platform Github, which means they can be used by other developers free of charge, which it believes will add to further advancement.

For Matthias, his presentation will offer our audience hugely valuable insights. He may have chosen to work for a local employer, but he is now travelling extensively to inform those who want to learn more about this fast-moving sector.

sand dewatering recycling machine henan victory machinery co., ltd

sand dewatering recycling machine henan victory machinery co., ltd

The dehydration recovery integrated machine, also known as the sixth generation fine sand recovery machine, has added the function of material recovery on the basis of the original dehydration screen, and achieved the effect of one machine with multiple uses. It is a new fine sand recovery device integrating material dehydration and recovery, and also a new environmental protection sand washing equipment.

Function introduction The dehydrated fine sand recovery machine is generally used in the wet sand production line, which is directly installed at the back of the sand washing machine. The dehydration screen on the equipment dehydrates the finished materials of the sand washing machine step by step. The recovery system on the equipment recycles the waste discharged from the sand washing machine, fully solving the disadvantages of the sand washing machine (such as: the finished products have a large water content, a large amount of mud, a lot of dust, and it is difficult to clean impurities). Greatly improved the quality of finished products. Working principle The dehydrated fine sand recovery machine is divided into two operation areas. 1. Dewatering operation area: it is composed of vibrating motor and dewatering screen; the finished sand of the sand washing machine directly enters the dewatering screen for secondary cleaning, classification and dewatering. 2. Recovery operation area: it is composed of vacuum high-pressure pump, motor, high-pressure separator, return water tank and cleaning box; the waste water (also called mud and sand water mixture) discharged from the sand washing machine enters the cleaning box and is delivered to the separator via vacuum high-pressure pump to separate the sediment and collect the fine sand. The fine sand enters the dehydration screen through the sand settling nozzle for dehydration, and other impurities pass through the overflow port of the separator and enter the return. Drain the water tank. Product advantage 1. The dehydrated fine sand recovery machine has two functions of dehydration and recovery. One machine is multi-purpose and easy to operate, saving investment cost and floor area. 2. The sand washing is cleaner, and the secondary sand washing and dewatering function is added for the finished sand of the sand washing machine, which is a higher feature of the dehydrated fine sand recovery machine. 3. The fine sand recovery rate is high, achieving 80% 90% of the fine sand recovery effect, bringing more than 15% of the direct economic benefits to customers, not only saving energy and environmental protection, but also considerable profits, with both environmental and economic benefits. 4. Improve the quality and output of the finished sand, and fully solve the problems of the sand washing machine (such as: large water content of the finished product, large amount of mud, more dust, difficult to clean impurities, etc.). Structural components 1. Polyurethane screen The inner self-cleaning performance, no plugging, high screening efficiency and long service life of the polyurethane elastic screen are due to the use of steel wire rope as the skeleton material, plus the polyurethane itself has a very high elastic modulus, high strength absorption impact, high wear resistance, so it has a very high tensile strength, and its bearing capacity is more than 2.5 times that of the rubber screen. Its service life is 8-10 times longer than ordinary metal screen, 3 times longer than stainless steel screen surface, 3.9 times longer than natural rubber screen surface, and it is the screen surface material with better wear resistance in the world. 2. Sediment separator The separation principle of the separator is centrifugal sedimentation. When the slurry to be separated enters the separator at a given pressure, it is forced to rotate. Due to the different centrifugal force, centripetal buoyancy and fluid drag force, the coarse solid particles in the slurry move to the wall of the vessel against the hydraulic resistance, and move downward in a spiral direction along the vessel wall under the combined action of their own gravity. The fine and small particles and most of the water do rotary motion with the slurry due to the small centrifugal force. 3. Vacuum high pressure pump The new type of vacuum high pressure pump is adopted, which can reduce the pressure of power, seal and prevent the slurry from leaking. The vacuum high-pressure pump is a wear-resistant energy-saving vacuum high-pressure pump. Adopting the international advanced design theory and the principle of small loss, the shape of the flow passage parts and the flow state of the slurry have reached the ideal state. 4. Composite spring Rubber spring spiral composite spring has the characteristics of non-linear and structural damping of rubber spring, and the characteristics of large deformation and bearing capacity of metal spring. Its stability and bearing capacity are due to rubber spring.

We provide sand making solutions all over the world. With over 20 years of experience well ensure that youre always getting the best results from Henan Victory Machinery Co., Ltd. focused on quality.

bmw and ford-backed solid power will go public via spac merger in $1.2b deal techcrunch

bmw and ford-backed solid power will go public via spac merger in $1.2b deal techcrunch

Solid Power, a solid-state battery developer backed by Ford and BMW, is going public. The company said Tuesday it would head to the NASDAQ via a merger with special purpose acquisition company Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corp III at a post-deal implied market valuation of $1.2 billion.

The transaction is expected to generate around $600 million in cash, including a $165 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) transaction from investors Koch Strategic Platforms, Riverstone Energy Limited, Neuberger Berman and Van Eck Associates Corporation. Solid Power said in a statement Tuesday that the funds will go toward growth and operations.

Solid state batteries are considered by many as the next long-awaited breakthrough in battery technology. They are so named because they lack a liquid electrolyte, the mechanism that moves ions between the cathode and anode in traditional lithium-ion batteries, as Mark Harris explained in an Extra Crunch article earlier this year. By getting rid of this liquid component, developers say SSBs are safer and with far superior energy density. Solid Power said in a June 15 investor presentation that its batteries are expected to deliver a nearly 500-mile range on a single charge and more than double a conventional batterys 8-year lifespan.

Ford Motor Company and BMW AG have made it clear theyre bullish on Solid Powers ability to deliver. The two OEMs led the battery developers $130 million Series B in May and signed joint development agreements for automotive-scale batteries from Solid Powers pilot production line to be delivered in early 2022.

Solid Power is just the latest battery company to go public via a SPAC in recent months. One of its main rivals, Volkswagen-backed QuantumScape, went public via a SPAC merger last September at a valuation of $3.3 billion. Earlier this year, European battery manufacturer FREYR and power system developer Microvast also announced mergerswith so-called blank-check firms.

bmw improves quality with data analysis | 2018-05-04 | assembly magazine

bmw improves quality with data analysis | 2018-05-04 | assembly magazine

Building a car generates massive amounts of data throughout the value chain. The BMW Group uses its Smart Data Analytics digitalization cluster to analyze this data selectively and enhance its production system. Results from intelligent data analysis make an effective contribution towards improving quality in all areas of production and logistics.

Data-driven improvements to processes and systems help reduce lead times and lower costs. New solutions are being developed not only at headquarters, but at many different points in the international production network. In this way, the BMW Group is able to take advantage of a wide range of innovations that open up additional options for even more flexible production.

The company uses an access-protected intranet-of-things platform to link the large quantity of sensor and process data from production and logistics quickly and easily. Smart Data Analytics offers new opportunities that extend beyond previous analysis possibilities. The speed with which new solutions can be implemented is significant. At the same time, new IoT sensors, combined with cloud and big data technologies, are reducing the technical complexity and implementation costs.

Smart Data Analytics is setting new standards for our production system, says Christian Patron, head of innovation and digitalization in production system. By combining the experience of our staff with new possibilities for efficient processing of large data volumes, we are able to create accurate forecasts and proactively optimize processes. This speeds up continuous improvement of our production system in line with the basic principles of lean production.

Steel coils up to 40 tons and about three kilometers long are cut into blanks in the press shop and then formed into body parts. However, sheet thickness, strength, surface texture and degree of oiling are not uniform throughout the coil. Deviations from target can lead to cracks in body parts that are subjected to particular stress during the forming process.

This is where the Smart Data Analytics application at BMWs plant in Regensburg, Germany, comes in. A laser is used to mark each blank with a multi-digit code, serving as an ID. Going forward, this will allow the presses to be fine-tuned to accommodate the characteristics of the blank. If needed, the ID may contain a control command which can, for example, trigger additional oiling of the blank in the press before forming.

Each body part is assigned information that remains available throughout all subsequent production steps. Since the blank stays in its production line for marking, the ID is assigned without any cycle downtime. The ID is designed so that it remains visible throughout car body construction.

BMW Group planning specialists already take advantage of the traceability of all parts for further optimization involving additional algorithms. For example, taking into account the characteristics measured for each individual body part, the gap dimensions of the finished body can be further optimized, or the paint application better matched to the surface of that particular body.

Fine-tuning of press parameters according to the properties of the blank is already having a major impactthe number of scrapped parts is significantly lower, with better utilization of the coil material and reduced system downtime required for fault analysis.

Smart Data Analytics applications offer especially high potential for increasing the availability of production equipment and machines in highly automated areas of manufacturing. Maximum accuracy in predicting risk of breakdown helps avoid unplanned system downtime. Based on the forecast, maintenance staff can plan a targeted maintenance intervention to limit downtimes to a minimum.

This predictive maintenance is enabled by intelligent analysis of large quantities of real production, sensor and process datatargeted analysis of this information makes it possible to determine when to replace wearing parts used in production. If the change is made too late, there is a risk of production stoppage; made too early, valuable resources are wasted.

Without the relevant data, the purely preventive maintenance of the past was conducted without knowing the actual state of wear. This method required allowing safety margins for the timing of the changeover, but could not detect unexpected breakdowns.

Data-based solutions for predictive maintenance are used at various stages in car body production to predict wear in robots. Sensors in welding tongs signal ahead of time when defects or quality problems are likely to occur. Wide-scale sensor monitoring also improves the reliability of the electrical drives used in a variety of systems, including lifts and turntables. Robots and control technology are fitted with the sensors, allowing maintenance staff analyze the data and draw the right conclusions.

The BMW Group received the Prix de la Technique 2017 at the prestigious Surcar Congress in Cannes, France, for its concept for comprehensive paint shop digitalization at the companys new plant in San Luis Potos, Mexico, which will begin series production in 2019. BMW Group paint shops already use sensors for ongoing monitoring of automated production processes.

Intelligently networked systems enhance the stability of process sequences, enable predictive maintenance and ensure the highest quality for customers. Online process control combines the strengths of algorithm-based analysis of large data volumes with employee experience. As a result, humans can focus more on their role as architects of the production process, since real production data is sorted and optimally prestructured for them. Error potential can be detected in time and rework avoided.

In May 2017, the BMW Group began using fully automated quality control for the first time at its Munich plant, with robots scanning the entire outer vehicle surface. The system is capable of detecting errors the human eye cannot perceive. This data obtained also provides valuable feedback on the precision of upstream painting processesallowing continuous optimization and timely identification of defect potential.

Bolted connections are fundamental to automobile production, since every vehicle contains hundreds of them. The BMW Group monitors and analyzes all bolted connections that are relevant to safety. The bolted connections that do not, or only partly, meet the desired specifications may require rework. With its preventive quality strategy, the BMW Group has developed algorithms that have been analyzing bolted connections in more than 3,200 assembly systems at all vehicle plants since July 2017.

Recording and analysis of bolting process curves provide accurate feedback on the quality of bolted connections. The program can recognize different types of fault and show possible sources of error in a cause-and-effect diagram. The BMW Group uses this information to train and qualify employees for preventive quality worka mistake that is not made does not need correcting. A trainer can then also provide tips on error avoidance.

Analysis of bolting process curves also provides important insights for systematic monitoring of bolting systems and parameters, such as tightening torque. When implemented quickly, these findings create a closed loop of continuous improvement.

In many cases, manual analysis of bolting process curves would only result in a finding of acceptable or not acceptable, without identifying the cause of errors or highlighting potential for improvement.

The BMW Group production system is characterized by the highest degree of flexibility. The company produces a wide range of models and variants on its assembly lines, but is nevertheless competitiveas confirmed by independent benchmarks. On the assembly line, a reliable supply of materials is particularly important. A breakdown at any point could cause the entire production area to grind to a halt.

In assembly, many conveyor systems are now equipped with a large number of sensors that monitor various factors, especially temperature, vibration and electrical power. These sensors are cost-effective enough to allow them to be widely used. Data from these sensor kits and other process data is streamed live to the BMW internet-of-things platform, where it is visualized and analyzed in real-time.

If the data detects a trend indicating deviation or patterns from previous breakdowns, the platform notifies maintenance staff. Staff can then decide whether the hanger should be removed for maintenance. In this way, it is possible to ensure long-term, reliable operation of the conveyor system over a number of years.

In automotive production, every second counts. If a part isnt available on time or a system fails, the production process is delayed and it disrupts the value chain, notes Patron. Intelligent use of production data ensures a stable and efficient process. We see tremendous potential in Smart Data Analytics for incorporating feedback from our customers into development and production even faster.

As more companies automate their screwdriving processes with collaborative robots, there are many factors to consider to ensure employee safety, consistent required torque high degree of repeatability and zero defect products. Join Universal Robots and screwdriving experts Atlas Copco for this joint webinar featuring the latest developments in automated screwdriving.

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bmw names new bosses for u.s., german and uk plants

bmw names new bosses for u.s., german and uk plants

Robert Engelhorn, 51, who currently heads the Munich plant, will take over management of the automaker's largest production location, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The company's only U.S. factory produces the vast majority of BMW X vehicles.

Engelhorn replaces 61-year-old Knudt Flor, who is retiring. Flor served as boss of the Spartanburg plant since December 2016, while Engelhorn has been in charge of the Munich factory since August 2018.

Engelhorn will be replaced by Peter Weber, 49, who is currently head of the plant in Oxford, which produces car for the Mini brand. Weber is also head of the Swindon plant, also located in England, which manufactures body components.

Weber will oversee the production of first BMW i4 full-electric sedans, which will come off the production line in Munich this autumn. He had previously handled the launch of the full-electric Mini Cooper SE.

Finally, Markus Grneisl, 45, will move to the UK to replace Weber as head of the Oxford and Swindon plants. Grneisl is currently responsible for areas including the BMW production system, process excellence and plant digitalization at BMW Group headquarters.

"All three are proven experts with extensive process know-how, years of experience and, not least, excellent leadership qualities," Milan Nedeljkovic, BMW's management board member responsible for production, said in a statement.

bmw starts electric drivetrain production for bmw ix and bmw i4

bmw starts electric drivetrain production for bmw ix and bmw i4

At the same time, the company is also increasing production capacity for its fifth-generation electric motor, which has been built in Dingolfing for the BMW iX3 since 2020 and will also power the BMW iX and BMW i4.

We expect at least 50 percent of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by 2030. To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drive train expertise: We are increasing capacity at existing drive train production locations like here in Dingolfing and developing capabilities at others like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig, explained Dr Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President, Production Engines and E-Drives, BMW Group.

The BMW Group is investing more than 500 million euros in expanding production capacity for e-drives at its Dingolfing location alone between 2020 and 2022. From 2022, it will produce e-drives for more than half a million electrified vehicles. The BMW Group will invest a total of around 790 million euros in expanding capacity for electric powertrain components at its Dingolfing, Leipzig, Regensburg and Steyr locations between 2020 and 2022.

Standard production of the BMW iX will soon get underway at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by production of the BMW i4 at Plant Munich in the autumn. The highly integrated e-drives and high-voltage batteries for these vehicles will all be manufactured at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing. The BMW Group already began producing battery components at Plants Regensburg and Leipzig in April and May 2021. In line with growing demand for e-drives, BMW Group Plants Landshut and Steyr are also stepping up production of e-drive housings.

The output and energy content of drive units and high-voltage batteries with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology can be flexibly scaled. This means they can be optimally adjusted to suit different model variants.

Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated e-drives, which combine the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single housing. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the fifth-generation e-drive does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.

BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology. The BMW Group agreed with its suppliers that they will only use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery cells. The entire high-voltage battery boasts outstanding qualities in the areas of performance, charging and discharging characteristics, durability and safety. The technically standardised production process for battery modules has been further developed in such a way that different module variants can be produced on the same production line in line with the growing range of electrified vehicle models and performance levels. The production systems are highly flexible and scalable. Battery modules are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective BMW Group production location. A modular system developed in-house allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from these modules in a flexible arrangement.

The company has outstanding expertise and experience, both in the field of battery cell technology and in production of model-specific high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group conducts basic research in the fields of cell chemistry and cell design at its own Battery Cell Competence Centre. The BMW Group also produces battery cell prototypes itself. These battery cell prototypes are used in tests to validate the development maturity of battery cells and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the production processes. In addition, the prototype production of the battery cells serves the identification of process potentials as well as the optimization of the production processes. In this way, the BMW Group gains a thorough understanding of the entire battery cell value chain and the decisive competitive advantages its chemical and technical properties offer. This enables battery cells to be manufactured to precise specifications that are geared towards each vehicles individual requirements.

The BMW Group continues its massive electromobility ramp-up: The company will offer five fully-electric models by the end of this year: the BMW i3, the MINI Cooper SE and the BMW iX3, as well as the two main innovation flagships, the BMW iX and BMW i4.

Between now and 2025, the BMW Group will increase its sales of fully-electric models by an average of well over 50 percent per year more than ten times the number of units sold in 2020. Based on its current market forecast, the company also expects at least 50 percent of its global sales to come from fully-electric vehicles in 2030. In total, over the next ten years or so, the BMW Group will be releasing about ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.

bmw starts e-drivetrain production for ix and i4 evs - batteries/tech - charged fleet

bmw starts e-drivetrain production for ix and i4 evs - batteries/tech - charged fleet

Meanwhile, BMW is increasing production capacity for its fifth-generation electric motor, which has been built in Dingolfing for the BMW iX3 since 2020 and will power the BMW iX and BMW i4, the company reported May 26 in a press release.

We expect at least 50% of the vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be electrified by 2030," said Dr. Michael Nikolaides, senior vice president of production engines and e-drives for BMW Group. "To achieve this, we are relying on our extensive in-house drive train expertise: We are increasing capacity at existing drive train production locations like here in Dingolfing and developing capabilities at others like recently in Regensburg and Leipzig.

The BMW Group is investing more than $610 million in expanding production capacity for e-drives at its Dingolfing location alone between 2020 and 2022. From 2022, it will produce e-drives for more than half a million electrified vehicles. The BMW Group will invest a total of around $964 million in expanding capacity for electric powertrain components at its Dingolfing, Leipzig, Regensburg and Steyr locations between 2020 and 2022.

Standard production of the BMW iX will soon get underway at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, followed by production of the BMW i4 at Plant Munich in the autumn. The highly integrated e-drives and high-voltage batteries for these vehicles will all be manufactured at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing. The BMW Group already began producing battery components at Plants Regensburg and Leipzig in April and May 2021. In line with growing demand for e-drives, BMW Group Plants Landshut and Steyr are also stepping up production of e-drive housings.

The output and energy content of drive units and high-voltage batteries with fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology can be flexibly scaled. This means they can be optimally adjusted to suit different model variants.

Each vehicle uses up to two highly integrated e-drives, which combine the electric motor, power electronics and transmission in a single housing. Based on the design principle of a current-excited rotor, the fifth-generation e-drive does not require any materials classified as rare-earth metals.

BMW eDrive technology also comprises a high-voltage battery with state-of-the-art battery cell technology. The BMW Group agreed with its suppliers that they will only use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery cells. The entire high-voltage battery boasts outstanding qualities in the areas of performance, charging and discharging characteristics, durability and safety. The technically standardized production process for battery modules has been further developed in such a way that different module variants can be produced on the same production line in line with the growing range of electrified vehicle models and performance levels.

The production systems are highly flexible and scalable. Battery modules are produced from supplied prismatic battery cells at the respective BMW Group production location. A modular system developed in-house allows model-specific high-voltage batteries to be manufactured from these modules in a flexible arrangement.

The company has expertise and experience, both in the field of battery cell technology and in production of model-specific high-voltage batteries. The BMW Group conducts basic research in the fields of cell chemistry and cell design at its own Battery Cell Competence Centre. The BMW Group also produces battery cell prototypes itself. These battery cell prototypes are used in tests to validate the development maturity of battery cells and to demonstrate the effectiveness of the production processes.

In addition, the prototype production of the battery cells identifies process potentials and maximum usage of the production processes. In this way, the BMW Group gains a thorough understanding of the entire battery cell value chain and the decisive competitive advantages its chemical and technical properties offer. This enables battery cells to be manufactured to precise specifications geared towards each vehicles individual requirements.

The BMW Group continues to ramp up its electromobility: The company will offer five fully-electric models by the end of this year: the BMW i3, the MINI Cooper SE and the BMW iX3, as well as the two main innovation flagships, the BMW iX, and BMW i4.

Between now and 2025, the BMW Group will increase its sales of fully-electric models by an average of well over 50% per year more than 10 times the number of units sold in 2020. Based on its current market forecast, the company also expects at least 50% of its global sales to come from fully-electric vehicles in 2030. In total, over the next 10 years or so, the BMW Group will be releasing about 10 million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.

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bmws virtual factory uses ai to hone the assembly line | wired

bmws virtual factory uses ai to hone the assembly line | wired

German carmaker BMW plans to start making drivetrains for electric vehicles at a vast factory in Regensburg, Bavaria, later in 2021. Well before any new parts roll off the production line, the entire manufacturing process will run in stunningly realistic detail inside a virtual version of the factory.

The simulation allows managers to plan the production process in greater detail than was previously possible, says Markus Grneisl, who leads production strategy at BMW. We now have a perfect digital twin of our real-time production, he says.

The simulation is part of BMWs plan to use more artificial intelligence in manufacturing. Grneisl says machine-learning algorithms can simulate robots performing complex maneuvers to find the most efficient process. Over time, BMW wants to use the simulation to have robots learn how to perform increasingly complex jobs.

BMW used a software platform called Omniverse, developed by the chipmaker Nvidia, to recreate the Regensburg production line. Last year, BMW said it was using an AI platform from Nvidia called Isaac to train robots for certain new tasks.

Manufacturers have used computer simulations to hone their assembly lines for some time. But Omniverse allows the entire production process to be simulated with photo-realistic details, and with physical properties like gravity and different materials. Its possible to lay out the production process from start to finish, and to see how changes to one part might have knock-on effects on another. It is easier to build a more complex virtual environment because different 3D models can be imported into the system. Omniverse uses an open file standard compatible with numerous computer-aided design packages.

The software will also simulate avatars of human workers grabbing parts and tools, and assembling components, to find the best procedure and minimize ergonomic problems. It might also make it possible for fewer workers to complete a particular job, Grneisl says.

We do AI simulation of how people move around the factory, says Richard Kerris, general manager for Omniverse at Nvidia. He calls the project one of the most complex simulations that's ever been done.

Theres growing interest in using AI to control robots and other industrial machines. Encouraged by recent progress in AI, some startups are focused on having robots learn in simulation how to perform fiendishly difficult tasks like grasping irregular objects, technology that could eventually help automate much ecommerce and logistics work. This often uses an AI approach called reinforcement learning, which involves an algorithm experimenting and learning, from positive feedback, how to achieve a specific goal.

This is definitely the way to go, says Ding Zhao, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who focuses on AI and digital simulations. Zhao says simulations are crucial to using AI for industrial applications, partly because it is impossible to run machines through millions of cycles to gather training data. In addition, he says, its important for machine-learning models to learn by experimenting with unsafe situations, such as two robots colliding, which cannot be done with real hardware. Machine learning is data-hungry, and collecting it in the real world is expensive and risky, he says.

Willy Shih, a professor at Harvard Business School who specializes in manufacturing technology, says the sophistication of simulation has been increasing steadily, and he says simulation primarily saves time and money by preempting future manufacturing problems.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang discussed BMWs use of Omniverse during his keynote at the company's annual GTC conference, held virtually on Monday. Nvidia initially made graphics chips for gaming but broadened its focus when these chips proved adept at training AI programs. The company has since leapt into several other industries where AI is important, including automotive and medical imaging.

On this episode of WIRED's Each and Every, Gavin Goulden, an art director at Insomniac Games, breaks down every Spider-Man suit featured in Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Marvel's Spider-Man for PS4 and PS5. Watch as Gavin explains the origins of Miles' Bodega Cat Suit, Peter's Spider Armor Mark IV Suit and much, much more.

WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our livesfrom culture to business, science to design. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries.

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