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Best Practices in BMWs Dingolfing Plant

Milan Chandrahasan Roll No - 22012

WCM OPS 4th Sem - SIBM

TABLE OF CONTENTS SCOPE ____________________________________________________________________________________ 3 ABOUT DINGOLFING PLANT ___________________________________________________________________ 3 THE INNOVATIVE ASSEMBLY LINE ______________________________________________________________ 3 PRESS SHOP _______________________________________________________________________________ 3 BODY SHOP _______________________________________________________________________________ 4 PAINT SHOP _______________________________________________________________________________ 5 ASSEMBLY ________________________________________________________________________________ 5 QUALITY __________________________________________________________________________________ 6 THE END _________________________________________________________________________________ 6 CONCLUSION _______________________________________________________________________________ 6

This paper presents the innovations and practices followed in the Dingolfing, Germany plant of BMW making it one of the World Class Manufacturing plant.

About Dingolfing Plant

The BMW Dingolfing Plant is the worlds largest production site of the BMW Group. More than 18000 employees produce more than 1200 cars of the 5, 6 and 7 Series everyday as well as parts and components for all the production plants. The Dingolfing Plant started production in September 1973. Approximately 5.5 million BMW automobiles have come off the production lines since then all 5 Series and 7 Series generations produced up to now, the 6 Series and 8 Series models as well as now and again 3 Series models (depending on market demand) have been manufactured there.
Total area in million m Workforce Apprentices approx. Car production 2010 approx 2.45 approx 18,000 800 approx. 287,000 units

Car production/day about 1,500 BMW 5 Series Sedan and Touring, BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, BMW 6 Series Coup and Convertible, BMW 7 Series Sedan, Rolls-Royce Phantom and Ghost (bodyshells)

The Dingolfing Plant has a very flexible layout in order to meet the demands of its highly diversified production. Various model series - sometimes up to four different models - are run on one single assembly line. Moreover, the BMW Plant in Dingolfing comprises the central parts store of the worldwide BMW trading organization. Each day nearly 100 lorries and several dozens of railway carriages leave the component supply centre in Dingolfing and set off for more than 130 different countries the world over having a cargo of original BMW spare parts. The Dingolfing Plant not only excels in its flexibility but also enjoys an excellent reputation as far as the quality of work is concerned. Each year this reputation is verified by the American market researchers "J. D. Power and Associates" with the bestowal of the renowned J. D. Power Plant Awards. Meanwhile this award for outstanding quality has been given four times in a row and altogether five times to the BMW Plant in Dingolfing.

The Innovative Assembly Line

Press Shop
BMW makes high strength body parts such as Chassis beams and side skirts with a new press hardening process, which BMW claims to be first time the technology is being used anywhere in the world. Because of this achievement the steel innovation prize was awarded to BMW in 2000. It makes it possible to construct high-strength components at lower weights. The new process cuts vehicle weight by almost 51 pounds. This in turn shrinks fuel consumption by up to 0.1 liter per 100

kilometers driven. The new facility thus contributes to BMW's "efficient dynamics" program, an effort to improve vehicle performance along a range of fronts. In the new press process, galvanized sheet steel is pressed cold before being heated to 1,670 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, still glowing red, it is placed in the new press equipment, which cools it down to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, hardening it in the process. At the press shop components of many different sizes, which are made of sheet metal, are elaborately formed by huge presses. At a later stage these parts are joined together to form a BMW body-in-white. Each day as many as 1,200 tons of sheet metal are processed in the various press lines. More than 300,000 body components made of sheet metal such as roofs, doors, side panels or floor pans are produced for all BMW model series in the Dingolfing press shop every day. One of the biggest vacuum transfer press in the automotive industry the world over was put into operation at the Dingolfing Plant in autumn 1999. The press with a length of 90 meters, which costs more than 45 million Euros, has a maximum press force of 9,500 t and is able to produce 13 parts a minute. Blanks with a size of 4.5 x 2 meters can be processed with this press. Amongst other things, this press makes possible the production of a complex side panel from one single piece of sheet steel. The allautomatic tool change does not even take eight minutes. The cutting process is optimized to the fullest to minimize wastages and scraps. Any scrap steel or aluminium sheet is collected carefully and sent for recycling so that they can be reused in the future. Extensive quality checks are performed at this stage. Quality checks involve automated metrology processes and human checks. Processes like Temperature controlled metrology checks for deformity in the body parts. Once the part has been cleared from this process, the parts are inspected by skilled quality personnel.

Body Shop
More than 1500 industrial robots are used in the BMWs Body shop. 82 percent of the BMW 7 Series models body-in-white consists of high-strength steel which offers advantages in terms of crash behavior and weight. The rest is made up of aluminium. BMW specialists began to use a new joining technology, the so-called spot-welding adhesive bonding technology in the Dingolfing plant. Before spot welding is done, an adhesive is applied to join the steel plates, which increases stability, acts as a seal and has a noise-dampening effect. The spot-welding is done using robots which are programmed to weld the joints at accurate places of the body-parts. Later skilled employees weld remote body parts that are not possible to be welded using robots. Laser technology is used to accurately measure and weld various body parts together with high quality standards. All the finished body-in-white parts are stored in large docks so that the required parts are available when needed in the assembly line. The parts are stored vertically leading to reduction in floor space. The parts are retrieved from their places using robots when required in the assembly line in the body-shop. Personnel clean and inspect the body-in-white car for any minute deformities before it is sent for the paint shop.

Paint Shop
The car bodies are de-greased in a robotic pre-treatment rotating process and covered with a thick layer of zinc phosphate. Robots and paint machines apply an even layer of primer and paint to the nook-and-corner of the cars body. The colour to be applied is chosen just when the car enters the paint shop after de-greasing. This step helps BMW to customize the car colour as required by the Customer when required. The entire process is automated using robots with no human interference. This ensures that the employees are not exposed to the harmful micro-granule of the paints. In 1999, BMW pioneered the use of powder-based painting technology which doesnt require any solvent or water for the painting process. This reduces BMWs dependence on huge quantities of water and so saving the environment. Robots apply the powder-based paint evenly on the body parts and then the car is baked for the powder to melt and form over the body parts. This technology provides the brilliant shine of the BMW cars.

People are most required in the Assembly line. To ensure safety and comfort to the employees the cars are suspended in conveyors which can rotate the car to 90 degrees. This helps the employees to any part of the car without straining themselves. The conveyors height and position can be controlled to suit the employee. The production uses the renowned moving assembly where the car keeps moving in the line and the parts are added on as the car moves. The production of all the parts is synchronized to precision and so all the parts are ready to be installed in the car when it reaches the respective assembly area. The items are fed in at the right time and at the right sequence owing to elimination of any misplaced / defective parts getting installed in the car. The front and back windows are installed automatically using robots. The robots pick the glasses from the inventory, apply glue to the edges and install them into the frames. The seats and other parts like the wiring, dashboard etc arrive from the vendors using the JIT technique thus reducing the inventory handling costs. The installation of these parts uses the Snapfit technique where the items are installed easily and without any effort by the employees. This technique requires very minimal usage of screwing the body parts. The cars body has grooves where such parts are simply snapped in. The so called wedding is the highlight of the assembly process. Engine, Chassis and the Body meet and are connected easily in this wedding. The engine and transmission systems are preassembled and stored in large storage docks. The robots pick these systems from the storage dock to the assembly line automatically when the designated chassis reaches the respective assembly lines. Skilled workers join these systems using sophisticated tools with ease and care. The plant makes sure that the appropriately skilled labour is used in the right place of the assembly. After this wedding, the steering wheels, bumpers, headlights, backlights and tyres are connected to the car. The arrival of these body parts are controlled to precision using advanced logistic technique to make sure that the right parts are available at the right place at the right time. Finally, the BMW logos are attached making the car complete. Again, the snap-fit technique is used to save time and effort.

The new car drives to the check and finish area. Here the engine, transmission, brakes, electrical, hydraulics and other functions are put through rigorous tests. Automated testing tools and manual tests are performed on the finished cars by skilled quality personnel. When the car has passed all quality checks, it is prepared for delivery. The cars are tested in the hydro-pulse chamber where various climatic conditions are simulated and tested on the car. The density is an important part of the analysis. The cars are subjected to tropical rains showers in the density chamber. This is done to make sure that there are no leakages and issues with the engine. The quality inspectors check the car thoroughly while also cleaning the surface. After these analysis and tests, the cars are tested in the plants very own test track. Handling, suspension, braking, power, torque, acceleration and other functions are tested in the track.

The End
Once all the tests are completed, the cars are directly loaded onto waiting trucks and trains which then deliver the cars to dealers and customers across the world. The Dingolfing plant has its own train station where more than 50% of the cars are loaded onto and delivered around the globe. The remaining cars are transported on trucks. Sheer driving pleasure made by BMW, Dingolfing!!!

Though automobile manufacturing has been standardized since the advent of the Assembly Line by Henry Ford, the Dingolfing plant of BMW can be considered as a fore-runner in innovation and flexibility. The huge plant boasts of various attributes which help BMW achieve Higher Quality, Lower Costs, On-time Delivery, Flexibility and Innovation. Moreover, the plant also boasts of an Open culture where the employees enjoy working and are not subjected to any pressures. The employee morale is high and thus the productivity is high. The cycle time of the Dingolfing plant is 8 seconds which means that a car is rolled out every 8 seconds!! The awards won by the production plant speak of the greatness of the plants and truly qualifies the plant to be termed as a WORLD CLASS MANUFACTURING plant. Some of the awards won by the plant are J. D. Power Plant Awards Five times The Best Factory / Industrial Excellence Award 2008 OkoGlobe award for its EfficientDynamics technology Bavarian Quality Prize in 2003 Ludwig-Erhard Prize in 2005 European Quality Award in 2006 Steel Innovation Prize in 2000s And many more....