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BMW Group Plant Regensburg, BMW X2 Production.

Press Shop 00:00
Steel coils for the press shop. Delivery and measurement. Pressing blanks. Measurement data. Stamping. Lasering ID-codes onto body parts.

Body Shop. 01:56
Transporting body components. Welding body components by robot. Bonding roof components by robot. Welding bodies-in-white by robot. The body shop: An overview. Various shots. Tailgate assembly. Engine bonnet assembly. Manual gap measurement. Manual body panel surface checks.

Assembly. 08:28
Fitting the “X2” logotype and rear lights to the tailgate panel. Adding the seal and plastic mounts. Tilt assembly in time lapse. Transporting painted bodies. Fitting the wiring harness. Tilt assembly. Various shots. Fitting the transformer. Humans and robots work hand in hand. Axle assembly and marriage. Bolting the floor assembly by hand. Workers wear upper-body exoskeletons. Transporting the front end. Fitting stabilisers. A lower-body exoskeleton provides extra support when the worker is standing or sitting. This shot shows the ergonomic working seat. Detail shots.

Final Check. 19:04
Test rig: Tyres, rims, headlights and underfloor are checked. The BMW X2 roller testing: Wheel alignment and brakes are checked. Active driving test: Vehicle data is recorded and collated via a smartphone app. Dynamic testing: The exterior, interior and engine bay are checked.

Stephan Purr Quality Specialist, BMW Group.
The steel coils are there to make body panels with. They’re vehicle-specific, so there’s a special type of coil for the bonnet of the X2, for instance. But within a single coil, things like the thickness of the metal can still vary, which can impact the quality of the finished product. What’s new with this system is that each coil is precisely measured. As it’s unrolled, we measure the thickness of the metal, the amount of oil on it, its mechanical properties and so on. This information is useful later on in the process, so we need to be able to trace it back to the right blank. That’s why we laser an ID-code into each one. The idea is to use the parameters we record from this coil system and the laser ID code on the part to adjust the press. That way, we can produce the most perfect product possible. Another important factor is that we can use our data to recognise anything usual well in advance. That way, we can minimise downtimes in production. BMW Group Plant Regensburg was a pioneer in this regard. We developed the technology here with our colleagues from HQ and are now rolling it out at other BMW Group sites as well.

Koray Sakaoglu Process Leader Engine Production Line, BMW Group Plant Regensburg.

Our colleagues were already working with robots years ago. But today it’s all much more ergonomic. You can move a part that weighs 150kg with just two fingers and manoeuvre it into place very precisely – as you can see here, where the converter is being bolted into place. There used to be actual physical protective fences to keep associates away from the robots and make sure the machines don’t detect an interference and stop working. Nowadays the fences are virtual fences and use sensors to keep our associates are 100% safe. As soon as they enter the protected area around the robot, it switches off automatically so that the worker isn’t injured.

Wolfgang Weber Product and Process Planner, BMW Group Plant Regensburg.

When humans and machines work together here, human sensitivity meets the power of the robot. Humans won’t replace robots – or the other way around. Far more, the two will work hand in hand. A load of 150kg is too much for a human, but a robot can handle it. Moving into the future, there’s still plenty of potential for developing this idea. You could say that a robot with this kind of safety concept is really a high-precision handling machine. It can repeat every move perfectly and do every stage of the work. There’s still plenty of potential here.

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2018 BMW X2, Production, manufacturing, bmw car factory,