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Source: BMW group Munich / Oberschleißheim. The BMW Group has today opened its new Additive Manufacturing Campus officially. The new Campus unites for the first time, the production of prototypes and series components, the research on new 3D printing technologies and the qualification of employees worldwide for the use of the tool-free process under one roof. The company is thus expanding its technology leadership in the use of additive manufacturing processes in the automotive industry. The BMW Group has invested 15 million euros in the new location. Milan Nedeljković, member of the Board of management of BMW AG, production, said at the opening: “Additive manufacturing is now an integral part of our global production system and in our digital strategy is firmly anchored. New technologies such as these can, in the future, shorten the production times and the potential tool to exploit wireless manufacturing methods.“Daniel Schaefer, head of production, integration, and pilot plant in the BMW Group, added: “Our goal is the 3D-printing process and, increasingly, for the automobile production, to industrialize, and new automation concepts in the process chain. Thus, the production of components for the mass production of cars economically, and we contribute to accelerate development processes. At the same time, we work together with different areas within the company such as vehicle development and component manufacturing and the purchasing and supplier network. So we can integrate the technology in a systematic and effective use

Technological advances through many years of in-house expertise and collaborations Jens Ertel, head of the Additive Manufacturing Campus: “In the past almost 30 years, we have built up extensive expertise at the BMW Group. We will expand this further on campus. We have the latest machines and technologies. In addition, we develop and design components that are faster to manufacture than conventional production processes, more flexible in their shape and more functional. “Ertel continues:” We are working intensively on maturing additive manufacturing and providing maximum benefit over the entire product life cycle – from that To generate a concept for a vehicle and production right through to the aftersales area and use in classic vehicles. ”Last year, the BMW Group manufactured around 300,000 parts additively. Up to 80 employees currently work in the competence center and around 50 industrial metal and plastic plants are already in operation. In addition, more than 50 systems are in use at other production sites worldwide.Long-term cooperation with leading manufacturers in the industry and universities as well as technology scouting for newcomers to the industry enable access to the latest technologies. BMW i Ventures – the venture unit of the BMW Group – already invested in Silicon Valley-based Carbon in 2016. With DLS technology (Digital Light Synthesis), Carbon achieved a breakthrough in the area-based processes. With the help of a flat beam projector, components can be built much faster with this manufacturing technology.The BMW Group made another investment in 2017: The start-up Desktop Metal specializes in the additive manufacturing of metal parts and develops innovative and highly productive manufacturing processes. There is also close cooperation here. In the same year, BMW i Ventures invested in the US startup Xometry, the world’s leading platform for on-demand manufacturing. Through a large network of manufacturing companies, for example in the field of 3D printing, Xometry offers quick access to components. The latest investment, the German startup ELISE, enables engineers to create a component DNA that meets all technical requirements such as Loads, manufacturing restrictions, costs and possible optimization parameters. Based on this DNA and with the integration of established development tools, ELISE automatically generates optimal components. The aim of the BMW Group is to accelerate the use of the technology through cooperation with innovative partners and universities and to build up a suitable portfolio of manufacturing processes in the company. Additive manufacturing in research and pre-development In the pre-development area of ​​the Additive Manufacturing Campus, new technologies and materials are optimized and prepared for widespread use throughout the company. The team is particularly concerned with the automation of process chains, which so far have tied up a lot of manual work in order to make 3D printing processes more economical and to enable large-scale production in the long term. Research projects are of central importance in the industrialization of 3D printing processes. This also includes the joint projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research “Industrialization and Digitization of Additive Manufacturing for Automobile Series Processes (IDAM for short)” and “Integrated Line Application of Polymer-Based AM Technologies (POLYLINE for Short).” The BMW Group is collaborating in the IDAM project with twelve project partners an important cornerstone for the integration of additive manufacturing into the series production environment of the automotive industry. In the Additive Manufacturing Campus, a production line is set up that maps the entire process chain: from digital production preparation to the production of components and post-processing. The IDAM team prepares the production line for the specific requirements for the production of series, as well as individual and spare parts. The targeted quantities speak for the signal character of the joint project: In the future, the production line should be able to produce at least 50,000 series components per year and over 10,000 individual and spare parts in very high quality. The BMW Group is thus strengthening Germany’s technological pioneering role, and the Additive Manufacturing Campus is also driving the series production of plastic components. As part of the POLYLINE project, the digital networking of process steps and an integrated methodology for quality assurance along the entire process are being developed. A future-proof, fully networked and automated production line for the production of plastic components is being developed and tested in a consortium of 15 project partners in the Additive Manufacturing Campus. With the knowledge gained, it should be possible in the future to reduce manufacturing costs by up to 50 percent. This plays an important role when used in series production. In addition, integrated quality assurance methods should increase the robustness of the technologies and make production more sustainable.

Company-wide Training in addition to the manufacturing of components, the Campus Team offers individual consultations and training sessions for employees from different areas of the company. “For a successful Roll-out of technologies, it is important to make colleagues from throughout the network, with the advantages and functionalities of the procedures familiar. Because the use requires a new way of thinking and approach in the design of components. Due to the high degree of design freedom of new Designs and functions. Meanwhile, there are numerous components that can only be made using an additive process,“ explains Jens Ertel.In nearly all of the production sites of the company are already 3D printing parts. The areas of application extend from prototype parts, through production tools to the country-specific Parts for customers. For the BMW Group, it is useful to have the parts where they are needed. Thus, additive manufacturing processes are complementary to existing production technologies. Applications in the series production already in 1991, the BMW Group manufactured parts, the first Prototypes and used these in the construction of concept vehicles. In 2010, the company has begun the process of plastic – and metal-based procedure first of all, in smaller series to use. In the DTM cars used additively manufactured water pump pulley is part of. A further Series of events followed, starting in 2012 with various components for the Rolls-Royce Phantom and the BMW i8 Roadster (2017) and the MINI John Cooper Works GP (2020). In the latter four 3D are already integrated printed components as standard.


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