Page Overview: New paint shop BMW Group Plant Munich
May 31, 2017

BMW Group Plant Munich opens new paint shop.

Investment of over EUR 200 million in highly efficient and resource-friendly paint shop. Efficiency increases and benefits for the environment and the neighborhood.

Munich. As of now, BMW Group Plant Munich has one of the most state-of-the-art paint shops in the global automotive industry. The facility is highly efficient and sets new standards in terms of sustainable production. At investment costs of over EUR 200 million, the new high-tech paint shop is part of a comprehensive, future-oriented investment package. Between late 2015 and the end of 2018, the BMW Group’s home plant will receive a total of approx. EUR 700 million, earmarked for the modernization of the company’s long-established production base in Munich. Coinciding with the construction of the new paint shop, expansions of the assembly and body shop as well as a new high-bay storage have been planned and implemented.

Earlier today, Oliver Zipse, the BMW Group’s Head of Production, and Ilse Aigner, the Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs, officially launched the series operations at the new paint shop together with Milan Nedeljkovic, Director of BMW Group Plant Munich, and Manfred Schoch, Chairman of the General Works Council of BMW AG. In the future, the approx. 700 workers at the facility will paint up to 1,000 car bodies of the BMW 3 and 4 Series a day.

Oliver Zipse: “These 200 million euros for a new paint shop are among the most substantial investments made in an industrial production site in Bavaria in the past few years. The new facility is not only a great asset for our company, but also for the city of Munich. The increase in process quality and flexibility will allow us to be even more spot-on when it comes to meeting our customers’ needs and wishes. On top of that, the new paint shop comes with significant environmental benefits.”

Minister Aigner: “This investment once again attests to BMW’s foresight. As a consistent investment in the future, it will help maintain the company’s competitiveness – and thus value creation and employment in Bavaria. I consider it crucial that Bavarian companies make use of the opportunities of digitalization.”

The new paint shop relies on the tried and tested Integrated Paint Process (IPP) which is also applied at other paint shops in the BMW Production Network. Contrary to conventional paint processes, this new method omits the application and drying of a filler layer. Instead, two base coats are applied wet-on-wet, with the first layer assuming all the functions and properties of the original primer, such as effectively protecting the car body against road stone damage.

The second base coat ensures the visual characteristics of color, luster and depth effect. As previously, this layer is then covered with clear coat to protect the shine of the vehicle’s exterior surfaces and ensure the resistance to chemicals and scratching. This way, the IPP technology meets the highest standards with regard to the look and feel as well as the functional protection of the car body.

The omission of the entire filler layer entails significant benefits in resource consumption: Natural gas consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced by about 50 percent, and energy consumption by 27 percent. Another relevant contribution to the Clean Production strategy is the introduction of the innovative dry separation, a process that can do without any water, chemicals or other additives. Plus, the application of innovative air circulation technologies has decreased the exhaust air volume to one third of the previous level.

Milan Nedeljkovic, Director of BMW Group Plant Munich: “These innovations make our paint lines even more eco-friendly – a particularly important aspect given our plant’s location in an urban neighborhood.”

Based on the opportunities of digitalization, the future-oriented paint shop of the BMW Group’s Munich plant makes increasing use of intelligent networked systems. These advantageous systems improve the flexibility of process flows, can be adapted smoothly to changing lot sizes, and allow for anticipatory and automated maintenance and quality assurance.

For instance, intelligent test systems perfect the painted car bodies’ appearance, ensuring that customers receive a vehicle of the highest quality.

As a first, the BMW Group applies fully automated quality control mechanisms at one of the company’s paint shops, with robots scanning the entire exterior of the car body. The system is able to detect even errors that are not perceptible to the human eye.

Data gathered this way also gives valuable insights in the precision of upstream paint processes. Consequently, these can be optimized continuously while root causes of errors can be identified and rework avoided. The system is a textbook example of applied digitalization in the BMW Production Network (big data analyses).

A role model of innovative and sustainable production, the new paint shop is also a source of pride when it comes to its very attractive jobs and highly qualified workers. Among the about 700 people at the new facility are primarily electronics specialists for automation technology, mechatronics technicians, process mechanics, as well as experts for application technologies and quality assurance. On top of that, a team of process specialists ensures the continuous optimization of the process flows in production.

All workstations meet the highest ergonomic standards: they are fitted, for instance, with individually adjustable equipment so as to allow each worker to set their perfect work position.