|5 Series GT - F07 (2009 - ...)|
|Chassis and Suspension|
|Body and Safety|
|Equipment and Accessories|
Production: From Absolute Precision to Premium Quality.
Weight optimised through the use of aluminium and high-strength steel as well as innovative production technologies.
Customer-oriented production with high flexibility.
Synergies through joint production with the BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series.
Use of innovative components from BMW’s production network.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is built at BMW Plant Dingolfing, which specialises in the production of BMW’s larger models. Accordingly, BMW Plant Dingolfing builds all versions of both the new BMW 7 Series as well as the BMW 6 and the BMW 5 Series.
The integration of yet a further model in the production process further increases the flexibility of the plant and the consistent high use of the existing production facilities and at the same time offers new opportunities for increasing efficiency in production.
BMW Plant Dingolfing has been part of BMW’s global production network since 1967, the network itself now comprising 24 production plants in 13 countries. Numerous prizes and awards confirm the outstanding qualities of this unique car production plant in Lower Bavaria, which so far has built more than seven million BMWs as clear proof of more than forty years of success.
Lightweight construction with innovative production methods.
To establish the lightweight construction methods also required for the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo in Dingolfing, BMW has once again invested in innovative production technologies in Dingolfing in recent times. The range of facilities for weight-optimised lightweight construction and for the implementation of modern design requirements has been expanded, making allowance for the far greater challenge of moulding aluminium as opposed to – conventional – steel.
As with the new BMW 7 Series where appropriate modifications were introduced only recently, special production technologies have been newly developed for the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. One example is the production of aluminium doors with frameless side windows now featured for the first time on a large-scale production model, the new aluminium processing technology setting the foundation for the fine contours and lines of the most sophisticated design features such as the character line in the doors at the side.
The large load-conveying aluminium plate shells around the door body ensure maximum stiffness, both laser welding and structure bonding serving to efficiently join the individual panels and components. The use of aluminium doors alone reduces the weight of each vehicle by approximately 28 kg or 62 lb.
Apart from the doors, the engine compartment lid and the front spring supports on the body as well as both parts of the tailgate are also made of this sophisticated lightweight material. In producing the weight-reduced front section of the car BMW uses an intelligent mix of joining methods such as bonding, riveting, MIG- or laser-welding, depending on individual requirements and load conditions.
About 95 per cent of the approximately 520 steel and aluminium components making up the body of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo are produced directly in Dingolfing. Together with the pressings for the BMW 5 Series, the 6 Series and the 7 Series, the body components made of steel and aluminium for the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo are produced in varying sequences on various press lines. Every day some 1,500 tonnes of steel and aluminium coming off huge coils are moulded into body components, up to six consecutive moulding processes serving to shape a specific component out of the original metal plate. The two-piece pressing tools required for this purpose weigh up to 53 tonnes and are used in presses with an overall closing force of up to 9,500 tonnes.
Apart from body components made of aluminium and steel with varying degrees of strength and produced through conventional moulding technology, the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo for the first time features press-hardened steel components from the Pressing Shop in Dingolfing.
In an innovative press hardening process specially hot-galvanised steel plates first go through the conventional moulding process in the Pressing Shop. To achieve a high level of strength and stability on low weight, the components are then heated in the next step to approximately 950°C or 1,740°F in a through-flow or continuous furnace and then cooled down quickly.
Absolute accuracy in the dimensions of the components is ensured by the actual press hardening process, the components still red-hot being kept to the right dimensions in a fully enclosed pressing tool and subsequently cooled to approximately 70°C or 160°F within 20 seconds through a water cooling process integrated in the tool itself.
A total of approximately Euro 25 million has been invested in the last two years in the new production facilities for this innovative press-hardening process at Plant Dingolfing.
The components made in this process are used on the sills as well as the A- and B-pillars of the car’s body, increasing body stability and strength while keeping weight to a minimum. To achieve the same strength and stability with conventionally moulded steel the material used would have to be much thicker and, as a result, heavier. The special procedure applied for hot-galvanising the steel plate ensures that the layer of zinc does not melt off while being heated, thus ensuring a lasting rust-proofing effect.
Modular strategy for customer-oriented production.
A highly sophisticated system – BMW’s Customer-Oriented Sales and Production Process (COSP) – ensures that each and every car is built exactly on time and in particular according to the customer’s personal wishes and requirements.
Full maintenance of the COSP process is ensured, among other things, by highly flexible production based on the most sophisticated logistics and very efficient processes. Above all the assembly processes benefit from pre-assembled modules delivered as complete units to the production line, with the complete front end, for example, being assembled separately as an individual module delivered just-in-sequence to the Assembly Shop, reducing the number of job processes then actually required in assembly.
The bodies-in-white for the various models are built in any sequence required and mixed according to production management. In conjunction with the prompt delivery of modules, this allows highly flexible and, in particular, lean production, minimising the storage area required and enabling the BMW Plant to respond quickly and efficiently to customer requests and, where applicable, any changes.
Synergies in production for maximum flexibility and economy.
Production of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is integrated almost completely in the existing production facilities for the BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series at Plant Dingolfing. The result is a high level of synergy for particularly economical production with the high standard of quality already widely lauded on the models built in Dingolfing.
The bodyshell of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is therefore built on the same main production line as the body of the new BMW 7 Series. At the same time the Bodyshop is absolutely flexible in terms of production numbers and the mix of the BMW 7 Series versus the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo in production. Interchanging production drums and appropriately programmed robots allow any random change in the production of individual model series, as required in each case.
In contrast to the largely automated processes in the Pressings Shop, the Bodyshop and Paintshop, the human being with his skilled craftsmanship comes right in the middle of things in the Assembly Area. This, quite simply, is because the human being is able to work in almost 30 different directions and angles, while even the most advanced industrial robot is not able to handle more than seven different operating levels.
So the focus in assembly is clearly on the human being and the complexity of the product as such.
The two assembly lines at Plant Dingolfing completely independent of one another therefore serve to build the BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series, with the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo being integrated in the existing lines as the fourth model series, coming off one of the two assembly lines in flexible numbers together with the BMW 5 Series Saloon and Touring.
The BMW production network – superior competence all the way.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo features a wide range of innovative components in the interior and on the body.
BMW’s Plant in Landshut, the capital city of Lower Bavaria, builds not only the propeller shafts, interior components and fittings for all of BMW’s car production plants, but also castings such as engine blocks and cylinder heads for all of BMW’s engine plants and for BMW’s Formula 1 power units.
Now the outstanding know-how of the foundry in Landshut is being used for the first time for a large body component on the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo – the frame round the large tailgate is a pressure-cast aluminium component offering an optimum combination of low weight and high stability. The two-piece pressure-casting tool used to build the aluminium frame weighs 60 tonnes and is one of the largest units of its kind in automobile production.
The surface of the frame is a particular challenge for the foundry in Landshut. While so far the foundry has built engine components hardly visible from outside, the painted surface of the tailgate frame is of course directly in sight and even stands out from every angle. Two CNC-controlled, fully automated processing centres therefore serve to finish the surface and set the holes and threads for the hinges.
For the first time the dashboard on the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo features a painted skin spread on from outside. In the innovative production process applied for this purpose the outer skin is spread on in the colour desired by a special tool, wherever necessary finishing the upper and lower sections of the dashboard in two different colours, as ordered by the customer.
In the next step a robot applies liquid PVC on the surface, the structure of the tool used for this purpose giving the outer skin its particular grain with the colour coming out through the paint applied first. After the PVC has dried the moulded outer skin of the dashboard formed in this way is removed from the die, placed on the dashboard support and further reinforced by the application of foam from behind.
This process ensures optimum service quality and offers a wide range of customisation options in the interior of the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. At the same time this is the economically most efficient solution for this revolutionary new model series.