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5 Series Touring - F11 (2010 - ...) - Production: Supreme Quality throughEfficiency and Precision

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Production: Supreme Quality throughEfficiency and Precision

  • New BMW 5 Series Touring built together with the BMW 7 Series and the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and the new BMW 5 Series Sedan at the BMW Dingolfing Plant.
  • Use of shared components among several models guarantees efficient production and the same high standard of quality as in the luxury class.
  • Innovative production technology going straight into large-scale production.

Analogous to the new BMW 5 Series Sedan, the third generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring is based on the same newly developed vehicle architecture also featured in the BMW 7 Series Luxury Sedan. Joint production of the BMW 5 Series Touring, the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and the BMW 7 Series at the BMW Dingolfing Plant, together with the joint use of components, ensures a highly efficient production process and a supreme level of quality meeting the most demanding standards.
The BMW Dingolfing Plant in Lower Bavaria has been part of BMW’s global production network since 1967 – a network now embracing no less than 24 production plants in 13 countries. In 1973, the production of car components in Dingolfing was joined by the production of complete BMW cars at BMW’s new Plant 2.4. Numerous prizes and awards confirm the supreme standard of the largest BMW Plant the world over. In all, more than 7 million BMWs have been built in Dingolfing so far, clear proof of a more than 40-year story of success. Today the Plant employs 18,600 BMW associates, more than 12,000 thereof working in automobile production at Plant 2.4.
The model history of the BMW 5 Series is also closely connected with the BMW Dingolfing Plant. Shortly after the start of production of the first model generation in 1972, the BMW 5 Series was moved from BMW’s original plant in Munich to the new plant in Dingolfing. And since then, all generations of the BMW 5 Series, the sedan as well as the touring, have been built in Lower Bavaria. Apart from all versions of the BMW 7 Series, the BMW 6 Series as well as the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo are currently built in Dingolfing – and now the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and the BMW 5 Series Touring are also being integrated into the local production process. Representing the largest production volume at the Plant, the BMW 5 Series accounts for up to two-thirds of the total production capacity. Flexible use of the production facilities allows continuous, ongoing adjustment of the individual model series within overall production at the Plant, thus ensuring both consistent use of production capacity and rapid delivery of new cars to the customer. A further advantage is the many options provided in this way to increase the efficiency of the production process.

Greater efficiency and quality through common vehicle architecture and modular components.
The BMW 7 Series, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and the new BMW 5 Series Touring share many features and joint processes in both development and production. Indeed, the joint architecture of these vehicles developed in a common process sets the foundation for integrated production allowing a flexible response to customer demands.
The modular system of vehicle components provides further synergy effects. These components share the same basic concept and are used in model-specific and modified variants also for the new BMW 5 Series Touring. In their function and quality, these components follow the same supreme standards already applied to the luxury sedan in the BMW 7 Series. One example is the development of the axle subframes as an overriding construction on both model series, with appropriate fastening and attachment openings for the track of each model. Another example is the seats in the new BMW 5 Series Touring, the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and the BMW 7 Series, which again share the same structure but differ from one another through their stitching and leather upholstery. The technology required for the air conditioning, to mention yet another example, comes in various modules beneath the surface, then being fitted in accordance with the customer’s wishes both in the BMW 5 Series Touring, the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and the BMW 7 Series.

Permanent progress in production: modular processes.
The latest know-how gained in the development of modern production processes is applied at the BMW Dingolfing Plant in the production of cars. The BMW Group adheres to the principle of value creation-oriented production. An important example of such new processes is the modular concept: Proceeding from the use of shared vehicle components on the BMW 7 Series, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, the BMW 5 Series Touring and the BMW 5 Series Sedan, the production specialists apply standardised production processes that combine supreme quality in the manufacture of various models on one line with standardised production planning. Examples of such modular processes are the installation of the car’s seats, the process of fitting the chassis supports, the installation of front and rear ends as well as the underbody assembly production in the body shop. Further progress in production is ensured in the creation of value along the production line and in logistics. BMW’s objective in all cases is to ensure a concise flow of individual parts – the one-piece flow process – all the way from the supplier to the actual completion of the car itself.

5_f11_side

Innovative production processes in the body shop.
Innovative production technologies have been developed for the production of several models in correspondingly high numbers. One example is the production of aluminium doors with the support of the BMW’s Aluminium Competence Centre in Dingolfing. The know-how gained in the research processes conducted here, as well as the innovative developments made possible in this way, benefit all of the BMW Group’s brands.
The large share of aluminium in the body components of the new BMW 5 Series Touring enables the experts in Dingolfing to contribute even more of their outstanding competence in this technology. The large load-bearing aluminium plate shells within the doors, in turn, ensure a high standard of all-round stiffness. And to join the individual components with one another, the Plant uses both laser welding and structural bonding.
The BMW Dingolfing Plant also uses innovative processes in the production of steel panel components. Two new steel panel presses involving an investment of approximately Euro 50 million will serve in future to give the body components of the new BMW 5 Series Touring a unique standard of quality. BMW is the world’s first car maker to use hard-pressing technology at the Dingolfing Plant, with hot-galvanised steel plate first being moulded cold and subsequently heated to a temperature of more than 900°C or 1,650°F. Then the components are cooled down in a pressing tool with integrated water-cooling to approximately 70°C or 160°F within a few seconds, being hardened in the process with maximum efficiency.
This gives the components involved three to four times the stiffness of conventional steel plates.
The ProgDie rapid-action press also new in the production process likewise offers an exceptionally high standard of efficiency in production and the use of energy. Among the world’s largest presses of its kind, the ProgDie integrates several steps in production and is able to turn out up to 160 components in 40 strokes per minute. Up to 21 work processes are conducted at the same time, from the first stamping process through various elongation processes all the way to the final insertion of stamped components.
In ProgDie production, the individual strips of material come straight off the steel plate cylinder and are consistently moved through the die in each step. This ensures particularly efficient use of material and a reduction in the consumption of energy. Compared with conventional pressing processes, this saves approximately 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.

Supreme quality right from the outset.
To fulfil BMW’s strict quality standards right from the start when launching a new model such as the BMW 5 Series, BMW not only conducts many tests and examinations with pre-series cars but also applies the so-called cubing method. More than a year before the start of production, the quality and accuracy of more than 800 parts and modules are tested at the plant on a completely accurate body model. Weighing approximately three tonnes, this model is milled according to the car’s development data out of massive, shrinkage-free special aluminium down to an accuracy of 0.1 millimetres.
In several iterations on this model, first the prototypes and then the first components are fitted in position together with the various suppliers to check the precise dimensions and perfect fit of components with one another and on the body as a whole prior to the start of series production.

Modular strategy serving to promote customer-oriented production.
A highly sophisticated system referred to as the Customer-Oriented Sales and Production Process (COSP) ensures that each car ordered by the customer is completed exactly on time and fully in accordance with the customer’s specific wishes and requests. COSP is also ensured by highly flexible production based not only highly developed logistics but also on the most efficient processes. Particularly the processes conducted on the assembly line benefit from the use of pre-assembled modules delivered as a whole straight to the production line. The complete front-end, for example, is one single module delivered just-in-sequence to the line, where subsequently only a few final steps are required. The bodies-in-white for the various models are built in any random order and combination according to the data provided by production management. In conjunction with modular supply, this allows highly flexible and very lean production taking up minimum storage space and enabling the BMW Plant to respond quickly to the customer’s wishes and any subsequent changes. Customers profit from this high level of change flexibility as they can alter the configuration of the cars they ordered up until six days before the start of assembly.

Emission-free foundry.
The new BMW 5 Series Touring comes with petrol and diesel engines featuring cylinder heads and crankcases from the world’s first emission-free foundry in Landshut. To avoid emissions in the casting process, the light-alloy foundry at the BMW Plant is converting the production of sand cores in the die-casting process, replacing conventional organic binding agents by inorganic binding agents particularly friendly to the environment. This reduces emissions potentially harmful to the environment to almost zero.
Introducing this innovative production method, the light-alloy foundry is reducing emissions from combustion residues in general by 98 percent.
This ultra-low-emission production process is being introduced in Landshut initially for the aluminium crankcases and cylinder heads of BMW’s six-cylinder diesel engines. And currently the process of inorganic sand core production is being carried over step-by-step to the entire range of production in the light-alloy foundry.



Last Updated on Saturday, 01 May 2010 17:55  

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