Every BMW vehicle factory to be digitised using 3D laser scanning by early 2023
BMW stated that by early 2023 everyone in its manufacturing facilities around the globe will have a digital scan. With this move, BMW informed that the company is aiming to merge the real and virtual world for efficient planning of the future plant structures and production facilities. Michele Melchiorre, head of Production System, Planning, Tool Shop, Plant Construction at the BMW Group said this will help the automaker to carry out extensive plans and also small-scale remodelling of existing structures in an efficient manner.
This upgradation step resonates with BMW's strategic digitalisation vision in the form of BMW iFactory. Through these technical renovations, the Bavarian auto company aims to make planning and simulation of all processes and the entire production system 100 per cent virtual. Through virtualisation, planning for all the processes in a factory will be taken to a new level as it will enable collaboration in real time between different locations and across different time zones. “Production planning can integrate the virtual product into the virtual factory at an early stage. This reduces planning effort and capital expenditure and, at the same time, ensures processes are more efficient and more stable during ramp-up," added Melchiorre.
By unlocking this level of virtualisation, planners will be able to conduct a virtual walk-through of BMW Group plants from anywhere and anytime. They can develop production systems together in the simulated world, compare best practices and share information quickly and easily within the network. For these new upcoming production structures, BMW will lean on NVIDIA and its Omniverse software platform.
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BMW, since November 2020, has already scanned around four million square metres of indoor space and nine million square metres of outdoor space at its plants using portable mobile scanning systems and drone systems. Thus, digital twins of the automaker's US factory in Spartanburg, the main plant in Munich and the factory in Regensburg are already available.