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The fascinating power of production.
Production of the BMW 7series in Dingolfing (Germany)

The fascinating power of production

The BMW Plant in Dingolfing: Flexible manufacture of automobiles at its finest.

From the steel roll to the body-in-white.

Throwing a glance at colours.

Customized for the customer.

Making available superior comfort – The production of seats exemplified.

Quick processes: Punctual, prompt, appropriate.

The BMW Plant in Dingolfing: A survey – Milestones on the way to success.

General conspectus: Pictures from the BMW Plant in Dingolfing

 

"There is no other consumer good which is as complex as the automobile. Its production involves the complicated and perfect interaction between thousands of people and components – a fascinating aspect of production", says Dr. Norbert Reithofer, member of the BMW’s Board of Management, who is in charge of production.

Flexibility.

The new BMW 7 Series model in particular marks the beginning of a newera of automobile construction. This automobile, which sets a benchmark in the luxury performance segment, constitutes an enormous challenge as far as production is concerned. Each vehicle that comes off the production line is tailor-made, it is customized for the customer with respect to the engine, colour, interior trim and the model version.

The following example reveals the complex tasks the production plant and the BMW engineers and production specialists are confronted with several hundred times a day and which they master perfectly: The possibilities of variation, the new BMW 7 Series model offers, amount to 1017 – that is "100,000,000,000,000,000", which is an incredibly high number.

Business is People.

Employees play a vital role in the production of premium products of supreme quality apart from perfected production processes supported by state-of-the-art facilities. "The existence of path-breaking technologies and processes is important, but even more important is to use them efficiently and to constantly develop them even further, because Business is People", underlines Dr. Norbert Reithofer.

Network of production and development.

The BMW Group’s worldwide network of production and development ensures that expert knowledge and know-how, which has been newly acquired or gained over the last decades, is used consistently throughout all plants. Thus the BMW Group has learned at an early stage to attach the greatest importance to the creation of a network in order to optimize its own resources and to take advantage of synergy effects.

This powerful network with its most important branches situated in Munich, Dingolfing, Landshut, Regensburg, Berlin, Leipzig (from 2005), Steyr (Austria), Spartanburg (USA), Rosslyn (South Africa), Oxford and Hams Hall (Great Britain) allows the BMW Group to react quickly and most flexibly to the ever-changing demands of the customers and developments on the market. The application of uniform standards as to quality, safety and processes within the network makes possible the worldwide production of products of supreme quality, that is products "Made by BMW", or to put it simply: "Premium production of premium products".

Sustained production.

Sustained production in the sense of a careful use of resources is an integral part of all decision-making processes. For us the BMW Group sustained production is not only part of our entrepreneurial philosophy and adhered to in theory. It is also put into practice. "It goes without saying that orientation towards the societal and ecological environment is most important for us as is the adherence to supreme quality standards", says Dr. Norbert Reithofer. The BMW Group was the first automobile manufacturer worldwide to have its production plants certified with regard to environmental compatibility.

This decisive step was already taken many years ago. The BMW Group has taken the lead in the Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index several times.

This fact underlines that the BMW Group has not only followed the right path but also is well advanced in this respect.

Having signed the international declaration of "Cleaner Production" as part of the United Nations’ ecological programme in September 2001, the BMW Group took a further step to consistently strengthen the case of sustained production. "Cleaner Production" is aimed at the prevention of adverse impacts on the environment during production. The declaration provides for the use of environmentally friendly technologies  right from the beginning of the production process, not only at the end of it.

The following gives you an example: Between 1996 and 2000 the sewage water produced during the production of one unit was reduced by 17 percent from 1.27 m³ to 1.06 m³. In the same period the energy consumption dropped by about 20 percent from 3.94 MWh to 3.16 MWh.

Flexibility in making changes and excellent time management. The BMW Group has once again set a new benchmark as far as the realization of the customer-oriented sales and production process KOVP is concerned.

The following gives you an example of the flexibility when altering orders:

With the introduction of the new BMW 7 Series model the BMW Group launched a system which will be gradually applied on all new models. This system allows the customer to alter his order of the respective body variant with respect to the engine, colour and equipment up to about one week before the commencement of assembly.

The following gives you an idea of online ordering: When the customer places an order with the dealer, the latter determines the feasibility of the individually configured vehicle via this system within a few seconds, orders the vehicle online, makes a reservation for production and informs the production logistics dept. about the new order. The system immediately returns to the customer the confirmation of order as well as information on the exact date when the desired car will be delivered.

"Enhancements are particularly useful if they entail true advantages for the customer", says Dr. Norbert Reithofer.

Fascination.

The motto "Business is People", flexibility, excellent time management, sustained production within the network are all examples that prove the considerable enthusiasm for truly outstanding mobility that has always stimulated the BMW Group’s entire workforce’s constant inspiration and initiative.

"As soon as you set foot in a BMW Group production plant you will experience the fascinating power of production in a gripping way", says Dr. Norbert Reithofer.

 
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Source: BMW Group. March 2002.



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