BMW to open $12 million AM campus in Munich
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BMW team will evaluate new and existing technologies in both plastics and metals printing and develop them to series maturity.
BMW Group has announced plans to invest in a US$12 million (€10 million) Additive Manufacturing Campus to be located in Oberschleissheim, just north of Munich, and set to go online in early 2019.
The new AM campus will be located in an existing building with a footprint of over 6,000 square metres. The automaker hopes to accommodate up to 80 associates and over 30 industrial systems for metals and plastics.
“Our new Additive Manufacturing Campus will concentrate the full spectrum of the BMW Group’s 3D printing expertise at a single location,” says Udo Hänle, Head of Production Integration and Pilot Plant. “This will allow us to test new technologies early on and continue developing our pioneering role.”
The investment will allow the BMW team to evaluate new and existing technologies in both plastics and metals printing and develop them to series maturity.
The Additive Manufacturing Campus will foster the latest technologies in this field in much the same way as a pilot plant and make them available for use within the network. The new Campus will also act as an interdisciplinary training and project area, for instance for development engineers.
Over the past couple of years, BMW has been integrating 3D parts into its production series vehicles. For example, the BMW i8 Roadster includes several thousand metal parts. Additive manufacturing is an integral part of the BMW Group production system and harbours significant potential for series production. 3D printing is also gaining steam for the automaker’s customized components.
“The 3D printers that are currently operating across our production network represent a first step towards local part production,” explains Jens Ertel, Head of the BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Center and the future campus director. “We are already using additive manufacturing to make prototype components on location in Spartanburg (US), Shenyang (China) and Rayong (Thailand). Going forward, we could well imagine integrating it more fully into local production structures to allow small production runs, country-specific editions and customisable components – provided it represents a profitable solution.” This would make additive manufacturing a useful addition to existing production technologies.