Additive manufacturing processes (AM) have been used for prototyping in experimental
vehicle construction and development for almost 30 years, and have become
established techniques in these fields. The BMW Group is not only considered
an early adopter in this area, having used these technologies since the beginning,
but also an established partner when it comes to identifying new potential fields
for the latest AM technologies and materials.
In recent years, the company has been working hard to implement a strategic
roadmap to move both plastic-based and metal-based AM processes on to the
next logical step – from prototyping to series production. The company’s objective
here has not been to create showcase examples, but rather to apply the specific
benefits of the techniques in a targeted way – for substituting tools in small batch
production, for customisation, and for designing components that are tailored to
the loads and processes involved in series production.
A number of pilot projects have already shown where AM processes could be used
in the creation of customer components. Meanwhile, additive manufacturing has
become an important pillar in the digitalisation strategy of the BMW Group’s production
network that will enable it to manufacture products sustainably and efficiently
going forward. By working with new start-ups and innovative partners in the AM sector,
the company is seeing increases in quality, efficiency and in the number of areas
it can use these processes. It is perhaps no surprise that the BMW Group therefore
sees it as essential to remain a pioneer in the field of additive manufacturing.
This talk will explain how the use of AM technologies is gradually being driven
forward into series production. As well as the technical and economic aspects,
it will also discuss strategic productive investments and partnerships, and show
how client projects in this field are being developed and supported with a focus on
delivering end customer-quality components.