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BMW to produce lighter, stronger parts

News | August 2nd, 2009 by 7
workers-at-bmw-plant Dingolfing

During tough economical times, it has been historically proven that innovative companies managed to get the edge in their industry. A recent article published by …

During tough economical times, it has been historically proven that innovative companies managed to get the edge in their industry. A recent article published by Automotive News talks about BMW’s plans to produce lighter, stronger parts. To accomplish this, BMW is spending $69.7 million on an innovative press hardening facility at its Dingolfing plant.

A second press hardening facility will be at the Leipzig plant where the new 1 Series family will be built and this new lighter parts techniques will be used on future BMW models as well.

We’ve learned in the past that the new 2011 BMW 5 Series will take advantage of these new lighter materials which will allow BMW to keep the weight fairly low on this new model, despite the all-steel chassis.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

workers-at-bmw-plant Dingolfing

BMW will make high strength body parts such as chassis beams and side skirts with the new press hardening process.

Saving pounds
It will be the first use of press hardening technology in the auto industry anywhere in the world, BMW said. It makes it possible to construct high-strength components at lower weights.
The new process cuts vehicle weight by almost 51 pounds. This in turn shrinks fuel consumption by up to 0.1 liter per 100 kilometers driven, or just under half a cup of gasoline for every 62 miles.

The new facility thus contributes to BMW’s “efficient dynamics” program, an effort to improve vehicle performance along a range of fronts.

The 5 Series Gran Turismo will be the first model using these components. Over the next three years, eight more new BMW models will incorporate components from the facility.
The Dingolfing press facility will supply BMW’s factory network worldwide.

Full Article

  • Giom

    Now you’re talking! It doesn’t sound like much – 23kg in metric speak, but it is a step in the right direction. I wonder how much weight can be shed with future technologies. Would it be possible to produce a GT weiging, say, 1500kg (3309 pounds)?

  • Rich

    “Over the next three years, eight more new BMW models will incorporate components from the facility.”

    So which 8 models will it be? 5 GT, 5er, 1er, 3 Sedan/Wagon, 3 Coupe/Convertible, 3 GT, X3, X1?

  • Doug

    Hardening the steel will make it stiffer but more brittle and will damp vibration less. Maybe it’s a good tradeoff in applications where stiffness is key.

  • Lance

    It’s interesting to see that my presence in the car adds 0.3l/100km consumption. But the 23kg is really not a lot, hopfully their return on invesment is worthwhile.

  • Oliver
    • wazon

      Actually, it’s two cycle engine with two cylinders. Such engines are known as more efficient and more powerful than conventional four-cycle eingines. The only innovation in VW engine is that it has opposite cyliders. But still such engines has well known disadvanges. Especially, if they won’t find new lubrication method other than injecting motor oil into combustion chamber, it won’t be attractive taking into consideration recent emission restriction. After all, construction of such engines demand from them burning motor oil! Moreover, it won’t let you to break by switching lower gear, because such breaking would cut injection off and hence cut lubrication off. Saab (I don’t rememner when) took two-cycle engine, cut injection off and started to rotating engine, after 20 min. engine was seized up. If they overcome somehow these usuall disadvantages then maybe it will be something interesting. Up to now, I treat more siriously idea of turbochaged 3 cylinder engines in lighter cars with recycle of breaking energy, start-stop system, new aerodynamics as better strategy of making economical, ecological, efficient car.

  • http://www.carversation.com CARversation.com

    is it me or does the guy on the right look like the guy from transporter series.

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