Our friend Jonathan Spira has recently launched a new project, The Diesel Driver, a publication that focuses on the experience of owning and driving a diesel-powered automobile. It is dedicated to providing reviews and information about diesel passenger cars, be they forthcoming models or classics.
Jonathan is also one of the most passionate BMW owners out there and his love for the brand goes years back. As a starting point, Jonathan went back to BMW’s roots to experience another BMW European Delivery, but this time, aboard a BMW 335d.
Part of his experience includes a tour of the BMW’s Munich factory where 10,000 workers producing ca. 800 3er Series autos and 1,200 engines each day. While photos are not usually allowed to be taken inside the plant, The Diesel Driver received special permission to snap some shots and share them with us all.
My 335d’s production started on 2 December with a coil of steel that was unraveled and cut into plates that were then pressed into the right shape. The Press Shop handles 600 metric tons of steel plates each and every day and the steel is specifically selected for individual parts in order to meet BMW’s high standards.
Depending on the part, four to six production steps are required.
The parts formed for the 335d were then assembled in the Body Shop starting on 8 December until the car body was completed later that day.
Large panels simultaneously converge into a central spot for spot and laser welding as well as other joining techniques such as gluing. Robots seem to magically create the chassis by turning and rotating different parts. The robots in the Mobi-Cell perform spot welding with exacting precision.
The remarkable “Mobi Cell” Body Shell Concept is a BMW manufacturing innovation. Mobi Cell stands for “Mobile Standard Fertigungszelle” (mobile standard production booth). It makes it possible it to shift production stations within the body shop quickly and economically. The individual station can be combined with and connected to larger and more complex manufacturing stations, thereby improving the factory’s flexibility and ability to cope with changes in demand.