Earlier this month we showed you a small glimpse of what the 3 Series assembly line looks like. Back then we took a look at how the chassis is put together and how BMW now uses a lot of adhesives in its production process instead of the traditional bolts and rivets. Of course, the latter couldn’t be completely replaced but a lot of them have been dropped. Today we’re taking a look at how the car is made from start to finish in a fairly long video.
It all starts with the body, footage we’ve shown you already. After putting together the body – including the side panels – the shell is sent to the paint shop where engineers and painters look over the car’s body and check it with a 3D camera before painting it, to make sure there are no manufacturing defects present. The body is then prepared for painting, painted and dried up before the car is sent to the next step, where quality control is performed also using robots that look like they came from the future, using lamps to see how the paint is reflected and spotting any irregularity possible.
After that the car moves into the assembly phase where everything is installed on the car itself. From drain plugs to VIN numbers being stamped on the car’s body, everything basically happens now. The electrical wiring, engine, gearbox and suspension are all hooked up in place, most of it by robots. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of work left for humans as well, as they have to perform a variety of tasks, from hooking up all sorts of sensors, to checking out the seats before being installed inside the car.
Another interesting tidbit is how the front-end is made. The kidney grilles, headlamps and supporting beams behind them are all put together on bench and then hooked up to the car altogether. It’s quite fascinating how it all comes together and, if you have 30 minutes of spare time, I’d wholeheartedly recommend watching the whole thing.