BMW has been working on implementing the so-called ‘Industry 4.0‘ standard in its plants across the globe for quite some time now. The Germans have been at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for the production process and now they are entering a new stage, one that combines all their previous efforts through 5G connectivity.
The announcement that the BMW Plant Dingolfing will get the new standard came today and it’s already causing ripples in the industry.
Initially, the Dingolfing plant will be used as a test bed for the 5G network, to see how it can help in streamlining the production process. With the help of the new speeds and minimal lag offered by the new mobile communications standard, autonomous robots and other functions can work together to deliver more productivity.
The long-term goal is to set up a 5G network at all BMW Group plant locations worldwide.
In order to get this done, the Bavarian Government got involved and this effort also includes two other companies from the area: m3connect GmbH from Rosenheim is working to set up a private 5G network at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing; Stäubli WFT GmbH from Sulzbach develops and produces transport solutions that can manoeuvre autonomously through logistics areas.
Further sub-projects will explore the use of logistics robots, mobile devices and digital displays in the logistics process and test connectivity between different systems.
In recent years, the BMW Group production network has piloted several logistics solutions independently of one another, winning the German Logistics Award in 2019. The research project will now move forward with further development to achieve maximum connectivity between individual logistics solutions and integrate them into the BMW production system.
Within the BMW Group production network, the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture has already rolled out the 5G wireless communications network across all its three plants.