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      08-25-2011, 01:20 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Video: How BMW Carbon Fiber is Born - Manufacturing at SGL and Landshut

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Video: How BMW Carbon Fiber is Born - Manufacturing at SGL and Landshut
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Below is a video look into BMW's carbon fiber reinforced plastic manufacturing process at the SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers plants, with which BMW has a joint venture, and at BMW's Landshut plant.

BMW has ambitions (see our recent discussions) to reduce the weight of its future vehicles by the incorporation of more carbon fiber (CFRP) into its automobile's materials. As one recent article stated - it is out to create a new infrastructure for carbon-fiber auto manufacturing covering everything from the material to the final product, and in the process open the door for wider use of the material. The company's goal is to bring down the cost of carbon fiber to be competitive with aluminum, making it a viable and common material for widespread use in its cars.

The first big showcase model for this will be the BMW i3 electric vehicle and i8 hybrid electric sports car, which will both utilize plenty of carbon fiber.

BMW's current carbon fiber production chain starts off with sourcing raw material in Otake, Japan, to carbon fiber manufacturing in Moses Lake, Washington, to final material preparation at SGL.

The following videos features the CFRP process at SGL and BMW's Landshut plant in Germany. Listen for the narrations at particular parts in the videos.







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      08-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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Japan-USA-Germany Plant 1-Germany Plant2
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      08-25-2011, 10:47 AM   #3
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      08-25-2011, 11:37 AM   #4
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Wow.
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      08-25-2011, 12:08 PM   #5
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      08-25-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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      08-25-2011, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90Fleet View Post
Japan-USA-Germany Plant 1-Germany Plant2
Precursor from Japan, made to CF thread at Moses Lakes, then woven at Neckersdorf then molded/formed into parts at Landshut then off to Leipzip for assembly/glueing together.

In the end all that travel still yields less carbon emissions than it all happening in Germany because taking the precursor and creatIng CF requires the most energy and that phase is using zero carbon emissions hydro power. There is more to it but that is te big emissions saver.

-M
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      08-25-2011, 01:27 PM   #8
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Challenge to BMW M:

Next M3- As much as possible CFRP parts, not so much of price increase- please!!
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      08-25-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voice of reason View Post
Challenge to BMW M:

Next M3- As much as possible CFRP parts, not so much of price increase- please!!
Pretty sure this is already the plan.
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      08-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
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all that work for a $2000 part
impressive
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      08-25-2011, 04:40 PM   #11
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^ I know really. I'll never look at a CF part the same again.
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      08-25-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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      08-25-2011, 05:14 PM   #13
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That is really damned cool. I would love to work for BMW
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      08-25-2011, 05:45 PM   #14
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      08-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voice of reason View Post
Challenge to BMW M:

Next M3- As much as possible CFRP parts, not so much of price increase- please!!
yea thats basically the point. i dont think it will stop at the M and i line-up. I see extensive use of CF across the board.
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      08-25-2011, 07:55 PM   #16
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      08-25-2011, 10:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
^ I know really. I'll never look at a CF part the same again.
I always liked CF till I saw all the fake CF parts for the E90/92
Grills, wrapped interior trim, diffusers, splitters, iPhone covers etc
You know the really shinny plasticy looking stuff
turned me off of it
But still getting my next m3 with the CF roof
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      08-26-2011, 11:35 AM   #18
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Its amazing how clean quiet organized all those factories are...


sad thing if you noticed....... not too many people working around all that machinery.
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      08-27-2011, 04:24 AM   #19
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^ yeah, it is sad, but the best quality control is to avoid manual labor as much as possible.

I've worked with many plants for two different German companies in the US. The production process for serial production is often robust. Often times its the manual labor process that causes the variation in production or improper handling of suspect material.
The only reason more manuacturing is not incorporating such automated processes is due to the high initial capital investments.
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      08-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #20
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Incredible work. I ordered a BMW CF Performance Front Spoiler (goes under the bumper, very subtle) a few weeks ago, it was expensive and I can see why.
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      08-27-2011, 02:22 PM   #21
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Few interesting points come to mind after watching that.

1. Quality. By moving all the carbon production in-house, they are controlling the quality. They obviously learned from Boeing's mistake of farming out carbon production all over the world for the 787 components.

2. Scale. They are fully committed to moving to composites for their city vehicles and ditching steel eventually. Composites have equal strength as steel, half the weight, and better energy absorption in a crash. I'm sure this is not an overnight process, but it looks like a substantial investment already.

3. Future vehicles. This much effort is not for making little spoilers and trim. All the rumors of the 3 and 4 cylinder motors - guess what cars they are going into? When your car now weighs 30-50% less, it will require a smaller engine. Smaller engine = less production costs. All that and better fuel economy with equal or similar performance. First the i3, etc., then next the MINI's I'm willing to bet.


They are taking a big gamble and technological step forward. It will be interesting to see if/when it pays off.
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      08-28-2011, 02:07 PM   #22
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