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      02-17-2014, 10:34 AM   #1
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Post BMW Expanding Carbon Fiber Factory for Carbon Fiber Use in Regular Models

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BMW Expanding Carbon Fiber Factory for Carbon Fiber Use in Regular Models
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Via Autonews:

February 17, 2014 10:58 CET

FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) -- BMW Group is building a second production hall at a carbon-fiber factory jointly run with SGL Carbon SE to respond to growing demand for its i-subbrand models.

The automaker says it also expects to use the material in other vehicles in its lineup.

"We're preparing the roll out of carbon fiber material in models beyond the i- model range" and the M performance-car unit, Mathias Schmidt, a BMW spokesman, said.

German business daily Handelsblatt reported today that the carmaker is planning to use carbon fiber for its planned new 7 series, expected by the end of next year.

i subbrand

The automaker introduced the i3 electric in November and will roll out the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar later this year. The i8 is already sold out for its first year of availability. Both models feature a carbon-fiber chassis to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.

Chief Financial Officer Friedrich Eichiner said in October that the company is considering a production increase for the i3 after early demand for the model exceeded the automaker's expectations. BMW has received 11,000 orders globally for the compact car and expects to sell more than 10,000 i3s this year.

"We're preparing for rising demand," Tino Fritsch, a spokesman for SGL, said.

BMW and SGL are investing more than 100 million euros ($137 million) to double carbon fiber production to 6,000 tons a year, Handelsblatt said, citing unidentified people close to the company. Schmidt and Fritsch declined to provide exact figures for the increase.

BMW Group is the second-largest shareholder in SGL, with a 18.4 percent stake in the company. SGL's largest individual shareholder is Susanne Klatten's investment company SKion GmbH, which has a stake of about 28 percent in the supplier. Klatten also is part of the Quandt family, which has a 46.7 percent stake in BMW AG.

VW Group has an 8.2 percent share in SGL.

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      02-17-2014, 12:04 PM   #2
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Here are some videos and photos showing the carbon fiber production process at the BMW-SGL plant.


SGL-BMW Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Process

Below are some past videos featuring BMW's carbon fiber manufacturing process, including some views into SGL-BMW's Moses Lake, Washington plant, among other plants involved in the process. BMW set 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.







BMW i3 to Be World's First Volume-Produced Car with Passenger Cell Made from Carbon


BMW i3 will be the world's first volume-produced car with the passenger cell made from carbon fiber.










































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      02-17-2014, 01:39 PM   #3
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i wonder what the repair costs will be to accident damaged cars. will insurance companies more likely total cars because of this?
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      02-17-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
i wonder what the repair costs will be to accident damaged cars. will insurance companies more likely total cars because of this?
I have asked the people at BMW i this very same question. Apparently they can just remove damaged sections of the frame and attach new ones. Can't quite remember how they will do though, my guess is that they will train a team at each dealership to handle the types of repairs these new cars will need.

Bottom line, they have thought this through and have a solution.
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      02-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #5
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So legit!
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      02-17-2014, 02:43 PM   #6
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valid question - wonder if insurance rates will follow suit.

Hopefully the volume approach will bring down the price of the material.
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      02-17-2014, 03:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhietter View Post
I have asked the people at BMW i this very same question. Apparently they can just remove damaged sections of the frame and attach new ones. Can't quite remember how they will do though, my guess is that they will train a team at each dealership to handle the types of repairs these new cars will need.

Bottom line, they have thought this through and have a solution.
If I had to guess I would assume they will make use of film adhesives much the way the aerospace industry does. Honda has a passenger jet where the entire fuselage is molded carbon fiber in 2 separate halves then glued together... that's it.

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Originally Posted by S3RI35 View Post
valid question - wonder if insurance rates will follow suit.

Hopefully the volume approach will bring down the price of the material.
I wouldn't bet on it. Sure carbon fiber is expensive to produce, but the raw materials are scarce and in high demand. Even if manufacturing costs go down the cost of raw material won't.
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      02-17-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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The other interesting point is that in modern cars, almost everything can be recycled. With cars being made more and more of Carbon Fiber, what are we going to do with all the left over busted carbon fiber parts when CF ends up on all cars.
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      02-17-2014, 04:07 PM   #9
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I thought carbon fiber was shortage worldwide. I guess this is not true anymore . lol
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      02-17-2014, 05:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhietter View Post
I have asked the people at BMW i this very same question. Apparently they can just remove damaged sections of the frame and attach new ones. Can't quite remember how they will do though, my guess is that they will train a team at each dealership to handle the types of repairs these new cars will need.

Bottom line, they have thought this through and have a solution.
what about collision centers though that are outside our the dealership?
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      02-17-2014, 07:21 PM   #11
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      02-17-2014, 08:36 PM   #12
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      02-17-2014, 10:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason
Here are some videos and photos showing the carbon fiber production process at the BMW-SGL plant.


[miscbox=SGL-BMW Carbon Fiber Manufacturing Process]
Below are some past videos featuring BMW's carbon fiber manufacturing process, including some views into SGL-BMW's Moses Lake, Washington plant, among other plants involved in the process. BMW set 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.

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      02-17-2014, 10:49 PM   #14
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There will be a BMW carbon fiber repair program that body shops/dealerships will have to send people to get certified in order to repair the cars.
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      02-18-2014, 10:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRV99
The other interesting point is that in modern cars, almost everything can be recycled. With cars being made more and more of Carbon Fiber, what are we going to do with all the left over busted carbon fiber parts when CF ends up on all cars.
That's a really good point. I hadn't thought of that.
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      02-18-2014, 10:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by index1489 View Post
There will be a BMW carbon fiber repair program that body shops/dealerships will have to send people to get certified in order to repair the cars.
you mean like repairing fiberglass?
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      02-18-2014, 12:12 PM   #17
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comparing 5th, 6th pic (in reverse order) the c-pillars luks different, thy must be testing two different i3 iterations
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      02-18-2014, 12:58 PM   #18
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BMW is getting better at making those CF roofs lol
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      02-18-2014, 04:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRV99
The other interesting point is that in modern cars, almost everything can be recycled. With cars being made more and more of Carbon Fiber, what are we going to do with all the left over busted carbon fiber parts when CF ends up on all cars.
CF can be reclaimed and re-woven. Just dissolve away the resin and voila!
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      02-19-2014, 10:28 AM   #20
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