Production of the new BMW i3 started in May at the new Lydia plant. (Photo: BMW)
In the Lydia area of Shenyang, BMW is now opening its third Chinese production plant. Together with the neighboring Tiexi and Dadong plants, Lydia will play an important role in the production of electric vehicles in China. Production director Milan Nedeljković. So the manufacturer is investing the equivalent of two billion euros in the new location, more money than before in other Chinese projects. The new plant includes all production processes from the press shop, body shop, paint shop and assembly and increases the production capacity of the BMW Brilliance Automotive plant network to 830,000 units per year.
The new building is used for future-oriented car production
To meet customers’ growing demands for e-mobility, production at Lydia is flexible and can produce up to 100 percent fully electric vehicles. Production of the new BMW i3 had already started here in May. The new car factory will also serve as a symbol of the BMW iFactory strategy. In the planning of the new building was the first 3D creative platform Epic Games Unreal Engine used, which shows the work of Metaverse in an online environment. The integration of the virtual network with the real world shortened planning time, facilitated regional cooperation and was able to overcome the negative effects of this epidemic. According to the OEM, the construction time of the system alone was reduced by six months.
Additionally, IIOT, along with cloud-based digital platforms, connects all processes, systems and employees to each other. Extensive use of data science should improve quality control on the one hand and enable predictive maintenance on the other. The widespread use of artificial intelligence, data analytics and algorithms thus transforms decision-making from an experience-driven to a data-driven approach.
To be able to implement this strategy through a high-performance network environment, the entire plant area is covered by a 5G network. Above all, technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and real-time video rendering are possible this way. To handle the large amount of data, BMW Brilliance also built a new data center for the Lydia factory, with more than 1,200 servers. To increase the sustainability of the area, an AI-based energy management system is used in conjunction with our green electricity and photovoltaic systems.
The electrification of the Steyr production plant begins
In Steyr, Upper Austria, the car manufacturer is investing nearly one billion euros in conversion work. Reason: From 2025, all basic components of electric drives will be produced on site. Existing production sites are being replaced and new sites are being created for these jobs. The two-story production hall will provide space for two assembly lines for electric drives, including gearbox assembly. A new second building expands the equipment areas. Thus the production area will be expanded to a total of around 60,000 square meters. A third of the 700 manufacturers in Steyr are already working in the field of e-mobility, and by 2030 this number is expected to increase to around 90 percent.
“This step is undoubtedly the most important step since the foundation stone was laid in 1979” explains Alexander Susanek, Managing Director of BMW Group Plant Steyr. “In the future, we will produce more than 600,000 electric vehicles per year – in line with the high utilization of continuous production of diesel and gasoline engines. By 2030, almost half of our 4,400 employees will be working in the field of electricity. This is also a very important step to get a job here at the BMW Group location in Steyr for a long time.“
250 new employees for Landshut
125 million euros will also be invested in the Landshut site by the end of the year. According to the OEM, this amount goes into the production of innovative components for future car projects. In addition, BMW also plans to hire 250 new employees for the Bavarian plant by the end of the year. The core workforce currently comprises approximately 3,500 employees. According to HR manager Anna Sonsel, the OEM wants to use this move to cover the increase in customer demand and the related increase in the number of components manufactured. On the other hand, new employees have to compensate for the departure of age.
“With the continuous transfer of skills, the company and the work council have not only found existing jobs in close cooperation, but have also created many new ones.” explains Bernhard Ebener, Chairman of the Works Council of the BMW plant in Landshut. “BI am very pleased that we will also take on ex-partners and that we can offer a special training program for those who have not completed vocational training. This is an important sign for our temporary workers, but also for the whole region.“