BMW Plant | Technology
BMW Production


Assembly of Shell.

Each car that leaves Plant 9 starts life as a unique customer request, t goes into the first phase of production in the Body-in-White Facility in Rosslyn. The Body-in-White facility works as a dynamic combination of high-tech automated robotic equipment and a team of dedicated specialist associates, committed to ensuring that the body shells leaving the department are of the highest quality. The Body-in-White facility is divided into over 100 individual welding stations, each performing its own function in the process of completing the body shell. Each individual pressed part for the manufacture of the body is clamped and welded in either manual or robotic stations to exact specifications. Once the hang on parts have been attached, the section's finished product, the "body-in-white" moves on to the Paint Shop.

In the Body Shop several hundred components are joined to one another in stages to form the complete body of the vehicle.  

Various joining and bonding technologies, including spot-welding, riveting, laser welding and bonding are used. Body construction is one of the most highly automated areas within the whole production process. The Body-in-White is 96% automated with a total of 188 robots present in the whole shop. The number of robots is divided into 180 multi-tasking robots and 8 HGV system fitted robots that work for online measurements.

A completed body shell will leave this part of the manufacturing process with 412 components, 5500 welding spots, 297 stud welds, a total of 2,7 meters of laser welding and 25 meters of sealer. The cycle time for each unit through Body-in-White is approximately 200 seconds with the programming of the robots also done in house.

An amazing R420 million has been invested into the Body-In-White. In light of the various upgrades that have led to several major improvements, one CO2 manual welding station has been implemented in the shop. This station uses only 820mm of metal in gash (mig) welding compared to a total of only 2,3 meters of mig welding added to the previous model.

In the interest of quality assurance, specific parts of the body are consistently checked and verified for accurate dimensions by means of laser sensors. The body is then conveyed to the Metal Finish area where doors, boot lids, fenders and bonnets are fitted.

The body is now ready to enter the Paint Shop.