The new engine plant is the newest one of the BMW Group. It is located in the economic and technological development zone in northeast China's Shenyang City. The plant occupies an area of 0.9 square kilometers. In August 2013, the construction works of the new plant started. In January, 2016, the new plant officially has opened. The engine plant hosts all the three functional areas of engine production, which includes foundry, machining and assembly. The plant also has a quality performance test center as well as an inbound and outbound logistics center. It is one of the advanced and sustainable engine plants worldwide and locates in close proximity to both BMW Brilliance vehicle plants. This leads to an optimized lean value stream.
Aiming for sustainable development, the plant has an optimal layout and adopts numerous of environment-friendly and energy-saving technologies. The media tunnel built during the initial period of plant construction reserves sufficient space for the supply of electric power, water-pipes, heat supply and ventilation pipelines. World-leading Building Automation System (BAS) integrates energy consumption monitoring, analysis and adjustment. The system has thousands of detectors installed all over the plant working on a 24/7 basis. Lighting in the plant leverages natural lights and intelligent lighting system. Compared with the traditional BMW heating concept, the new plant can reduce external energy input for heating by 80% due to a heat recovery technology.
Foundry——Casting of aluminum crankcases
The foundry is the starting point of the engine plant’s value stream. For the production of the crankcase the foundry boasts world's advanced smelter, which can reduce the energy consumption. Further highlights are:
Direct connection of melting and casting by underground conveyer system with no losses of temperature and increased safety.
Innovative casting feeding system to reduce return material demand.
Contemporary casting of two crankcases for higher efficiency and enhanced energy usage.
World-leading low pressure die casting technology brings high yield, excellent control of operative parameters, good metallurgical and technological quality.
Each casted part receives an integrated data matrix code that includes all relevant process parameters.
Industry 4.0 technology: self-learning x-ray quality inspection is self-adjusting the areas of interest to ensure the supply of zero defect products to the customer.
Totally inorganic binder process in sand core making is cutting-edge technology worldwide, the binder is based on water-soluble alkali silicates quartz sand dissolved in water, and brings almost zero emission in the binding process, which is highly environment friendly. The foundry is almost neutral in scent and provides highly advanced and healthy workplaces for the associates.
Most of the used sand can be recycled for the sand core process (highly environmentally friendly).
By use of a unique wire arc spraying technology (LDS) patented by the BMW Group, an innovative coating technology for the production of cast-aluminum crankcases has been introduced: The cylinder faces of all crankcases are coated with a wafer-thin layer of iron particles applied in liquid form. This results in a lower internal friction in the engine and less fuel consumption with reduced engine weight.
Efficient smelters with heat recovery system; heat recovered is used for pre-heating of aluminum ingots and supports indoor heating.
Direct link between foundry and machining, casting parts are transported via conveyer system to the machining workshop directly, which helps to reduce the through put time.
The foundry in the new engine plant is the second one within the BMW Group global production network. Shenyang has implemented all the competence and knowledge from the BMW Group plant Landshut.
Machining——Accuracy required of of the thickness of a human hair
In the machining workshop two core engine components cylinder and cylinder heads are machined. The raw cylinder material is provided by our own workshop. The raw cylinder heads material is provided by supplier. From a raw to product ,it will passed a series of incising, drilling, grinding ,milling and robot assembling operations. Production processes are highly automated and self-correcting machinery ensures each component being machined to an exact specification. Highly skilled and experienced associates ensure the high quality of the products and productivity of the operations.
Highlights in machining shop include:
1.Usage of the latest machining technology similar to the other plants in Europe, thus resulting in the same excellent quality and accuracy.
2.Each machining operation utilizes the latest gauging technology to check the features machined for diameter and depth. In order to meeting BMW technology requirements.
3.Latest high-pressure washing machines are used to clean the components to ensure absolute technical cleanness. And during the high-pressure washing, the burr in the hole will be clear away.
4. We are manufacturing to extreme tolerances eg. Valve/guide bore 6 microns of human hair.
Assembly——The art: putting it all together on time with zero defects
In the assembly workshop, the production lines are highly flexible and able to produce 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder engines at the same time, whether they need to be installed longitudinally or transversely. Producing zero defect engines for our customers at all times is what the assembly facility is designed to do. A 'no fault forward' philosophy is applied, in-process quality checks are implemented at critical stages and every engine undergoes a mechanical and electrical test during the assembly build. Highlights in assembly shop include:
Assembly processes have been implemented from the European production system.
Highly ergonomic production line is provided to production associates to take care of their health in the long run (in regards to the global BMW philosophy “today for tomorrow”).e.g. latest conveyor system with high flexibility, associates can adjust the height to the most comfortable position.
To ensure zero defect production, all engines are 100% cold tested (test with oil, but without fuel).
Furthermore, the engines are 100% leak tested for oil and water (coolant liquid) . Highly sensitive Helium gas is used in the leak tests for the fuel system.
On top, a statistical amount of engines is also tested with fuel in the performance test center (fired engine).
All technological and test parameters are recorded and long-term storage for each engine. Every engine can be traced back to its birth moment –the casting in the foundry. All process data are utilized in data deep mining and contribute to a permanent improvement of manufacturing processes.
Quality Performance Test Centre——Strong backing to supreme quality
State-of-the-art electric dynamometers used for the test cells, which are capable of testing engines with performance up to 370 kW and over 700Nm.
World-leading test systems of internal combustion engines are used. The system is capable of remote running.
Expert team from BMW's engine plants in Europe work on site to provide technical assistance, monitor the whole process and train local associates. The teams help realise the maximum exploitation of all the advanced equipment and instruments.
A statistical amount of engines undergoes a rigorous dynamic test up to 50 hours after which they are inspected and analysed to ensure the BMW quality standard has been met. This aims to ensure the customers can always get the high quality engines possible.
Logistics——Daily handling capacity of 2000 boxes AENDERN
The logistics team ensures that the right engine derivatives are produced at the right time. Every engine has an order and is produced in the exact sequence as required from the vehicle plants. Logistics schedule, receive, store and move both components machined at the engine plant along with many bought-in parts to ensure a consistent flow of engines is built.
Tow trucks replace forklifts to transport parts to the production lines, in an aim to reduce potential accident and ensure efficient production.
At the sequencing center, finished engines are stored and distributed in sequence to the vehicle plants. For Plant Tiexi, it will take only 82 minutes from the order of an engine until the delivery to the plant. An engine will be send to the vehicle plants in 90 minutes.
Facts & Figures
|Start of Production
||Foundry, machining and assembly
||Latest generation 3-cylinder and 4-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo engines
||After a ramp up period, the engine plant will be able to meet the production demand from the two vehicle plants in Dadong and Tiexi
||Cylinder head, crankcase
||BMW Brilliance announced to build a new engine plant
||Ground breaking ceremony
||First cast of foundry