The BMW i8 is a sports bet with high efficiency levels, designed from the start of production of the vehicle.
The use of raw materials, operations with efficient energy use, to recycling as a last step, making the car follows a strictly sustainable code.
BMW Group’s leadership in automotive engineering is also consolidated thanks to the industrial manufacture of components such as carbon fiber Carbon Fiber format Reinforced Plastic (CFRP).
Both the development and production of both engines of the new BMW i8 are being carried out entirely by BMW Group.
The innovative architecture of the car comprises two key modules: the Life module, the cabin made with carbon fiber (CFRP) and aluminum Drive module, which includes technology powertrain and chassis. The LifeDrive concept and use of (CFRP) shortens production times in half compared to an equivalent car built on a conventional assembly line.
Production network BMW i comprises a plant in Moses Lake, Washington, for the production of carbon fiber and other Wackersdorf for processing into sheets of carbon fiber.
Stages of production of carbon fiber are carried out organically in several factories. The process begins in Moses Lake through a complex process that begins with the production of fibers through a thermoplastic textile fiber precursor polyacrylonitrile-based.
After several phases a really small fiber which is wound on spools and grouped for treatment Wackersdorf following is obtained.
In Landshut and Lepzig, these stacks are transformed into components for the car. The components of the body are made BMW i8 Landshut, while BMW i3 components are performed in Leipzig.
A mold is responsible for shaping the carbon fiber. They can be joined, creating a larger component. Thus, costs are also cheaper and easier to work with other materials such as aluminum or steel.
The next step is the union through resin injection high-pressure resin transfer molding (RTM).
The resin adheres to the fibers and hardens through a process that eliminates waiting times cure if treatment is conducted in a furnace as is normally done in the manual production of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP).
In a final process are finished and outline the resulting edges and openings.
The Leipzig plant is characterized by shaping the module Life.
One of the advantages of plastic against steel is its weight. Also its anti-corrosion properties and less energy in their manufacture.
The futuristic shape of the BMW i8 led the specialists in the area of plastics production to align production technology accordingly.
The size of the components and the language of their complex design, led to the development of specific models of synthetic granules, as well as alignment of production, which is specifically geared towards meeting the requirements of the BMW i8.
Bumpers, for example, occur in the paint of various shades in a highly specialized center.
Thus a dynamic look is achieved bicolor, while the weight is significantly optimized.
Unlike conventional models, not all car suffers a staged process.
The front, rear and side bumpers are painted individually, conserving resources.
In the rear bumper, a design of three colors is achieved by the additional installation of a separate component painted; this additional color imparts a striking visual effect.
While the conventional painting process is applied to the body shell, the assembly of the mounting parts painted separately provides the ability to create very special visual effects.
The structural parts of the Drive module built in the BMW i8 BMW plant in Dingolfing – the holder of the front axle and the front and rear axle modules – are made of aluminum foil and aluminum castings.
A concept unequaled installation with welding robots on a mobile linear axis has been developed in order to accommodate the large number of over 800 weld seams with a total length of over 50 meters.
The use of aluminum combines the advantages of lightweight construction with good impact performance and thus contributes to the overall safety of BMW i models.
Another important module of BMW produced in Dingolfing, is the high-voltage battery.
The production process begins with a ‘beginning- of-line’ test in which lithium ion cells supplied externally are subject to an initial inspection of performance. The battery cells are cleaned of plasma.
Then individual cells are held in modules, and soldiers joined in a fully automated process. After this, it begins the complex process of assembly and assembly. The battery is designed such that the individual battery modules can be easily exchanged for repair purposes.
The design of the thrusters has always been a key differentiator for the BMW brand.
Accordingly, the BMW Group decided to develop both the combustion engine and the electric motor for hybrid sports car plug-in of the house.
The electric motor of the BMW i8 comes at the BMW plant in Landshut. The BMW Group has developed the electronic system of engine and power transmission 96 kW internally.
The LifeDrive architecture, divided horizontally, consists of two separate and independent modules. As a result, the assembly of Leipzig is the first in the history of BMW to offer two separate parallel production lines for the BMW i3 – one for the Life module and one for the Drive Module.
This has led to significant advances in terms of its ergonomic design jobs, which provide optimum accessibility for all assembly operations.
The BMW i8, however, is mounted on a single line. During assembly of the Drive module in Leipzig, the aluminum chassis is equipped with high-voltage battery.
The Drive module is then adjusted to units of powertrain and transmission. Once the front axle support – preassembled in Dingolfing – and other structural parts are assembled, the BMW i8 Drive module is ready to move to the final stage of assembly.
The interior CFRP carbon format makes its way the assembly area where the specific equipment chosen by the client is installed.
At the same time, the engine components are pre -assembled. This is the last step before the carbon carrier and the aluminum chassis are joined together. The two units are also bolted together at four points.
The result is optimum rigidity and strength. Only then will the BMW i8 receives its outer skin and is ready to deliver to the end customer.