A glimpse of the future: BMW uses virtual reality to design future production workstations
Virtual reality is increasingly finding use in BMW Group production.
A few months before production of the new BMW 3 Series ramped up in Munich, BMW Group planners have completely laid out individual workstations in a virtual world, including cockpit preassembly, for example, where the cockpit is put together before being installed in the vehicle.
Being able to work with the same data and software also saved specialist departments and production staff a lot of time.
Because it is so easy to use, experts were able to assess how much space the new system needed, for example, quickly and easily and incorporate production employees’ know-how in planning from the beginning.
For the first time, building, systems, logistics and assembly designers, together with production employees, were able to evaluate the entire production area in virtual reality and test new 3D procedures.
The virtual reality technology has enabled BMW to configure the cockpit pre-assembly stations quickly and efficiently without longer test installations to replicate the workstation to its true size.
And the fact that all the specialists involved, from logistics experts to system designers to production employees, were easily able to exchange ideas in the early stages was an important added benefit for the team that was more transparent, flexible and faster all in all.
The production of the existing cockpit continued during the preparations without any constraints, since the planning occupied only space in the virtual world.