BMW production: Computer-tomography checks prototypes

As the first car manufacturer ever, the BMW Group has integrated computed tomography in the production of prototypes. The up to now mainly in medicine and engineering, to prototypes at an early stage to check and ensure that all components as expected. Overall, a complete vehicle to be avoided, prototypes of four robots, where thousands of cut images are created. So, for example, a novel connection techniques can be checked without damaging the vehicle.

The computer tomography x-ray of the prototypes were developed in the past two years, together with the Fraunhofer development center for x-ray technology and is located in the Munich research and innovation centre of the BMW Group. In the FIZ, the pilot plant will be prototypes of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce built before the prototype-workshop disguised , and finally on the road being tested.

With computed tomography, the objects can be of a size of 100 micrometers and precisely locates recorded. So the complete interior can be the life of a prototype exactly to consider and consider. In the future Artificial intelligence is to allow an automatic evaluation of the results and to independently recognize when certain areas correspond to the desired quality.

Udo Hänle (head of production, integration, and pilot plant): “The use of the new computed tomography system is a crucial step for us to increase the quality of our products. Without the vehicle having to disassemble the prototype in its individual parts, we can analyze them in three dimensions and with high precision, and thus a testing of our vehicles, which is a conventional, static computed tomography systems as possible. This helps us ultimately to integrate new technologies into production vehicles.”

Michael Koch (head of technology materials and process Analytics): “for many years, we have used the CT and x-ray images to verify the quality of components. With our system, we have now reached a new Dimension and can analyze entire vehicles in the micro meter range.”

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