BMW Group Plant Dingolfing testing autonomous, connected and intelligent logistics solutions; 5G trial network
As part of a three-year research project supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, the BMW Group and three partner companies from Bavaria are exploring the possibilities for making BMW Group Plant Dingolfing a smart factory for logistics.
The “Autonomous and Connected Logistics” research project was officially launched in September 2019 and is now entering the practical phase. A number of innovative Industry 4.0 production technologies are being combined in an overall concept and tested under real conditions at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing.
Behind the project is a vision of fully connected production in which autonomous transport systems, logistics robots and mobile devices seamlessly communicate with one another and with the control system.
The AutoBox is loaded with spare parts on long distances inside Dynamic Center Dingolfing. (Earlier post.)
The BMW Group production network has piloted several logistics solutions independently of one another, winning the German Logistics Award in 2019. The research project will now move forward with further development to achieve maximum connectivity between individual logistics solutions and integrate them into the BMW production system. The BMW Group is contributing around €4.8 million towards the project costs.
Testing of 5G wireless technology, which, over the course of the project, will be set up at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing as a trial network, will play a key role in linking different logistics solutions. The new mobile telecommunications standard allows large data volumes to be transferred within a very short time. 5G enables real-time connectivity between machinery and equipment.
Within the BMW Group production network, the BMW Brilliance Automotive joint venture has already rolled out the 5G wireless communications network across all its three plants. The long-term goal is to set up a 5G network at all BMW Group plant locations worldwide.
Further sub-projects will explore the use of logistics robots, mobile devices and digital displays in the logistics process and test connectivity between different systems.
We also want to use new technologies to increase transparency in conventional processes and enable smooth coupling of manual and autonomous technologies.—Peter Kiermaier, head of Logistics Planning at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing
The research consortium is made up of three Bavarian companies alongside the BMW Group: m3connect GmbH from Rosenheim is working to set up the private 5G network at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing; Stäubli WFT GmbH from Sulzbach develops and produces transport solutions that can manoeuvre autonomously through logistics areas. Scientific monitoring for the project is provided by the Institute for Engineering Design of Mechatronic Systems & MPLM e.V. – IEDMS e.V.