Stp 16, 2020
(Beijing/Shenyang) On September 14th, BMW Brilliance opened its High Voltage Battery (HVB) Center II, which is the first location worldwide to produce fifth-generation BMW high voltage batteries. The new, more efficient and powerful batteries will be installed on the pure-electric BMW iX3. The BMW iX3 will be produced exclusively in Shenyang and released to the global market by the end of this year. The opening of the HVB Center II underlines BMW Brilliance’s commitment to high-quality development, and further consolidates BMW’s position as an e-mobility pioneer.
In a video message congratulating BMW Brilliance on the milestone, Milan Nedeljković, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Production, said: “China is of great importance to the BMW Group - both as a market and as a production and innovation location. We are preparing for future growth: With this expansion of the battery plant, we have more than doubled the capacity of the local battery production in China.”
Dr. Johann Wieland, President & CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive, said: “The expansion of our High Voltage Battery Center is a concrete demonstration of our commitment to continue our investment in Shenyang, Liaoning and northeast China. It also shows our determination to lead the way in sustainable mobility, as we launch our pure-electric BMW iX3 “in China, for China and for the World.”
New battery center features latest “Industry 4.0” technologies and achieves BMW quality standards
BMW Brilliance has been producing high voltage batteries since 2017. It’s High Voltage Battery Center I was the first BMW facility outside of Germany with complete battery production capabilities, including R&D. Within three years, the joint venture has built and began operations at the High Voltage Battery Center II. The new facility more than doubles BMW Brilliance’s battery production capacity, with space reserved for future capacity growth. It will produce BMW Group’s latest generation of high voltage batteries for the BMW iX3.
The BMW Group follows a strategy of in-house development of all key technologies of the electric-drive. Despite requiring significant investment and the mastery of complex technologies, the major advantage of in-house battery production is greater control of the battery manufacturing process. By investing in a new high voltage battery center, with its state-of-the-art production technology and strict quality management, BMW Brilliance is able to optimize the quality, safety, durability and efficiency of its battery products in the manufacturing process.
The high voltage battery production process is divided into two main stages: first, supplied battery cells are manufactured into modules, after which the modules are assembled into battery packs. The highly automated module production line employs a range of high-tech processes such as cell painting and foil and spacer application to ensure that the battery cells are insulated and isolated from each other. Plasma cleansing, laser welding, A.I. camera systems and other advanced and Industry 4.0 technologies are utilized at different stages to ensure reliable and consistent production quality.
After the modules are produced, they are assembled into battery packs. A highlight of the pack line is its innovative use of automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Rather than the traditional conveyer method, the programmed AGVs transport the heavy battery packs from station-to-station along the pack line. This novel transportation system offers high flexibility as AGVs can be simply reprogrammed according to production requirements. At each station, qualified high voltage battery technicians load, mount and connect the battery modules together with connectors, battery management unit and cooling unit into the aluminum housing to assemble a complete high voltage battery pack. The batteries undergo leakage testing, and low and high voltage testing throughout the production process to ensure the best quality standards. Once all stages are complete, the fifth-generation high voltage battery is transported to Plant Dadong for final assembly into the BMW iX3.
From China to the World: BMW Brilliance plays a pivotal role in BMW Group’s electromobility strategy
The BMW Group is continuing to push ahead with the expansion of electric mobility and aims to introduce 25 electrified models by 2023. More than half of these will be fully-electric. The selection of BMW Brilliance as the first location to produce fifth-generation BMW batteries shows that the joint venture is playing a pivotal role in BMW Group’s electrification strategy. As well as building a comprehensive manufacturing base, from battery to vehicle production, BMW Brilliance has established extensive research and development (R&D) capabilities. The R&D Center in Shenyang is a key pillar in BMW’s China R&D network, which is by far the largest BMW Group R&D network outside of Germany. The Shenyang R&D Center specializes in the development of technology-leading electrical powertrains for BMW Brilliance’s premium new energy vehicles (NEVs). In April this year, construction began on a major extension of the testing facilities at the R&D Center, with a focus on NEV development. The knowledge that BMW Brilliance has gained from NEV R&D and battery production as well as the extension project will serve to strengthen BMW Brilliance’s position as a leader of premium NEV development in China.
With the start of series production of the fifth-generation BMW battery at the High Voltage Battery Center II, it’s clear that the first-ever BMW iX3 will arrive in the market soon. The BMW iX3 is significant not only as a new addition to BMW’s line-up of electrified products, but also as a milestone for BMW Brilliance. The BMW iX3 will be the Joint Venture’s first “world car” and the realization of its “In China, for China and for the World” vision. It signifies that BMW Brilliance will contribute more to BMW Group’s future mobility strategy and step into a new phase of high quality development.