How BMW Utilise Composites to Manufacture Its New 7 Series
Using the very latest technologies in lightweight materials, powertrains, chassis, operating systems and intelligent connectivity underline its mission to bring together driving pleasure and long-distance comfort in a luxury sedan.
The interior of the new 7 series offers lots of space and with the optional executive lounge, the passenger’s comfort is redefined further, featuring electrically adjustable seats with massage functions, active ventilation and a rear console and entertainment system with BMW’s touch command. The Long-wheelbase versions will also feature a sky lounge panorama glass roof that will mimic a starry sky thanks to side-mounted LED modules.
The cars new iDrive system, for the first time features a touch screen display, allowing for easier more intuitive control, adding to that is the new gesture support which also allows hand movements to be recognised by a 3D sensor. These new gestures will allow you to control a number of different functions like audio volume and being able to accept or reject phone calls.
BMW EfficientLightweight helps to reduce the weight of the new BMW 7 Series models by up to 130 kilograms compared to their previous-generation counterparts. At the centre of it all is the body structure with Carbon Core, a product of the transfer of technology from the development of BMW i cars. The new BMW 7 Series is the first car in its segment in which industrially manufactured carbon fibre reinforced plastic combines with steel and aluminium. The intelligent body concept uses this mixed-materials approach to increase the strength and rigidity of the passenger cell while at the same time significantly reducing vehicle weight.
Carbon fibre is used for the roof bows, to reinforce the roof frame, the B and C pillars, the sills, the centre tunnel and for the rear shelf. The company benefits from the knowhow gained from development and production of its BMW i models. For the first time, the BMW Group is using two enhanced, innovative and highly efficient processes in production of the BMW 7 Series in Dingolfing: wet pressing and hybrid pressing.
[quote_colored name=”” icon_quote=”no”]The structures and new manufacturing technologies for lightweight construction and electrification we established for the BMW 7 Series ramp-up will also benefit other models[/quote_colored]
In wet pressing, carbon-fibre fabrics or netting, impregnated with resin, are pressed in a three-dimensional moulding die while wet and then hardened. The dry pre-shaping previously used in the Resin Transfer Moulding (RTM) process is no longer required. In hybrid pressing, carbon-fibre fabrics impregnated with resin, also still wet, are placed in a moulding die with sheet steel, then pressed and hardened. This bonds the steel and carbon materials to form a hybrid component. Hybrid components are light, but offer maximum rigidity and outstanding crash performance. Both processes enable highly economical large-scale production of up to several thousand carbon components per day, with compact systems engineering and short cycle times.