BMW’s Virtual Factory Uses AI to Hone the Assembly Line

Productivity Hub

A version of BMW’s Regensburg production line that only exists inside a computer simulation.COURTESY OF NVIDIA

The German automaker uses new software from chipmaker Nvidia to simulate train robots and human workers.

“In the future, we can just put a new robot in this facility, and say, ‘OK, talk with the other robots and find the best way to produce this body.’”

Markus Grüneisl, head of production strategy, BMW

German carmaker BMWplans to start making drivetrains for electric vehicles at a vast factory in Regensburg, Bavaria, later in 2021. Well before any new parts roll off the production line, the entire manufacturing process will run in stunningly realistic detail inside a virtual version of the factory.

The simulation allows managers to plan the production process in greater detail than was previously possible, says Markus Grüneisl, who leads production strategy at BMW. “We now have a perfect digital twin of our…

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