During the recent visit of the VDG Bavarian regional group, Dr. Steffen Klan had a real « treat in store », as people mention that in Bavaria. In addition to the latest news from BDG and VDG as well as the network meeting, the participants attended interesting presentations at the BMW AG site.
Klaus Sammer briefly introduced the BMW foundry in Landshut in his site presentation.
The light metal foundry is the largest production area of the BMW Group plant in Landshut and the only production facility for light metal castings of the BMW Group within Europe. In 2022, approximately 1650 employees of the light metal foundry of the BMW Group plant in Landshut produced 3.3 million cast components with a total weight of almost 67,000 tonnes. The scope of production includes engine components such as cylinder heads and crankcases, components for electric drives or large-scale structural components for the vehicle body.
The light metal foundry is one of the most modern foundries in the world. The innovative manufacturing processes are sustainable and were awarded several times. For die casting production, the light metal foundry mainly operates with moulding sand cores. The sand cores are produced with the help of inorganic binders. This process is sustainable and the only one of its types worldwide.
Practically no emissions are released during the casting process. For the series production of the cast components, five different casting processes are used. In each case, the most suitable casting process is selected. It depends on the respective component concept, the technological requirements, and the production volume.
In 2019, the light metal foundry at the BMW Group plant in Landshut was certified for the first time for its sustainable use of aluminium. It complies with the standards of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), an international organisation which is supported by environmental and industrial associations, aluminium producers, and processing companies.
Since 2021, the light metal foundry plant also uses aluminium for the production, whereby its electricity comes from solar energy. This is an important milestone on the way to the company's goal of reducing CO2 emissions in the supplier network by 20% until 2030. As the production of aluminium is very energy-intensive, the use of green electricity - such as solar power - shows a significant potential in reducing CO2 emissions. With several tens of thousands of tonnes, which is valued at a three-digit million-euro amount, the purchase of solar aluminium covers almost half of the annual demand of the light metal foundry at the Landshut plant.
ROBOCAST V by FILL
One of the objectives of the VDG event was the presentation of the newly installed plant of the Fill company from Upper Austria. With ROBOCAST V, which was presented by Harald Sehrschön from FILL, BMW AG has now a highly innovative gravity casting process to produces housings for electric motors - Heat BS 1 on site. This injector casting plant has already been running very precisely and efficiently for a few months and will be extended by a further plant in the future.
Finally, the successful event was rounded off with a presentation by Ms. Fangtian Deng, Fraunhofer IGCV, entitled "Influence and possibilities for online monitoring of the condition of mould coatings".