BMW Group underlines leading position in sustainable automobile production

Munich, Germany (ots) - BMW Dingolfing Plant builds its millionth car with trendsetting powder clear paint - environmentally-friendly paint application technology to be used in future also at BMW's Regensburg and Leipzig Plants.

Yesterday the millionth BMW with powder clear paint came off the production lines at BMW's Dingolfing Plant, a BMW 7 Series.

Back in the early '90s when the paintwork specialists at the Dingolfing Plant, joining forces with scientists and researchers at BMW's Research and Innovation Centre in Munich, started to develop and test this technology, it was impossible to forecast the long-term, lasting success of powder clear paint. Today powder clear paint, acting as a leading technology in preserving resources, still ranks alone worldwide in the car paint spraying process. This process has been used very successfully for more than five years in series production at the BMW Group's largest car production plant in Dingolfing. Apart from preserving resources, this technology also results in highest colour brilliance and flair of the car.

The BMW Group will be expanding the use of this technology step-by-step in its production network, powder clear paint being introduced next at the Regensburg Plant where, with the Plant currently being expanded, this trendsetting technology will account for approximately half of daily car production by mid-2004. By 2006 the complete production capacity of the Regensburg Plant will be changed over to powder clear coat finishing. And at the BMW Leipzig Plant currently under construction, this unique paint application technology will be applied from the start of series production in 2005.

In the words of Dr Norbert Reithofer, Board Member Production of BMW AG, "we use our know-how not only for innovations in our cars, but also in the development of extremely efficient, high-performance technologies in automobile production. The example of powder clear paint underlines the BMW Group's leadership in technology ensuring sustainable production able to preserve the world's resources".

Clear paint - unbeatable protection and gloss provided by powder

The clear paint forms the last or topmost function layer in painting a car. Expressed in simple terms, this layer of paint serves to protect the entire surface of the car and gives it its brilliant look and appeal. Applied in the form of powder, clear paint of thisa kind is unbeatable in protecting the environment, neither water nor solvents being required in the application process and thus not leaving any effluent behind. Chemical cleaning agents otherwise required for cleaning the paint application facilities are also a thing of the past. A further advantage is application of the paint with spray mist reduced to a minimum, more than 97 per cent of the powder being used with the help of direct material recycling in a complete, self-contained system. So virtually no waste or residue at all is left behind.

But even this is not all, since the BMW Group is working consistently on the ongoing improvement and refinement of this technology.

Clean Production

The use of powder clear paint is only one of many measures taken by the BMW Group to ensure sustainable car production also referred to as Clean Production. Using self-contained recycling systems combined with the most advanced plant facilities, for example, BMW has also succeeded in significantly reducing the consumption of energy and the discharge of process effluents.

An example: The amount of process effluents generated on average per car by the BMW Group has dropped from 1.3 cubic metres in 1996 - already a very low level - to approximately 1.0 cubic metre in 2002. And, by consistently using new technologies such as heat recycling and power-efficient production systems, the BMW Group has been able in the same period to decrease energy consumption per unit manufactured by well over 20 per cent.

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ots Original Text Service: BMW Group

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