THE WINNER
2018

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BMW GROUP AG
FACTORY REGENSBURG

INNOVATION FROM THE SHOP FLOOR

SPECIAL PRIZE
MAN &
COMMUNICATION

At the Regensburg location, BMW supports its employees in assembly with a range of industry 4.0 solutions, such as collaborative robots, wearables and smart maintenance solutions. What’s special: The employees themselves provide the ideas for the digital helpers. In the “Innolab” they are developed together with them and then shared with other departments and locations – creating a unique open innovation network.

Time and again, we see that industry 4.0 projects are technologically advanced, but not sufficiently anchored in the overall organization. This can be because appropriate initiatives ignore the actual needs of employees on the shop floor, or because knowledge in the specialist areas is being passed on instead of being used across companies.

USER CENTERING AS TOP PRIORITY

To counteract this, BMW has set up an Innolab at the Regensburg plant, which functions just like a classic development department – with the difference that the impetus for new solutions here comes directly from the employees. They can contribute their ideas for process improvement there directly and have them developed there together with the experts. This ensures that the digital helpers ideally meet the needs of the employees. One example of this is the use of Smart Watches, which inform employees when a vehicle approaches with unusual requirements. In addition, the company uses other industrie 4.0 solutions in assembly:

  • Pro Glove: Increased efficiency due to reduced handling time
  • Human-Robot Collaboration: Use of Collaborative Industrial Robots
  • Smart Maintenance: Mobile Application for Maintenance
    (incl. cross-plant knowledge database, digital plant documentation, spare parts order by barcode)

OPEN INNOVATION IN A GLOBAL NETWORK OF PLANTS

At the same time, the Innolab serves as a communication platform. Both for the employees on site, who can inform themselves about the solutions used so far in the experience world and receive assistance in dealing with the devices. Both for the company as a whole and for the whole: with the help of web-based tools, Innolab makes the solutions developed in Regensburg available to the global plant network and thus ensures effective, cross-plant best practice sharing.


AND THAT’S WHAT THE JURY SAYS

„With the InnoLab, BMW has established an exemplary process for implementing industrie 4.0 projects that involves employees like no other we have seen so far. This ensures that digitization is used highly effectively on site and thus supports employees in a targeted manner.“

Winner category:

Special prize Man & Communication

Industry:

Automobile manufacturer, mass production

Employees at the location:

9.000