BMW’s ‘next-generation’ engine plant upgrade complete

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BMW has revealed that its investment program at its Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham in the UK is complete.

The German manufacturer has spent US$1.1bn upgrading the factory, which it first built in 2001, to build three- and four-cylinder engines on brand-new production lines along with over one million components that will be machined for supply to other BMW plants.

Hams Hall exclusively builds the 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo units that are fitted in the i8 by hand on a dedicated production line – this engine won BMW the overall International Engine of the Year Award in 2015.

The state-of-the-art facility has been designed with next-generation engines in mind, and will build a range of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics petrol and diesel motors, all with TwinPower Turbo technology fitted.

Markus Fallboehmer, Hams Hall plant director, said: “The transformation in our plant has been huge. Over the last few years we have completely re-developed our two main production areas and installed over 600 brand-new pieces of equipment and machinery.

“While a high level of technology and automation ensures our plant remains a state-of-the-art facility, the ergonomics of the workstations where we have more manual input have been carefully thought through and adjusted to suit each individual member of the team.”

When the Hams Hall facility is up to full production, an engine will roll off the production line every minute, says BMW. The Efficient Dynamics units will be fitted across the whole of the company’s range, from the new Mini Clubman to the new 7 Series, using common components across sizes from 1.5- to 3-liter motors.

“Our new engine family of highly efficient three, four and six-cylinder engines have a standard design, a high number of similar parts and a uniform process for manufacture,” explained Ilka Horstmeier, who heads up BMW Group’s global production network for engines and electrified powertrain.

“This gives us a large amount of flexibility and means we can optimise production between each of our manufacturing locations and respond quickly to changes in customer demand or market developments. The investment in Hams Hall has enabled the plant to grow and play an ever-increasingly important role in the production of these latest engines.”

October 8, 2015

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Dean has been with UKi Media & Events for over a decade, having previously cut his journalistic teeth writing and editing for various automotive and engineering titles. He combines extensive knowledge of all things automotive with a passion for driving, and experience testing countless new vehicles, engines and technologies around the world. As well as his role as editor-in-chief across a range of UKi's media titles, he is also co-chair of the judging panel of the International Engine of the Year Awards.

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