BMW iFACTORY: What “LEAN” stands for

LEAN. GREEN. DIGITAL. This is the strategic vision of BMW Group’s global production network. For each pillar, the BMW Group has produced a video in which employees additionally share their perspectives on the topic. LEAN is the first pillar.

To make the goals of the BMW iFACTORY even more tangible and understandable, the BMW Group provided a video for each of the three pillars explaining the idea and the procedure behind it.

We start with LEAN, which stands for new, efficient, precise and highly flexible production. All processes need to be made more integrable and variable. As a consequence different types of drive and vehicle models can be produced on one line. The result: greater agility, leaner processes and more competitive structures.

The BMW Group focuses primarily on flexibility. “This can be a short-term customer request, but it can also mean that more hybrid vehicles leave the plants one week and more electric vehicles leave the plants the next,” explains Jan Eggert, Head of Control Assembly at the BMW Group Plant Munich, in the video. “It also means being able to react better to bottlenecks.”

At the heart of the production system’s flexibility are the people, who have to be just as flexible. “The BMW Group encourages and motivates its employees at all levels of their individual development through coaching,” says Jan Collins, warehouse manager at the BMW Group Plant Spartanburg. Successful collaboration is the most important factor in realising the pillar LEAN in the BMW iFACTORY: regardless of a particular department, technology or region.

LEAN is only one of the three pillars of the BMW iFACTORY. The production of the future is also GREEN and DIGITAL. With GREEN, the BMW Group is focusing on even more sustainable production – with the help of the latest resource-saving and circular technologies. DIGITAL representing a new dimension of data transparency, is an enormously effective form of digital process design. 

Watch the new video explaining the importance of LEAN for the BMW Group: