BMW Brilliance Plant Lydia, a newly built factory for the company in China, was officially put into operation on Thursday. As the third vehicle factory of BMW in Shenyang, China, the total investment of Lydia Plant is 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion), which follows BMW iFACTORY standard and mainly focuses on lean, green and digital. Currently, the factory is producing the BMW i3.
The Lydia Plant is BMW’s first factory to completely plan and simulate its production in a virtual environment. From factory planning, architectural design, production line layout to equipment debugging, digital twin models are created and simulated on the powerful Epic Games Unreal Engine 3D creation platform, and a real “Industrial Metaverse” factory is built.
Factory employees can, before the construction is completed, carry out analysis, evaluation and verification in virtual space, find out the problems and parts to be improved in design and system operation in advance, and make timely adjustments and optimizations to reduce unnecessary iterations in subsequent construction implementations. The result is a greatly reduced cost base and a significantly improved efficiency in the factory’s construction.
“The BMW iFACTORY makes us a role model for the automotive industry. Plant Lydia was born digitally and geared towards e-mobility”, said BMW AG Board Member for Production Milan Nedeljković. He emphasized: “Responding to our customer’s demands, the flexibility of our production sets the benchmark in competition. Plant Lydia is a great example of this. It is fully capable of producing up to 100% electric vehicles. Together with its neighboring plants in Tiexi and Dadong, Lydia will play an important role in accelerating production of BMW electrified vehicles in China.”
In 2021, BMW said that the factory will increase its annual output in China, the world’s largest automobile market, from 700,000 vehicles to 830,000 vehicles. It said the plant is designed to produce battery-powered electric vehicles on its flexible production line according to market demand.
By 2023, BMW will launch 13 pure electric models in China. The company sold 208,507 vehicles in China in the first quarter, down 9.2% from a year ago, according to a company filing.