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Automotive Intelligence News

News of  August 15, 2000
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Tailor-made packing for BMW vehicles 
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Munich, Germany - With the start-up of production of the BMW X5, the BMW Group's plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina initiated a pilot scheme for developing a protection system for the transportation of new vehicles. The plastic cover, which can be fully recycled, helps prevent damage to the paint during transportation and makes the preservation with wax unnecessary.  

BMW X5

Photo: BMW

Before new BMW vehicles are delivered to the customer, the paint has to be protected against environmental impacts and damages in transit. To achieve this, normally each car is coated with approximately 2.2 pounds of wax containing solvents. This wax is removed at the place of destination. The application of this wax-coating is easy to perform, but the protection of the chassis from scratches during transportation is insufficient. In addition, solvents may be emitted during the process of removing the wax-coating.  

Therefore the BMW Group has looked for alternatives that, in addition to improving the quality of the delivered vehicles, lower the cost for subsequent work. One of these possibilities was the application of adhesive foils, which are applied to the vehicles when they leave the paint shop or after assembly. The composition of the adhesive posed a problem as well as the fact that single parts of the foil loosened during transportation. Another disadvantage of this procedure is that it was rather expensive. According to BMW experts, strippable lacquer and washable protective covers (collapsible garages) also tend to be disadvantageous. 

Tailor-made packing for all vehicles 

Transpack has achieved much better results. It is a newly developed system, in which the entire vehicle is wrapped into a fleece-coated, heat shrinking foil during production. The polyethylene foil is shrunk at 248 o F and can easily be removed and fully recycled after usage. The vehicle's interior and the engine are accessible through zippers at the driver's door and the hood. The windows are provided with a transparent foil, so that the vehicle can be moved safely during transportation. As the foil has been tightly attached to the vehicle it does not loosen during transportation on open transporters. In addition to that, the fleece absorbs humidity and dust particles and therefore prevents damages to the paint. 

Currently all BMW X5 and all BMW Z8 roadsters which are to be exported or transported to the west coast of the U.S. are wrapped into the white protective covers on completion of the quality control. 

The initial results of the pilot scheme are very promising as damages to the paint have decreased considerably. Taking into consideration that Transpack has lead to a drop in subsequent work, improved the quality of the delivered vehicles and the adherence to deadlines, one comes to the conclusion that the heat shrinking foil is at least as cost-effective as the traditional wax-coating. 

As soon as the pilot scheme has been successfully completed, the other BMW vehicles will also be delivered to customers in the same manner. 

(8. August 2000)

 

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