Home BMW How Drilling Holes in a Wiper Arm Gave Us a Higher Trying BMW i8

How Drilling Holes in a Wiper Arm Gave Us a Higher Trying BMW i8

How Drilling Holes in a Wiper Arm Gave Us a Higher Trying BMW i8


BMW has been just lately criticized for “bloating up” their vehicles and shifting away from what as soon as was the Final Driving Machine, at the very least in line with the pundits. And whereas that may be true – relating to the burden – there are lot of things that go into the manufacturing technique of a automotive. And weight, it’s definitely a side that each BMW engineer would like to hold as little as doable. We received’t get into the total advantages of a low weight automotive, however definitely, driving dynamics is considered one of them.

From Idea To Manufacturing

The BMW i8 serves as a main instance of BMW’s meticulous method to managing weight of their autos. Originating from the BMW Imaginative and prescient EfficientDynamics mission in 2010, the i8 initially set a selected weight goal, which in idea kind appeared achievable as a result of absence of manufacturing automotive crash programs and electrical structure. Nevertheless, transitioning from idea to manufacturing proved to be a posh endeavor.

Below the management of former BMW engineer Carsten Breitfeld, the manufacturing workforce confronted a good 36-month deadline to prepared the i8 for manufacturing. This entailed complete revisions encompassing packaging, legislative necessities, manufacturing feasibility, and, crucially, value and weight concerns. Steve Saxty’s e-book “Hidden Gems” emphasizes the need of controlling each weight and prices, notably for a low-volume, high-performance sports activities automotive.

There may be Extra To Design Than Sketching

Central to this course of is the collaboration between the design and engineering groups. Whereas designers aspire to create visually hanging vehicles with a “WOW” issue, the realities of automotive manufacturing demand alignment with engineering and manufacturing constraints. Opposite to common perception, design modifications should not merely a matter of altering traces on a sketchpad, or swap a light-weight unit for an additional. In response to Benoit Jacob, former head of BMW i design, and the person accountable for the i3 and i8, any deviation in design can unsettle engineering colleagues, as demonstrated by a minor adjustment to the BMW i8’s entrance finish.

“I got here into the studio someday to take a look at the clay,” says Jacob, referring to the BMW i8. “And thought it simply wanted 10, or so planform on the entrance.” His lead designer Mario Majdandzič agreed and made the change with the modeler. The one caveat? The engineering workforce was unnoticed of the loop. On the subsequent weekly assessment assembly, the engineering workforce seen the automotive grew in measurement. Remember, we’re speaking about 10 mm, which is 0.39 inches.

Discovering A Means To Shed 40 Grams

Whereas the automotive now seems to be nice, that little change – at the very least to us – it had some weight implications. The module chief of the bumper – sure, there’s a individual in command of virtually each single half on a automotive – stated he must add 120 g of plastic and aluminum. The e-book doesn’t specify the explanations behind that, however we’re guessing it needed to do one thing with crash necessities or stiffness of the automotive. Securing approval for such modifications requires authorization from the BMW Board, which, on this case, was given to the design and engineering workforce. However that approval got here with a requirement: offsetting the elevated weight by lowering 40 g elsewhere.

In a show of engineering ingenuity, BMW engineers recognized the windshield wiper arm as a goal for weight discount. “So what did they do? They drilled three holes within the wiper arm to scale back the burden,” explains the e-book. After all, we might by no means discover that in actual life, however the intelligent weight discount meant we bought a greater trying automotive. At the least in line with the designers.

Not Each Youtuber Can Be A Designer

As highlighted in “Hidden Gems,” the glamour of automotive design belies the complexities concerned, encompassing value management, authorized compliance, and weight administration. Critiquing designers with out acknowledging these intricacies undermines the collaborative efforts shaping automotive excellence. The subsequent time criticism arises on social media, it’s crucial to contemplate the multifaceted nature of automotive design and manufacturing.

Picture offered by Steve Saxty

If you happen to’re keen on some BMW design behind-the-scenes tales, then seize the “BMW: Behind The Scenes” three-volume boxed set which will probably be accessible quickly – at a pre-order worth of $299.95/€270/£78.11. Alternatively, the principal e-book, “BMW by Design” is accessible instantly for $99.95/€90.02/£88.10; all with free delivery in USA, UK and EU.



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