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

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

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


BMW has been not too long ago criticized for “bloating up” their automobiles and shifting away from what as soon as was the Final Driving Machine, at the very least based on the pundits. And whereas that could be true – concerning the load – there are lot of things that go into the manufacturing strategy of a automotive. And weight, it’s definitely a side that each BMW engineer would like to maintain as little as doable. We gained’t get into the complete advantages of a low weight automotive, however definitely, driving dynamics is certainly one of them.

From Idea To Manufacturing

The BMW i8 serves as a main instance of BMW’s meticulous strategy 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 seemed achievable as a result of absence of manufacturing automotive crash methods and electrical structure. Nonetheless, transitioning from idea to manufacturing proved to be a posh endeavor.

Underneath the management of former BMW engineer Carsten Breitfeld, the manufacturing group 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 issues. Steve Saxty’s e-book “Hidden Gems” emphasizes the need of controlling each weight and prices, significantly for a low-volume, high-performance sports activities automotive.

There’s 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 putting automobiles with a “WOW” issue, the realities of automotive manufacturing demand alignment with engineering and manufacturing constraints. Opposite to in style perception, design modifications usually are not merely a matter of altering strains on a sketchpad, or swap a lightweight unit for an additional. In line with Benoit Jacob, former head of BMW i design, and the person answerable 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 sooner or later to have 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 group was omitted of the loop. On the subsequent weekly evaluation assembly, the engineering group seen the automotive grew in dimension. Consider, we’re speaking about 10 mm, which is 0.39 inches.

Discovering A Approach To Shed 40 Grams

Whereas the automotive now appears to be like 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 particular person answerable for virtually each single half on a automotive – mentioned 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 group. 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 load,” explains the e-book. In fact, we’d by no means discover that in actual life, however the intelligent weight discount meant we received a greater wanting automotive. Not less than based on 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 supplied by Steve Saxty

Should you’re fascinated with 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 value 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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