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Duerr says BMW's paint shop meets all smart-factory requirements (Photo: Duerr)

Together with German plant engineering specialist Duerr, BMW is building a fully connected paint shop at its plant in San Luis Potosi in Mexico. The facility meets all the Industry 4.0 requirements for an integrated smart factory, Duerr said.

In the first stage, the paint shop will have a capacity of 30 vehicles an hour, Duerr said in a press release. That total can be doubled at a later date.

BMW will use its fully automatic IPP (Integrated Paint Process) in the plant. This eliminates the primer and therefore also a drying phase.

BMW will use 30 latest-generation robots to apply paint, Duerr said. These robots will have cloud-enabled controls, which is a first for the American continent, the company added.

The robots will be managed with the help of a new process and motion controller. And an integrated safety controller for monitoring the workspace and speed of the robots is a key part of the smart factory concept being deployed in San Luis Potosi.

Duerr also said “a multitude of sensors” ensure networking of the robot data with higher-level maintenance software and control system.

BMW broke ground for its Mexico plant in June 2016 and the factory is scheduled to start production in 2019. Once operational, it will build the important BMW 3 Series Sedan there.

BMW is investing around 1 billion dollars in the new plant. It said the facility will have an annual capacity of 150,000 units.

The paint shop will be ready in August of this year already, Duerr said.