Seminar Series

Mass Production of Advanced Composites for the Automotive Industry – Experiences with the BMW Group


Prof. Simon Bickerton


Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland

Time & Place

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:00:00 NZDT in HP Seminar Room, John Britten BLDG


Fibre reinforced plastics continue to be adopted in a broader range of applications, and their use in large scale automotive production represents a large opportunity for material and technology suppliers. The BMW Group leads the automotive sector in the application of carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP), demonstrating this through Project i (i3 electric vehicle, i8 performance hybrid), and the recent release of the latest 7-Series sedan. These three vehicles utilise CFRP extensively within their chassis, requiring part manufacture at unprecedented scales, supported by a global manufacturing process chain. For three years from 2012 Prof. Bickerton took leave from the University of Auckland to work at the BMW Group in Germany, within the department responsible for the manufacture of structural CFRP components. This seminar will explore the motivation for CFRP usage in Project i and the latest 7-Series, provide a review of the manufacturing technologies applied, and track the flow of materials through the full manufacturing process chain.