A ceremony at the BMW Welt museum in Munich saw 14 suppliers honoured with a BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award in recognition of their exceptional technologies, including partners in Ukraine.
What would the automotive industry be without innovation? It functions as both engine and inspiration, advancing the future viability and economic success of companies and making a significant contribution to social and environmental sustainability. As such, suppliers occupy an important position within the BMW Group. They accelerate progress with new ideas, and it is often thanks to them that it is initially possible to implement outstanding technologies in BMW Group vehicles. The company recently presented the BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award for the sixth time. These awards recognise suppliers whose innovations have made an outstanding contribution in the framework of collaborative partnership.
“The future will increasingly be determined by innovations and technologies,” said Joachim Post, BMW AG Management Board Member for purchasing and the supplier network, who hosted the awards ceremony at the BMW Welt museum in Munich. “You must have the courage to take on a challenge – even if it seems to be unattainable and others don’t give the idea much chance of success.” Some 250 international suppliers attended the ceremony in Munich, where recognition was awarded in six categories: Drive train and e-mobility, Sustainability, Digitalisation, Customer experience, Newcomer of the year and Exceptional team performance.
Prize for sustainable paint application process.
The prize in the Drive train and e-mobility category went to CATL – Contemporary Amperex Technologies Co. Ltd. As a strategic partner for the delivery of battery modules and cells, this company is one of the key drivers for achieving the BMW Group’s electromobility goals. CATL’s developments optimise interaction between the cells, module and battery storage, making it possible to significantly increase energy content.
Dürr Systems AG, which won the award in the Sustainability category, has also produced groundbreaking ideas. Its overspray-free paint application process generates no paint mist, saves energy, reduces CO2 emissions and conserves resources. This technology has eliminated the need for stencils and the masking off of vehicles, meaning that custom paintwork designs can be achieved with significantly less effort.
In collaboration with Continental Automotive GmbH Regensburg (VNI) and NXP Semiconductors, the BMW Group has developed a solution that will allow a vehicle to be opened using a smartphone. The BMW Digital Key Plus transforms your mobile phone into a digital car key – and you don’t even have to take it out of your pocket or handbag to use it. The ultra-wideband technology it uses is more secure than Bluetooth or WiFi, and automatically switches on the headlights and unlocks the car when the driver approaches. Both partners involved were awarded the BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award in the Digitalisation category.
Four suppliers for perfect entertainment.
The new BMW 7 Series has redefined the concept of entertainment within automotive manufacturing this year. When My Mode Theatre is activated, a 31-inch panoramic display descends from the roof lining, the sun blinds draw shut and the seating positions and interior lighting are adjusted. This was made possible through the collaboration of four BMW Group suppliers who received the award in the Customer experience category: Webasto for the display mechanism, CarUX which supplied the high-resolution 8K touchscreen display, Garmin which delivered the control unit and Amazon Fire for provision of TV films, series, music and content from popular apps.
Bcomp Ltd. is a start-up that supports the BMW Group through its consistent focus on sustainability. Products developed by the Swiss company have made it possible to save up to 70 percent of the plastic previously used for the interior trim and to reduce CO2 emissions by 75 percent. Bcomp has developed new products from flax fibres that could replace carbon-reinforced plastics, for example. The company’s powerRibs™ product ensures maximum rigidity with minimum weight, while ampliTex™, another Bcomp product, is a carbon-neutral alternative to conventional covering material. The BMW Group rewarded the start-up, in which it holds a stake through its venture fund BMW i Ventures, with the title of Newcomer of the year, in recognition of these innovations.
Award for employees of partners in Ukraine.
The sixth BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award for Exceptional team performance was given to the employees of the Group’s suppliers in Ukraine. These employees produce wiring harnesses for the BMW Group’s plants in a highly professional, reliable manner under the most challenging conditions and have also assisted with setting up additional production sites. The winners are Kromberg & Schubert, Leoni, Nexans, Yazaki and Dräxlmaier.
“Innovations are key to the success of our transformation towards electromobility, digitalisation and sustainability,” said Joachim Post, BMW AG Management Board Member for purchasing and the supplier network. “Our awards ceremony shows how we value innovation and collaborative partnership with our suppliers – especially in challenging times.” The BMW Group will continue to steadfastly support its suppliers – in Ukraine and all other locations.