TIEXI
CHINA 41°48' N, 123°21' E
— A leader in efficiency and sustainability

Tiexi plant profile

Construction: 2011/2012
Vehicles per year (2013): 100,000
Vehicles per year (2015): 200,000
Associates: around 4,000
Plant grounds: 2.07 square kilometres
Plant building: 220,000 square metres

Smart plant architecture. Highly efficient pressing machines.
Local suppliers. The cleanest paint shop in the world – and almost
five dozen other sustainability measures: the newest plant in the
BMW Group production network sets a new global benchmark.
Know-how unites us.

The highest standards of sustainability in a highly dynamic market: With the opening
of its Tiexi plant in northern China, the BMW Group and its partner, Brilliance China Automotive,
have built one of the most sustainable vehicle production sites in China and one of the best
examples of environmentally conscious manufacturing worldwide. Here, in the world’s largest
automobile market, the company demonstrates how to deliver maximum productivity with
unbeatably low environmental impact.

“What do we do when we plan
a new plant? We bring
the best ideas in the world together
in one place.”

Fiona Zhang, environmental expert at BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA)
The work day begins at what is currently China’s most sustainable car plant.

Shenyang, a 90-minute flight northeast of Beijing, is a place of extremes. In winter, temperatures drop as low as 35 below freezing; in summer, they soar to a tropical 40 degrees Celsius. Not so long ago, this industrial city used to belong to China’s notorious north-eastern “rust belt” of mines and steelworks, coal-polluted air and natural devastation. Today, it is home to a world-class example of resource-efficient production.

To the north-east of this city of eight million people, the BMW Group and its joint venture partner, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, have built the most sustainable automotive manufacturing facility in China. The ultramodern car plant, with an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, was raised from the ground in just two years on a plot of land roughly two square kilometres, located in the district of Tiexi. Environmental experts like Fiona Zhang from China and her South-African colleague, Sean Dempsey, brought fresh ideas and tried-and-tested approaches from around the world to Tiexi. At the same time, BMW Brilliance Automotive’s (BBA) newest plant also took local factors into account, choosing an architecture to fit the surroundings and bringing in regional suppliers. “We were pretty much able to give the plant the best of both worlds from the beginning,” says Dempsey, “which is a lot easier than optimising a production facility further down the line.”

A tour of the plant with Zhang and Dempsey reveals no fewer than five dozen measures, small and large, to reduce energy and water consumption, solvent emissions, process wastewater and waste for disposal. Many of them involve smart optimisation of details – but together they make a huge difference. In this respect also, Shenyang is a city of extremes – in the most sustainable sense.

Rush hour in Shenyang,
a city which has rapidly grown to
eight million inhabitants.

Resource-efficient production
through consistent best-practice implementation

The BMW Group has brought technologies and experience from many different sites in its global production network to the Tiexi plant.

The overview below lists the most important elements of resourcefriendly production.

Cold aisle containmentsaves energy and reduces CO2 emissions through strict separation of heated and cooled zones.

100 % reusable packagingfor locally manufactured goods.

Location of high-volume supplierson plant grounds reduces transportation distances.

Container warehouseson plant grounds and a rail link between port and plant reduce truck transportation.

Water cyclesin car wash facilities and leak tests are designed to allow 90 % of the water to be recycled.

Dry separationuses a stone dust-coated filter to eliminate paint mist and save water.

Integrated Paint Processusing wet-on-wet cycles allows car bodies to be painted without applying primer.

RoDip dip-paintingrotates the car body on its own axis in an immersion tank to apply corrosion protection.

Integrated productionhouses assembly, body shop and logistics under one roof. The building’s limited exterior surface area helps optimise temperature regulation.

Highly efficient electric motorssupply the building with economical and efficient energy.

District heating plants and thermal insulationcontribute to low-resource energy usage and efficient temperature regulation.

Ground collectors and aquifersconduct the summer heat from the main building into the ground for storage.

High-speed servo pressessimultaneously reduce energy consumption, production time and noise.

Optimised robot controlreduces energy consumption by switching on and off as demand requires.

Cooled welding gunssave energy through warm water exchange between building and technology.