• David O'Brien

The Creation of a Digital Twin for Auto Manufacturing

Updated: Jul 6


Digital Twin of BMW Auto Manufacturing Plant

Here at SurvTech, we get to work on many exciting and innovative projects. However, out of respect for our client's privacy, we often are not allowed to share them with our audience. For this exciting project, the SurvTech interior mobile scanning team using our NavVis M-6 and VLX mobile SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) scanners, scanned the BMW Spartanburg, South Carolina Plant during 2019-2021. The BMW plant is a massive facility with approximately 12 million square feet of manufacturing space and a campus that is almost 1000 acres in size. We performed SLAM scanning and all the surveying to set thousands of SLAM anchors throughout the plant and established plantwide horizontal and vertical control that was referenced to both the original plant datum and state plane coordinates. Our survey crews also set horizontal and vertical control points for aerial mapping of the entire BMW campus utilizing a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle).


This project was a massive undertaking, with scanning and surveying having to be performed on holidays, nights, and weekends. Our personnel worked through numerous holidays, including Thanksgiving and Easter. As you can imagine, it required much coordination between the BMW team and SurvTech’s field personnel, including safety, lighting, shift coordination, restricted areas, and the COVID pandemic. This project was years in the making, but now BMW has a virtual plant available to all their end users for years to come.


Point Imagery of Cars

If you’re someone that works with LiDAR all the time, notice the quality of the point cloud and imagery data that the NavVis SLAM solutions delivers to the client. At SurvTech, we work with aerial, mobile, and terrestrial LiDAR, as well as the NavVis mobile SLAM LiDAR, and we have always been impressed by the quality of the NavVis LiDAR data.

It’s incredible to see BMW take the lead on digital twin creation. We believe that other companies and industries will follow, such as other manufacturing, processing, and power generation plants. SurvTech is honored to have been a part of the team that transformed this incredible facility from the real world to the virtual world as a true digital twin. We want to thank NavVis and BMW for allowing our geospatial team to participate in this groundbreaking project!

To learn more about this project, see the articles from NavVis below:

https://www.navvis.com/blog/navvis-digital-factory-solution-is-a-key-building-block-for-the-production-of-the-future

and

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwLKkIKUZ9Q&feature=youtu.be


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