Munich. Innovations form the basis for the economic success and future competitiveness of the BMW Group. Suppliers’ ability to innovate plays an important part in this, making a vital contribution by driving developments forward and enabling the use of outstanding technologies in BMW Group vehicles. In recognition of this, the company presented its BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award to suppliers who have made an extraordinary contribution to innovations for the sixth time this year.
“Innovations are key to the success of our transformation towards electromobility, digitalisation and sustainability. Our award ceremony recognises innovation and cooperative partnership with our suppliers – especially in challenging times,” said Joachim Post, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network at the ceremony held at BMW Welt in Munich.
The coveted award was presented in a total of six categories: drive train and e-mobility, sustainability, digitalisation, customer experience, newcomer of the year and exceptional team performance.
“The future will increasingly be decided by innovations and technologies,” said Post over the course of the evening, which he hosted together with his digital co-moderator, Aumovis. He continued: “You must have the courage to tackle a challenge – even if it seems to be unattainable and others don’t give the idea much chance of success.”
The winners of the BMW Group Supplier Innovation Award 2022 are:
Drive train and e-mobility category
CATL – Contemporary Amperex Technologies Co. Ltd. as key driver
As a strategic partner for delivery of battery cells and modules, CATL is one of the key drivers for achieving the BMW Group’s electromobility goals. CATL provides input for optimising the whole cell-module-battery-storage system, which has made it possible to significantly increase energy content in the existing installation space.
Dürr Systems AG for resource conservation and energy efficiency through technology
The process used by Dürr Systems AG combines environmental sustainability with significant customer benefits in an exemplary manner. Overspray-free paint application, i.e. coating without paint mist, saves energy, lowers CO2 emissions and conserves resources, since stencils and masking of the vehicle are no longer required. This means custom paintwork designs are possible with significantly less effort.
Continental Automotive GmbH Regensburg and NXP Semiconductors for developing BMW Digital Key Plus with Ultra-Wideband technology
NXP Semiconductors and Continental Automotive GmbH Regensburg have developed a unique industry-wide digital car key solution, the BMW Digital Key Plus, in conjunction with the BMW Group. The driver uses their smartphone as the car key – without ever having to take it out of their bag or pocket. As they approach the vehicle with their smartphone, it turns on its headlights and unlocks: The driver gets into the vehicle, pushes start and drives off – it doesn’t get any easier than that. The best part is that this innovative process is not only more convenient, but also more secure than other technologies used for wireless communications, such as Bluetooth or WiFi.
Customer experience category
CarUX, Garmin, Webasto and Amazon for BMW Theatre Screen private back-seat cinema lounge
The BMW Theatre Screen, featured for the first time this year in the new BMW 7 Series, transforms the second row of seats into an exclusive private cinema on wheels. When My Mode Theatre is activated, a 31-inch panoramic display descends from the headliner in the vehicle’s rear compartment, the roller sun blinds are automatically closed, and the ambient lighting and seating position adjusted accordingly. The only way to get more big-screen atmosphere is by going to the cinema. No fewer than four suppliers collaborated on this: Webasto supplies the display mechanics; CarUX the fully touch-controlled high-resolution 8K display; Garmin the control unit; Amazon Fire TV, in addition to films and TV series, also provides access to music and an extensive range of additional content from popular apps.
Newcomer of the year category
Bcomp Ltd.: Great innovation with little weight
Swiss company Bcomp has developed new products from flax fibres that could, for example, replace carbon-fibre reinforced plastic: powerRibs™ is inspired by the veins in leaves and ensures maximum rigidity with minimum weight. This can reduce the overall weight of the vehicle, while using less material.
ampliTex™ is a second Bcomp product that can replace conventional covering material in a way that is carbon-neutral and creates new and interesting structures for surfaces. By combining both materials, up to 70 percent of the plastic previously used in the interior trim can be saved and up to 75 percent of CO2 emissions avoided.
The innovative materials from Bcomp were used for the first time in 2019 by BMW M Motorsport for Formula E. Bcomp is also the official BMW M Motorsport partner for the new BMW M4 GT4.
The BMW Group now has a stake in Bcomp through its corporate venture fund BMW i Ventures and, together with the start-up, is supporting significant decarbonization in vehicle manufacturing.
Exceptional team performance category
Employees of the Ukrainian sites of Kromberg and Schubert, Leoni, Nexans, Yazaki and Dräxlmaier for their extraordinary commitment
The BMW Group honoured the employees of its partners in Ukraine, who produce wiring harnesses for BMW Group plants in a highly professional and reliable manner, with a special award in recognition of their commitment under the most difficult conditions. At the same time, they also helped set up additional production locations. The BMW Group continues to source wiring harnesses from Ukraine and stands firmly alongside its suppliers in Ukraine.