Lenzer + Strutz - BMW Factory Munich

Case Study

As production in the BMW factory was not to be interrupted during the construction phase, the architects and engineers had to move a 30-ton bridge into position with a 850-ton mobile crane on a public holiday.
The hook of this "heavyweight" alone weights eight tons. It takes a week each to set up and take down the crane, while it was actually in use for only three days.
The new production hall and a car body store for BMW AG had to be finished by the end of 2003. The designers and the construction companies achieved optimal time management

The project to build a new production hall and car body store for BMW in 2003 had to be completed by the end of the year without interruptions to the manufacturing process – a project that all outsiders initially considered unfeasible. General consultant Albert Weigl thought differently, however: the experienced architects and engineers from Bavaria even managed to finish the two buildings six weeks earlier than planned. The cooperation of the designers and the construction companies -  Hönninger GmbH & Co. KG of Munich, Stahlbau Wendeler from Donzdorf in Swabia and Iso-Bau GmbH based in Amberg -  was excellent. The BMW factory did not lose a single car body during the construction work, which is no easy task for a building project like this. After all, each body made in the factory was transported on a conveyor system through the production hall while construction workers were busy  above the roof. With this project, the team of experts proved that even extremely complex tasks are possible. The two design companies were supported by field-proven AEC software from RIB.

The architect began working on the design as early as 2002. Construction work had to be completed by the end of 2003 – these were the specifications of the client. This relatively tight timeframe might seem an added challenge for two projects – a new hall plus a store over an already existing production building. Not for the architects and engineers from Munich and Gauting, who, thanks to the support of powerful software solutions by RIB, were able to concentrate on the main tasks.

Round-the-clock operations

“We were on site for about 14 hours every day, and additional checks often had to be done at weekends,” remembers project manager Raimund Mika from Weigl Architects. Two large heating plants were also temporarily installed so that the BMW factory workers were not exposed to the winter weather.

Unlimited flexibility

The new BMW component store consists of eight elements in all. The brief for the designers and construction companies was to complete this project within an extremely tight timeframe. To prevent interruptions to BMW‘s production schedule during the building work, the component store was built by the incremental launching method, i.e. by building an axial section of approx. 16.00 x 22.50 metres and then sliding it onto the existing roof of the old production hall, which was broken up when the new construction was finished. 
Apart from all this, sudden changes of plan caused additional problems: the store had to be fitted with a ventilation penthouse and a drying oven for the car bodies. “Before the elements of the store can be slid into their proper position, they have to be fitted with the additional components,” the project manager explains. “The only possibility we have is to slide an element as a whole including the façade, as the static structure of the building doesn’t work if it is lifted in afterwards. Raimund Mika and his team of experts only had three weeks for this difficult job, but with inventive thinking and above-average effort they succeeded in solving this tricky problem, too. 

Soil expert Ulrich Winkelvoß, D. Eng. of Lappersdorf supported the two planning companies with particularly innovative ideas and played a major role in the success of the project. The experienced engineer set himself a particularly unusual challenge with the construction of a  continuous level going through the whole of the hall with a free-standing ceiling area that has to bear a total weight of two tons/m². The multi-storey stairwells alone have to ensure the reinforcement of this level, on which robots weld the BMW car bodies together. The structural engineers for the solid construction, Strohhäusl & Partners from Linz in Austria and the other members of the project team were impressed by his outstanding work.

Heaviest weight class

The Bavarian teams and the site managers Karl-Heinz Kieltsch and Klaus-Jürgen Ulbricht were already confronted with  “heavyweight“ work at the beginning of the project, when a 30-ton bridge had to be moved into position with an 850-ton mobile crane whose hook alone weighs eight tons. As building was not allowed to interrupt the production process, the architects and engineers only had one option: They had to do the work on a public holiday. Raimund Mika: “It takes a week just to set the crane up and another week to take it down, while the “heavyweight“ was only in use for three days altogether.“

Convenient data exchange

The engineers at Lenzer + Strutz have been using RIB software since 2001. The architect’s firm Weigl also relies on the powerful AVA and project control software RIB Construction Suite. Using the RIB software solution, Eva-Maria Glück, who does the tendering at LEST, has several data exchange options at her disposal. 
The RIB solution has a GAEB interface which has also been certified by the BVBS (National Association for Construction Software). This is an important factor for the two companies, as they save a great deal of time with the aid of digital data transmission and find it easier to adhere to the specifications.

Even faster data exchange is enabled by the RIB-specific RPA data format. As BMW AG, Weigl and LEST all work with the RIB solution, customer and contractor reap the same benefits. “The RPA format allows an exchange of all the price comparisons together instead of exchanging them individually as is the case with the GAEB interface,” explains Eva-Maria Glück. “This saves time and also offers a basis for digital billing and entering measured quantities.”

Focus on project planning

At the end of 2004 the last bills of the project at the Munich BMW factory were settled. The architects and engineers from Bavaria have done the almost impossible: due to the intelligent software support, project manager Raimund Mika and his team lost no time on the complex tendering process. The direct data exchange with BMW AG via RPA also saved the team valuable time. “For assignments as demanding as this it is important to be able to concentrate fully on the project planning,” says Mika. “The less time we have to invest in other areas, the better.”

Contract award management online

Besides AVA and project control software, BMW AG and the two Bavarian design companies have also been using the RIB-E Contract Award Management System since 2006. “We save a tremendous amount of time with  ARRIBAnet*. It often used to take us a whole afternoon to do all the printing and mailing,” explains the person responsible for tendering at Lenzer + Strutz. “With the online management system, the specifications of works are on the Net within 2-3 hours.” The bidders are then automatically notified by the client per e-mail. And all contract award documents can be passed by RIB Construction Suite to the contract award platform simply by pressing a button. Using the E-contract Award Management System, all those involved in the project also save on paper and printing costs. “With the support of this reliable software, we will be able to meet “impossible” project specifications in future, too,” the project manager sums up. 

*only available in Germany

Photos: Lenzer + Strutz Engineering

Industries>Manufacturing>Automotive>Albert Weigl & Lenzer + Strutz

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