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Fully automated end-of-line test bench for BMW eDrive

KUKA implements a fully automated test system for end-of-line testing of the current eDrive generation.

The latest generation of electrified drives is produced at the Dingolfing site in Germany, the BMW Group competence center for e-drive production. Here, KUKA implemented a fully automated test system for testing up to eight different drive variants. For more than 35 years, KUKA has been successfully integrating assembly and test systems for the automotive industry internationally and optimizing their production through efficient automation solutions.

Fully automated test system for end-of-line testing of BMW's current eDrive generation.

Electrified mobility: Automation solutions from KUKA

The transformation of the automotive industry is in full swing worldwide, and concepts for electrified and sustainable mobility are in demand. KUKA has also risen to the challenges in the production of electric vehicles and is perfectly positioned in the field of intelligent automation for electromobility.

The special feature of this station: the ability to test a very high number of variants with an automation level of 100 %.

Stefan Horner, Project Manager at KUKA Assembly & Test GmbH

The KUKA team of experts, based at the Bremen site, invested around two years in the design, construction and ultimately the successful commissioning of the eDrive test system. "With KUKA's automation know-how, we help our customers achieve very high volume and variant flexibility," says Stefan Horner.

Swivel unit for individual mounting of the test objects.

Highest precision with maximum flexibility

The system is divided into two independent test areas. In the first area, the test object is checked for its basic function, without adapted output shafts, and for its electrical safety. The second test area consists of performance tests, which are all carried out with adapted load machines. Here, the use of a swivel unit and the very rigid, adjustable traversing units for adapting the test objects with the load machines ensures maximum variant diversity. The swivel unit is used to pick up and position the test objects in the prescribed test position. There, high torques can be taken off via driveline. This highly flexible test system enables to test a wide variety of types on a single system.

In addition to mechanical flexibility, the test bench also offers a very broad performance spectrum in terms of electrical capabilities for testing a wide variety of eDrives. This means that several eDrive variants can be tested on one unit with an extremely high power and test voltage.

Johannes Schwanbeck, BMW planning for electric drive systems

The different output shafts are changed independently by two KUKA KR10 robots. Furthermore, they take over the infeed of the NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) sensors, specific to each test object, as well as the removal of the radial shaft seal caps at a preliminary station. This ensures optimum utilization of the robots.

Driveline with adapted output shaft.

Quality assurance with in-house measuring technology software

The safeguarding of customer-specific requirements for the various eDrive variants is carried out with the aid of KUKA's own measurement technology software, which ensures recording and validation of the measurement signals during the test runs.

"The increasing requirements for test depth can be better implemented with a customizable test sequence through KUKA's automation software," says Johannes Schwanbeck.

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