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BMW’s Virtual Factory Uses AI

BMW’s uses new software from chipmaker Nvidia to simulate train robots and human workers. The company has planned to make drivetrains for electric vehicles at a factory in Regensburg, Bavaria.

Markus Grüeneisl, who leads production strategy at BMW said that this simulation allows managers to plan the production process in greater detail. They also have a perfect digital twin of our real-time production. This stimulation is part of the plan to use more Artificial intelligence in manufacturing.Grüeneisl added that machine-learning algorithms can simulate robots performing complex manoeuvres to find the most efficient process. BMW’s plans to use the simulation to teach robots to learn ways to perform complex jobs.

The German company used a software platform called Omniverse. This software was developed by the chipmaker Nvidia, to recreate the Regensburg production line. Last year, BMW’s said it was using an Artificial intelligence platform from Nvidia called Isaac to train robots for certain new tasks.Grüeneisl said that in the future the company can use robots to work and they can communicate with the other robots. Manufacturers have used computer simulations to hone their assembly lines for some time.

Omniverse allows the entire production process to be simulated with photo-realistic details, and with physical properties like gravity and different materials. It is possible to layout the production process from start to finish and to see how changes to one part might have knock-on effects on another. It is easier to build a more complex virtual environment because different 3D models can be imported into the system. Omniverse uses an open file standard compatible with numerous computer-aided design packages.

The software can also simulate avatars of human workers grabbing parts and tools, and assembling components, to find the best procedure and minimize ergonomic problems. It might also make it possible for fewer workers to complete a particular job.Richard Kerris, general manager for Omniverse at Nvidia said that the company does Artificial intelligence simulation of how people move around the factory. He also said that this stimulation is one of the complex projects they have done.

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