Engine production at Hams Hall
A large investment programme to develop the Hams Hall engine plant near Birmingham is complete, BMW announced on Thursday (8 October). Production of new three and four-cylinder engines is already being ramped up on new production lines and over 1m components will be machined at the plant for the first time this year as supply extends to other plants in the group.
The investment project is part of GBP750m that has been spent across BMW Group’s UK manufacturing sites and kept the Hams Hall site up to date and capable of producing the next generation of engines while securing a long-term future for the plant. Engines, as well as machined components made at Hams Hall are used in group models including Mini.
Plant director Markus Fallboehmer said: "The transformation in our plant has been huge. Over the last few years we have completely re-developed our two main production areas and installed over 600 brand-new pieces of equipment and machinery. While a high level of technology and automation ensures our plant remains a state-of-the-art facility, the ergonomics of the workstations where we have more manual input have been carefully thought through and adjusted to suit each individual member of the team.
"A large investment has also been made in our workforce via a number of training programmes and opportunities for people to upskill and take on new job roles. We have changed the make-up of our workforce as well with over 100 people securing BMW contracts, some of whom were previously working for us on a temporary basis. Looking further ahead to the future, we have trebled the number of apprentices training with us to ensure we have a strong, skilled workforce for many years to come."
Hams Hall cooperates with other plants in Germany and Austria, all producing the same new family of next generation engines.
"Our new engine family of highly efficient three, four and six-cylinder engines have a standard design, a high number of similar parts and a uniform process for manufacture," said Ilka Horstmeier, who heads the BMW group’s global production network for engines and electrified powertrain. "This gives us a large amount of flexibility and means we can optimise production between each of our manufacturing locations and respond quickly to changes in customer demand or market developments. The investment in Hams Hall has enabled the plant to grow and play an ever-increasingly important role in the production of these latest engines."
Production of a small number of new engines was first introduced at Hams Hall last year. Three-cylinder TwinPower Turbo technology 1.5-litre petrol engines are hand-built exclusively at the British plant on a special production line for the i8.
Hams Hall plant is a key supplier to Mini production at Oxford.