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Products and solutions, 2000-10-10, 02:00 AM

Production Systems: Nothelfer supplies body-in-white line for Z3 successor

Nothelfer GmbH has received an order from BMW AG to supply the complete body-in-white line for the successor model to the current BMW Z3. The line is scheduled for shipment in late 2001. The Z3 successor will be built in BMW’s Spartanburg plant in the USA. Nothelfer also supplied the complete BIW line for the BMW X5, which has been produced there since 1999. The Spartanburg plant is being expanded for the production of the new roadster.

The order includes all welding fixtures for the body-in-white. The closures will come from other suppliers as subassemblies and will be fitted using Nothelfer equipment, including a patented door fitting system that guarantees consistently narrow gaps.

Together with BMW Nothelfer has applied for a patent for the system for welding together floor assembly and side panels in the geometry station. The frames are locked with the geometry box by means of tensioners of the type used in machine tool construction to create a closed geometry cell of high precision that assures the dimensional accuracy of the body-in-white. This “Nothelfer Body Framing System” is also used in the production of the X5.

Production of the Z3 successor is due to begin in late 2002. Only 24 months lie between project start and start of production. Nothelfer will assist BMW in commissioning the line as well as during pilot production and full production.

Nothelfer GmbH is a subsidiary of Thyssen Production Systems (TPS), which is a business unit of ThyssenKrupp Industries. TPS generated sales of 1.3 billion euros in fiscal 1998/99 with over 8,000 employees worldwide.

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