Robotic Results: BMW robot-applied paint repairable by humans

Munich, Germany — BMW recently announced that it was testing new robotically-applied paint technology on some M4 Coupes, but wants to reassure all the flesh-based refinishers out there that the work can still be repaired by puny humans.

This new technology from BMW allows the application of several colours and designs to its cars’ bodywork without stencils or masking, but can still be touched up using regular masking techniques when the need arises.

Martina Hatzel from BMW said, “When repairing, we rely on a common concept (no matter which paint process), namely a plotter template, which should be available for every design. 

“The premises for this, such as minimum distances between two lines, smallest object, etc., have been worked out together with the colleagues from aftersales and are taken into account in design designs.”

Spawned from a collaboration with engineering firm Dürr, BMW’s new paint technology made its way onto 19 M4s at the OEM’s Dingolfing, Germany facility.

“The paint is applied using an orifice plate that enables high edge definition with a variable paint thickness of between 1 and appr. 50 millimetres,” BMW said. 

“This requires maximum precision from both the robot and application technology. It also means two different colours of paint can be used, e.g. for a contrasting roof, and stripes and other designs applied—for instance, on the bonnet.

“The focus of technology and material development was on achieving the maximum range of applications. It will now be possible to paint every exterior component – offering customers virtually limitless options for individualization.”


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