How BMW plans to lower its energy usage using big data

By Glen White
BMW is well on its way to reaching its sustainability goals by reducing the amount of energy it needs to build each car. Energy consumption per vehicles...

BMW is well on its way to reaching its sustainability goals by reducing the amount of energy it needs to build each car. Energy consumption per vehicles dropped 31 percent from 2006 to 2013 and by 2020, the Germany-based automaker wants energy expended per vehicle to be down 45 percent from 2006 levels.

One significant pillar of the strategy is the deployment of what BMW calls its intelligent energy management data system (EMDS). The system uses intelligent electricity meters that measure the energy consumption of plants and robots and align them with a big data network.

These meters allow BMW to identify anomalies in energy consumption and take action where necessary. Data analysis even helps the carmaker prevent imminent production disruptions or breakdowns in the manufacturing process.

BMW already applies IEMDS in its plants in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and in Regensburg, Munich and Landshut in Germany, however the system is now being rolled out globally at all of the company’s 40 production facilities.

IEDMS can yield reductions in global energy consumption of 7 percent a year at the plants, BMW estimates.

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