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BMW to invest in carbon-fibre repair training
Upgraded carbon-fibre diagnosis and repair critical to maintenance of future models
24 Feb 2022
By MATT BROGAN
BMW Group Australia has taken steps to ensure that the local repair competency of its Accredited BMW Bodyshop network can meet the challenges of a model line-up that is increasingly rich in carbon-fibre composites.
BMW says the enhanced carbon-fibre repair program “builds upon and complements” its globally certified training standards set in June 2020 and will endow local repairers with the ability to repair customer vehicles to “beyond OEM standards”.
Carbon-fibre has been used extensively in several past BMW variants (including the i3 and i8 battery-electric models) and is prominent in the construction of its new-generation EVs, including iX variants launched in Australia late last year.
The once exotic material also features in multiple elements of the Bavarian marque’s high performance M models, and in the safety cell passenger compartment of its 7- and 8 Series .
“Carbon fibre requires specialist handling and skills, both in its diagnosis and its repair, to ensure it retains the qualities for which it is recognised and so it can contribute to ongoing cabin integrity and, therefore, safety of the vehicle for occupants,” BMW Group Australia bodyshop network development manager Glen Keddie said.
“And although our network already has a strong level of competency in this area, this training takes it up to the next level to ensure our BMW Bodyshop professionals can deliver an even higher level of repair for our customers.
“Seven BMW Bodyshops are already certified to repair carbon-fibre components, and our training will ensure we can rapidly build on that number with the aim of having the entire network fully equipped in the coming years,” Mr Keddie added.
Carbon-fibre, which is well known for its low weight/high strength properties, requires different diagnostic and repair techniques to both traditional metal components, as well as those of reinforced thermoplastic olefins, used in some body panels and most bumper covers, other commonly used polymer-based plastics such as polypropylene, polyurethane, polyamides and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and even carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (or CFRP) panels, which are increasingly common in electrified and sports models.
The newly formed training program covers theory and practical training with exposed chassis components to provide what BMW says is an “in-depth knowledge and understanding” of the bonded composite.
Seven BMW Bodyshops across Australia are now fully certified to repair carbon-fibre components to “the highest standards”. BMW has a network of 45 Accredited BMW Bodyshop workshops across the country, eight of which are currently owned by BMW dealerships.
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