BMW use FLIR thermal imaging cameras for quality control. Vehicles are subjected to a number of individual and automated quality control measures including analysis in one of ten separate roller dynamometers. Basic functions from signal horn to engine specific performance are thoroughly tested, as is the BMW Night Vision System, based on a FLIR detector. The entire process just takes a few minutes, during which each correct function has to be confirmed either automatically or by an inspector who sits in the vehicle monitoring displayed inspection data.
Simple, fast and reliable testing:
Whilst cost and time efficient testing is the common goal, identifying the optimum procedure for each inspection task needs individual consideration. This is the case, for example, when testing the exhaust flaps on the dual exhaust system. Twin tail pipes are a feature of the high performance BMW vehicles with large, 8-cylinder engines. On the BMW M5 model the requirement is different again, as the exhaust flap on the second tailpipe is only activated at a specified RPM. The reason for this may be at first surprising as it’s all about acoustic design but the sound of a powerful engine should be impressive. Therefore a BMW M5 only opens the second tailpipe exhaust flap when it is really needed. Of course this feature has to be inspected which is more complicated than it appears at first glance.