Body In White.

The MINI first takes shape in the body-in-white facility. Body panels and sub-assemblies come into the body shop just in time and just in sequence from the Swindon Plant. The different body models can be produced in any sequence.

For the new MINI hatchback a new bodyshop extension has been opened. There are 1000 robots in the bodyshop, meaning that body shell production is almost completely automated. This allows for between 4,000 and 6,000 welding points to be applied to the bodies, precisely and quickly. In some cases, up to eight robots work on one body simultaneously, on three different levels.

In order to check the accuracy of these robots, laser inspection is carried out by small Perceptron laser cameras at key points of the build. Every single MINI is checked by Perceptron measuring stations which form part of the production line. Any deviation from the correct alignment and build can therefore be identified and adjusted without interrupting the flow of production.

Facts and Figures

  • 1000 robots apply up to 6,000 spot welds to create one MINI bodyshell.
  • There are 435 separate panels in a new MINI hatchback bodyshell.
  • Accuracy of Perceptron cameras is ± 0.05mm (half the width of a human hair).
  • There are 502 Perceptron measuring points for the car body, carried out in five stations throughout the body-in-white process.
  • The approximate core temperature of a spot weld is 1500⁰C.
  • Plant Oxford's bodyshop totals 100,000m2 - or 14 football pitches.
  • Every single spot weld is applied by a robot.