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BMW builds ‘fitness programme’ for automotive sector

‘Powerplay is a guiding principle for people in business and the automotive industry is no exception – nor is recycling,’ said Oliver Ganser, data specialist at BMW Group at the recent car recycling congress (IARC) in Basel, Switzerland.

Connecting key data points and embracing transparency is vital for the next phase of the circular economy, Ganser argues. ‘We’re keen on sharing our social calendar and meeting up at fine events such as these but we’re not exactly eager to share our expertise, are we?’ he asked delegates.

‘No one wants to sacrifice their position in the field; we want to stay on top.’ Ganser paused and looked around the hall. ‘What if we could ensure the right data went into the right hands?’

BMW proposes a new arrangement, the Cartena X Data Ecosystem, to take away the anxiety felt by most stakeholders. ‘It will allow us to exchange data peer to peer. Companies are free to pick their own software, their own targets – they can have a different scale and Co2 footprint – we just link them up,’ Ganser explains, adding jokingly: ‘I like to call Cartena the fitness programme for the automotive industry.’

So what does Cartena do, exactly? ‘Our solution has a dismantling dashboard, a marketplace so you can search for products/scrap for sale, material passports per vehicle and its parts as well as a value index for each metal used in cars,’ the data specialist says. He showed screenshots and videos of various options. ‘To experience the full potential, I invite anyone to visit us for a demonstration.’

Electronic track and trace is now the norm for both businesses and consumers. ‘This is the future for recycling, too,’ Ganser says. ‘Whereas you can return some simple products, like bottles and cans, at local hotspots, the same logic doesn’t apply to cars. You can’t put a sticker on the gearbox that says “if you find this part, please send it back”. Can you imagine that?’ he adds with a laugh.

Ultimately, BMW wants to build the world’s largest library of digital twins. ‘We know it can work because it is based on an international network that already exists in real time. Now we need to build a digital counterpart.’

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