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IND’s tour of BBS’ head facility!

Published on November 25, 2013 by in BMW

Many of you have already seen this year’s IND trip to Germany, found in this thread:

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=914945

Today we are proud to release an appendix to that story. This portion of our tour could not be published with the rest of the story, as this facility contains machinery and equipment so secret that every single photo had to be reviewed prior to this writing. I present to M3Post a truly rare treat- a tour of the original BBS manufacturing facility.

The BBS Shiltach facility is a true piece of history; even the company’s name is a combination of its two founders and their home town – Baumgartner, Brand, and the city of Schiltach. What started as a humble facility responsible for manufacturing plastic exterior components grew quickly into a company that literally invented the racing wheel as we know it today. This facility has expanded over the years, to the point where the adjacent river had to be moved to accommodate the growth. Although BBS has additional manufacturing facilities in Germany, the Schiltach facility is where it all began. It is proof that two people with a commitment to being the best and a belief in their mission can truly accomplish anything.

Of course, the first things we saw on display at BBS were wheels. Our eyes darted from one display wheel to another, as BBS exhibited everything from the classic BBS RS, to a CH in an incredible gold finish, to BBS Formula 1 wheels.

BBS wheel manufacturing begins at a point that few other wheel companies ever see- directly at the raw material stage. Where most manufacturers purchase pre-“forged” blanks from manufacturers in China, Taiwan, and other facilities, BBS goes much further. BBS does not even use pre-mixed aluminum alloy, but rather imports each individual element, and creates a unique alloy proprietary to BBS. This is the only way to maintain the standard of quality BBS requires. The large stacks of material in the first photo are raw aluminum, while the piece held in the last photo of this sequence is a block of raw magnesium. BBS purchases Silicon, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Chromium, Zinc, and other raw materials to create their proprietary alloys.

One can feel the heat radiating from BBS’ furnaces as you approach, and I personally was left with a feeling of awe at the true industrial manufacturing power that BBS held at its fingertips.

After the materials are combined to form an alloy, extensive testing is conducted to ensure that the alloy is absolutely pure and contains the appropriate mixture of elements for the desired metallurgical properties. In the last photo of this set, a sample is being prepared for a mass spectrometer to analyze the contents of the sample.

The completed alloy travels to one of these machines, where it undergoes a high pressure casting process that ensures an excellent material density, lower porosity, and better grain structure alignment than standard low pressure cast wheels.

This photo is of a casting tool made for a very famous BBS wheel- the classic BBS CH. I’m sure most of you can recognize the CH spoke shape, even when it’s viewed as a negative.

Once a wheel comes out of casting the remaining casting flash is removed and the wheel is x rayed for excessive porosity and poor material density. The x ray’s initial review is judged by machine which substantially increases the precision and sensitivity with which a wheel can be reviewed, but if a flaw is found the machine operator is alerted and each potential flaw is reviewed by a person. To maintain the highest level of quality the x ray operator shifts are only four hours long, which preserves the operator’s focus and attention to detail.

After the wheels are approved they move through a series of additional processes which we unfortunately can’t show in detail. The wheels are de-burred and cleaned, and then move to flow forming. A careful look at the wheel barrels in the photos above will reveal that the barrels are quite narrow in width, and very thick in wall thickness. This is because after the wheel is through its high pressure casting process, the barrel section goes through flow forming. During flow forming two die draw the barrel downwards and literally force the metal into its finished width. Flow forming uses extreme pressure to form the barrel, which results in an excellent density and much better grain alignment than even a standard high pressure casting, resulting in an incredibly strong wheel that can be sold for a very reasonable price.

Finally, BBS wheels are heat treated and annealed, an extra step not taken by many manufacturers, which normalizes the grain structure and therefore further improves the strength of the wheel.

Walking around the BBS Schiltach facility leaves one thing clear- the sheer volume of wheels produced at Schiltach is absolutely staggering. Responsible for two thousand wheels per day, pallet after pallet of completed wheels await finishing and occupy thousands of square feet of storage space. The amount of production just this one BBS facility is capable of was truly a shock.

While most of the wheels move through BBS’ specialized paint process, shown in the first image above, some lucky wheels do encounter the pink ceramic pellets in the last photo. BBS’ ceramic polishing process creates a mirror-like finish that is incredibly striking.

Thank you very much to our friends at BBS for showing us the BBS facility!

 
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A return to roots: IND visits Germany once again.

Being a member of the IND team offers many amazing opportunities- we’re able to work with some of the best people in the aftermarket and racing industry. We are also blessed to have some of the most fascinating, friendly clients in any industry anywhere. And finally, every once in a while we get unparalleled access to racing and car culture, only afforded to us by our positions at IND. We are truly fortunate people. One of our favorite perks of the job is our semi-annual trip to Germany.

Although travelling to Germany is not an excellent business investment in standard terms, for a company built around love for BMW M, there is no other way. It is possible to have a concept of the things that inspire IND from the comfort of the US, but to maintain our sense of purpose, to renew our drive; we must go and feel the country that made BMW M for ourselves. And so, as we have done so many times before, we made our plans for a pilgrimage to Germany. Our stops this year were a veritable who’s who of racing legends- KK Automotive; The Nurburgring, Eisenmann, BBS Motorsport.

Each stop allows us to plan for the future, while strengthening our resolve. Our mission as a business is not the easiest, and it is not the shortest path to financial gain. Our visits remind us of who we are, and why IND must do things in the best way, not the easiest or the most quick. Please follow us on our tour of the home country of BMW M.

As always, our trip starts in historic Heidelberg and the Heidelberg Suites hotel. This hotel has been IND’s home away from home for five years now, and its location and incredible view are unique. Set directly on the Neckar River, this hotel has an incredible view of the Old Bridge and Heidelberg Castle, along with Heidelberg’s old downtown district. This incredible town is an excellent home base for anyone interested in visiting the Nurburgring, and the Porsche manufacturing plant in Stuttgart. Even the BMW Welt in Munich is a three hour drive, making Heidelberg an easy 2-3 hours away from incredible automotive culture and history.

Read more…

 
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iND is on the cover of European car this month!

Published on October 28, 2013 by in Uncategorized

iND is on the cover of European car this month special thanks to Jason, Sam and Falken Tire!

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Frozen black E92 M3 by iND (From AZ to IL)

HRE P43SC E9x M3 19×9.5 ET22/19×10.5 ET27 Satin Black
Stoptech trophy front and rear with colored logos removed
Akrapovic EVO with carbon tips
ESS Direct flash
Vorsteiner Type II carbon diffuser
Ground control E9x M3 camber plates
Euro front bumper painted Frozen black by iND
Carbon side grilles with Dark LED’s
Carbon front grilles
iND Frozen black key hole cover
Macht Schnell 75mm Stud Kit
Project Kics R40 black chrome
RKP GTS front lip (top section only) in Gloss carbon
BMWPedals – Extended Billet DCT Shifter Paddles (Holes) + (Black Anodizing)

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The 3D Design M6 Aero Program

The 3D Design M6 Aero Program

As we have all witnessed with the release of the F10 M5, FXX M6, and now the F80/F82 M3/M4, BMW is continuing to push for more extroverted styling with the production M cars. For a BMW tuner this means that designing a piece, whether it is an exhaust system or front lip, requires a more sophisticated approach. This is evident in the new installment to the 3D Design aero program, the 3D Design F06/F12/F13 M6.

At first glance it is apparent that the 3D aero kit is one with the spirit of the M6. Every piece of the aero program pays particular attention to the unique body lines of the chassis. The dips, curves, and twists are continued through each and every piece. While taking a closer look at the front lip, it is easy to notice how the line of the lip meticulously follows the lines of the front bumper prior to dropping into a subtle 2-piece splitter. The trunk spoiler takes on a more aggressive approach by borrow some inspiration from the Moto GP F10 M5. One of the most impressive aspects of the entire kit is the rear diffuser. The rear diffuser is aggressive, but tasteful. As a substitute for the approach of adding massive fins, 3D Design opted for a 2 piece bolt on lower section that beautifully frames the exhaust tips. The kit is rounded out with a carbon fiber bolt on side-skirt.

The goal of 3D Design is not to simply add a few simple design elements to the already gorgeous M6. As a quintessential Japanese entity, 3D Design’s designers are consumed by perfection. Although the kit is beautiful as a complete solution, every piece is designed as a standalone solution.

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Eisenmann Germany partners up Team Meisel Motorsport and their SLK340!

Eisenmann Germany  presents their new partnership with Meisel motorsport!

As part of the project “SLK340 they will develop the complete exhaust system that will provide for optimum engine performance, torque and  inciting sound.  As consultants, developers and supporters, we are available on the team page.

All information about the team and the project Meisel SLK 340 can be found on their site http://www.slk340.com/ on the homepage.

Enjoy the pictures!

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IND | 399

Published on August 27, 2013 by in Uncategorized

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One of the most rewarding moments as an IND employee is the opportunity to witness firsthand the passion and excitement of our clients as they work toward creating their dream M car. On a daily basis we take part in the beginning, continuation, and end of a vehicles evolution. For this stunning Atlantis Metallic E92 M3 the journey is just gaining momentum.

The progression of this Atlantis Metallic (paint code 399) coupe began with a simple phone call regarding painted reflectors. Like many BMW fans, the owner of this M3 was a bit apprehensive about the Atlantis Metallic paint color, and was unsure about his color choice. The order with BMW was fresh and was eligible for cancelation at a moment’s notice. To help our client confirm his color choice, IND sent painted reflectors long before the car was delivered to our client. Once the paint sample was in hand a series of phone calls and even an in-person meeting at BimmerFest West took place, in an effort to string together a general outline for 399’s first iteration. It was clear the owner had a passion for detail and perfection, and knew that he wanted his modifications to standout, but also possess an “OEM plus” feel.

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Our client is no stranger to high performance cars, and knew that this M3 would need some additional pep in its step. With the odometer reading just past the break-in period the S65B40 engine received a ESS VT2-625 kit. While in the engine bay we took the opportunity to tidy things up a bit and provide the Atlantis clad coupe with a more cohesive scheme. The valve covers received a high-temp textured black powder and the coils are now protected from the elements via color-matched ignition coil covers. The power is aurally translated with the assistance from an Eisenmann sport exhaust mated to the high flow catted Challenge sport x-pipe.

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There is something nostalgic about an analog gauge, but as individuals immersed in the ebb and flow of performance technology we were giddy about the release of the Awron gauge. The seamless integration and factory bright OLED display fit the E9X M3′s interior perfectly. The functionality and diagnostic capability of the unit is near second to none. In continuation with their goal of seamless integration, Awron even offers the display with a specially machined ESS velocity stack capable of receiving both an IAT and Boost sending unit adapter.

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To stay with the OEM plus theme the seats and door panels of the E92 were removed from the vehicle. These pieces then received a touch of Alcantara to individualize the interior without detracting from a factory fit and look. For the center dash trim inspiration was taken from the M3 GTS name plate. The logo was borrowed from the notorious GTS and a subtle Atlantis hand pinstriped 399 was added below the logo. The OEM carbon door trim then received a splash of color via an Atlantis hand pinstriped accent line.

It is always a pleasure to immerse ourselves in a customer’s vision and is even more special when we are a direct part of bringing this vision to reality. Although this is the first iteration of 399, we are confident that the car’s owner will enjoy it and look forward to the next phase of 399′s evolution.

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Eisenmann Originals: The F30 335i

Published on July 24, 2013 by in Uncategorized

Any fan of BMW will tell you that the release of a new 3 series platform is a significant event indeed. The BMW 3 series has been the sports sedan to beat for five generations, and BMW continues to build on this tradition of excellence with the 6 generation of the 3 series, the F30. The F30 sedan maintains the dynamic behavior of the E90, while adding a host of luxury features and simultaneously saving weight. In essence it is yet another step forward in the BMW 3 series legacy.

Similarly, Eisenmann has been building performance exhaust systems for the BMW 3 series since the beginning of the 3 series. With each new chassis the engineers at Eisenmann GmbH develop a complimentary exhaust system, designed to build upon the sporting personality of the car as designed by BMW. Eisenmann adds to their 3 series program with the new F30 335i exhaust system and continues their own Eisenmann tradition of excellence.

A host of tip styles are available to further personalize the F30- the classic 2x83mm, aggressive 2x90mm, and the striking 4x76mm tips. Each system is hand built to order and available in a Sport sound level for a refined tone that is discreet during daily driving, or a Race sound level that truly brings a sports car sound from the 335i.

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New iND Parts and Accessories website!

IND continues to improve our client’s experience, and this month has introduced our brand new website to allow for easier browsing, research, and shopping.

IND’s new site includes an easy to navigate Portfolio section to showcase our previous Portfolio projects, an online shopping cart function for easier order processing, and an overall smoother functionality and presentation. Please click over to http://ind-distribution.com/ind/ have a look around!

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Steel Harmony

Jesal has been a member of the Chicago European Car community for so long, it seems like he has been involved since the very birth of the Euro scene here in the Midwest. As a moderator of our local EuroTeknik forum and an active member of our community for almost two decades, Jesal is a key part of the IND team. His perpetually flawless Silverstone E90 M3 doesn’t hurt, either.

This past week we had an opportunity to flog Jesal’s M3 in an attempt to truly capture the sound of his Eisenmann Sport exhaust as combined with the Challenge HFC x pipe. We travelled from the IND offices to a closed section of road where we could really open the car up, and this video was the result.

ESS Tune
Eisenmann Sport Exhaust
Challenge Sport X-pipe (high flow cats)
Dinan 4.10 dif

KW V3 Coilovers
19″ Work Meister S1R wheels
Project Kics Lug Nuts in NeoChrome
Macht Schell Stud Kit

3D Design Carbon Fiber rear diffuser
RKP CRT Front Lip in Carbon Fiber
BMW Edition Front Grilles
BMW Edition Side Grilles
BMW Performance Spoiler with CRT stripe
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