The new Advanced Metal Processing Center (AMPC) has opened at Brunel University London. The new center provides a boost for manufacturers to work with Brunel on large-scale research and development activity, enabling innovations such as novel structures for lightweight car parts to make the leap from the lab to full-scale... Read more →


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. will build more models using a new type of super high formability (SHF) steel that combines high tensile strength with a previously unachievable degree of formability, resulting in lighter vehicles that can help lower emissions while protecting occupants. (Earlier post.) Nissan is the world’s first carmaker... Read more →


Magna intends to form two new joint ventures with Beijing Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd (BJEV)—a subsidiary of the BAIC Group for electric cars—for the engineering and complete vehicle manufacturing of electric vehicles. Over the coming months, Magna and BJEV will work with authorities to implement legally binding joint-venture agreements which... Read more →


Leading steel and mining company ArcelorMittal has begun construction of new premises at its site in Ghent, Belgium, to house a new installation which will convert carbon-containing gas from its blast furnaces into bioethanol. The technology in the gas conversion process, which utilizes microbes that feed on carbon monoxide to... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars is starting construction of its first “Full-Flex Plant“ in Kecskemét, Hungary, about 90 km in the south of Budapest. Overall, the company is investing €1 billion in the new car plant and creating more than 2,500 jobs. The first global “Full-Flex Plant” of Mercedes-Benz Cars is based on... Read more →


Volkswagen launches new engineer training program for ID EV family

The Volkswagen brand has launched a program—the “Future Electronic Engineer Program” (FEEP)—to train 100 young engineers and skilled workers throughout the world as top production experts in e-mobility. The first participants to complete the three-year program will support the run-up phase of the I.D. family, the new generation of full-electric... Read more →


DOE Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute awards ~$10M to 10 projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII) will award nearly $10 million for ten projects to help advance its goals and enable US manufacturers to develop and implement innovations that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. Launched in 2016, CESMII focuses on... Read more →


Siemens and Northvolt, a company working to build a European Li-ion gigafactory with 32 GWh of battery capacity (earlier post), are partnering for the development of best-in-class technology to produce high-quality lithium-ion batteries. The partnership, which will be supported by Siemens through an investment of €10 million (US$11.7 million); after... Read more →


Novelis, the leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, plans to invest approximately $180 million to double its automotive aluminum body sheet capacity at its Changzhou facility in China. The company will begin expanding its existing facility in 2018 and be fully operational by 2020, helping key traditional automakers and electric... Read more →


Toyota projects that global sales of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) will increase significantly after 2020 to at least 30,000 per year from today’s 3,000. To prepare for this growth, the company unveiled plans for two major new facilities: a brand-new building near its original automobile factory for expanding fuel... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz to invest ~€500M to produce electric compact EQ model at Hambach plant

Mercedes-Benz Cars is expanding its production capacities for electric cars in Europe. The Hambach plant in France, which currently produces smart brand electric vehicles, will produce a compact electric car of the new product and technology brand EQ. Mercedes-Benz Cars plans to launch more than ten electric cars by 2022... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars plants in Germany to be supplied with CO2-neutral energy from 2022

In Germany, all Mercedes-Benz plants will be supplied with CO2-neutral energy. The preparations for exclusively green electricity for a climate-friendly production in Europe are already well advanced. From 2022, the production of our Mercedes-Benz plants in Germany will operate CO2-neutral. Thereby, we completely forego coal-based electricity and obtain our electrical... Read more →


Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world’s first carbon-free aluminum smelting process; Apple assist; Elysis JV to commercialize

Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation announced a revolutionary process to make aluminum that produces only oxygen as a by-product, eliminating all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process. In Canada alone, use of the technology could eliminate the equivalent of 6.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions,... Read more →


U of I team uses frontal polymerization for rapid energy-efficient manufacturing of polymers; saving 10 orders of magnitude of energy

Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new polymer-curing process that could reduce the cost, time and energy needed, compared with the current manufacturing process. The findings, reported in Nature, state that the new polymerization process uses 10 orders of magnitude less energy and can cut two orders... Read more →


GM is using new generative design software technology from Autodesk to support its vehicle lightweighting efforts. Generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. Designers or engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters such as such as weight, strength, material choice, fabrication method, and more. The... Read more →


Northvolt progressing towards European battery Gigafactory

Aspiring European battery gigafactory developer Northvolt (earlier post) has begun the the construction of Northvolt Labs. Once completed in 2019, the scale-up and research facility will be used to develop, test and industrialize lithium-ion battery cells before large-scale production. The facility will enable fully process representative manufacturing and allow a... Read more →


At WCX18: SAE World Congress Experience earlier this month, ArcelorMittal and Honda unveiled the world’s first outer and inner door ring system to better balance strength and performance while removing additional weight from the vehicle. The partners co-engineered the system for the 2019 Acura RDX. The inner door ring comprises... Read more →


CCM: Shanghai Energy investing US$790M to construct world’s largest Li-ion wet process separator production base

China will account for more than 60% of the world’s production of wet-process separators for Li-ion batteries, with more than 10 billion square meters capacity, according to China-based market intelligence firm CCM. Now, Shanghai Energy, the largest supplier in the country, will build the largest production base, strengthening China’s leading... Read more →


Lithium Australia (LIT) has finalized its acquisition of advanced cathode material production technology, acquiring 99.7% of the equity in Brisbane-based Very Small Particle Company (VSPC). The VSPC facility is a 2 to 4 tonnes-per-annum pilot plant that incorporates an integrated laboratory, coin-cell production facility and battery-testing equipment. Cathode powder producer... Read more →


VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, which is developing future manufacturing concepts, has succeeded in 3D printing a smart shaft, combining sensor technology, wireless data transfer, and condition monitoring in the same package. The new manufacturing methods will enable the creation of new business models and provide a competitive edge... Read more →


The BMW Group will invest more than €10 million in a new Additive Manufacturing Campus. Located in Oberschleissheim, just north of Munich, the facility will allow the company to continue developing its expertise in this field of work. Our new Additive Manufacturing Campus will concentrate the full spectrum of the... Read more →


The European H2FUTURE project consortium, comprising voestalpine, Siemens, VERBUND, and Austrian Power Grid, together with the research partners K1-MET and ECN, officially gave the green light to the construction of a 6 MW “green” hydrogen pilot production plant—the world’s largest—at a voestalpine Linz steel plant. (Earlier post.) The partners from... Read more →


Argonne using machine learning to optimize designing and manufacturing of new products; HD engine simulation presented at WCX

Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory are developing advanced machine learning techniques with high-performance computing (HPC) to help organizations reduce design time from months to days and slash development costs. In the latest example of the work, the Argonne team, with colleagues from Convergent Science... Read more →


Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory )PNNL) have developed and successfully tested a new solid-phase technique called Friction Stir Dovetailing (FSD) to join thick plates of aluminum to steel. The new process will be used to make lighter-weight military vehicles that are more agile and fuel efficient. An open-access paper... Read more →


Volkswagen Braunschweig has been awarded the contract to further the development and production of battery systems for the Modular Electric Drive Modular System (MEB). In the future, the plant will produce up to half a million battery systems per year for the electric vehicles of the Volkswagen brand and other... Read more →


Dürr is building a paint shop in Mexico for the BMW Group that meets the requirements for connected Industry 4.0 production. This plant, featuring the first integrated smart factory concept from Dürr, is being built at the San Luis Potosí site. San Luis Potosí will build the BMW brand’s best-selling... Read more →


A team of Idaho National Laboratory (INL) researchers, with colleagues at Georgia Tech, has pioneered an electrochemical process that could eliminate the need for high-energy steam cracking. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Energy and Environmental Science, the researchers suggest that their study provides a disruptive approach for... Read more →


Volkswagen of America hires Tesla Model S, X program manager to steer objectives for MEB EV line

Volkswagen of America, Inc. (VWoA) has appointed Matthew Renna as Vice President, Volkswagen North American Region (NAR)-G4, effective 16 April 2018. Renna will manage the NAR-G4 team, steering objectives for the Modular Electrification Toolkit (MEB) line, Volkswagen’s modular system for manufacturing electric vehicles. Renna most recently served as program manager... Read more →


Tesla Q1 2018 vehicle production up 40% from Q4; Model 3 now at +2,000 units per week

Tesla reported Q1 2018 vehicle production of 34,494 vehicles—a 40% increase from Q4 and its most productive quarter. Of the total, 24,728 (72%) were Model S and Model X, and 9,766 (28%) were Model 3. The Model 3 output increased fourfold over last quarter. Tesla was able to double the... Read more →


Developers from Bosch and scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are using neutron imaging to analyze the filling of lithium-ion batteries for hybrid cars with electrolytes. Their experiments, reported in the Journal of Power Sources, show that electrodes are wetted twice as fast in a vacuum as under... Read more →


Ford management gave an update on its product line plans, touting that by 2020, the company will offer “North America’s freshest lineup among all full-line automakers,” with its average showroom age dropping from 5.7 to 3.3 years as it replaces three-quarters of its lineup and adds four new trucks and... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to expand EV production worldwide to 16 sites by end of 2022; partnerships with battery manufacturers

The Volkswagen Group is expanding its production of electric vehicles to 16 locations around the globe by the end of 2022. This was announced by Matthias Müller, CEO of Volkswagen AG, at the Group’s Annual Media Conference in Berlin. The Group currently produces electric vehicles at three locations, and in... Read more →


SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, released the results of a recent lifecycle assessment of passenger car side doors using hybrid material solutions including laminates made with its continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC), the UDMAX GPP 45-70 tape. The material system aims to help improve compliance with stringent... Read more →


Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE) from the Information and Communication Industry (ICT) could grow from roughly 1–1.6% in 2007 to exceed 14% of the 2016-level worldwide GHGE by 2040, accounting for more than half of the current relative contribution of the whole transportation sector, according to a new study from McMaster... Read more →


The BMW Group Leipzig plant has started series production of the BMW i8 Roadster, unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show (earlier post). It will be launched parallel to the enhanced version of the BMW i8 Coupé. Both vehicles are flexibly manufactured on a single line in the BMW... Read more →


ArcelorMittal Tailored Blanks, a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal, the world’s leading steel and mining company, selected the city of Detroit as the company’s first wholly-owned manufacturing operation in the state due to its proximity to leading automakers, access to talent and support from local and state governments. The new operation speaks... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars has laid the cornerstone for the assembly hall of its “Factory 56” in Sindelfingen, the company’s “car plant of the future”. Factory 56 combines three trend-setting features: digitalization, flexibility and green production. In 2020, the Factory 56 will begin production of upper- and luxury-class cars and electric vehicles... Read more →


By 2030, aluminum demand from Electric Vehicles (EVs) will near 10 million tonnes, a ten-fold increase from 2017, according to analysis by mining and metals business intelligence firm CRU. The usage of primary aluminum intensive, extrusions and rolled products will be significantly higher than seen in internal combustion engine vehicles... Read more →


Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet increasing retail demand for both models. The company is increasing line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25% since last fall when the SUVs hit the... Read more →


DOE to award $35M to 24 projects to support early-stage, innovative technologies and solutions in advanced manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $35 million for 24 projects to support early-stage, innovative technologies and solutions in advanced manufacturing. These projects were selected under an Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Advanced Manufacturing Office funding opportunity, focused on advanced materials, advanced processes, and... Read more →


The Steel Recycling Institute (SRI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, released a peer-reviewed study that examines the overall environmental impact of vehicle lightweighting using advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) compared with aluminum. The study, “Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas and Energy Study of Automotive Lightweighting,” found that... Read more →


EPFL researchers have developed models of magnesium alloys to understand how to make the metal more pliable. Magnesium is the lightest metal on earth but, also has very low ductility—i.e., it cannot easily be shaped into usable forms. The researchers hope that with the models will lead to the discovery... Read more →


Hydro has started producing the first aluminium metal at its technology pilot in Karmøy, marking the start of verifying at an industrial scale the HAL4e aluminium technology. Compared to the world average, the Hydro-developed technology will use 15% less energy in aluminium production and has the lowest CO2 footprint. Hydro... Read more →


Ricardo aims to be the niche battery pack manufacturer of choice for premium high-performance hybrids and EVs

Ricardo said that its recent completion of a full EV sports car battery manufacturing concept program by its Performance Products division is a significant milestone in its aim to become the niche battery manufacturer of choice for high performance hybrids and EVs. Ricardo Performance Products has been in niche volume... Read more →


Dürr is building a fully automatic paint shop for a Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) plant in China. The plant is designed to handle 100,000 units per year, will commence operation in June 2018, and will produce battery-electric cars on behalf of a local electric car manufacturer. The vehicles will be... Read more →


DOE awards $1.87M to 7 projects to advance high performance computing in manufacturing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $1.87 million to seven projects to advance innovation in US manufacturing through high performance computing. Part of DOE’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program (earlier post), the seven new public private partnerships will enable greater collaboration between DOE national labs and... Read more →


All New Flyer facilities now capable of manufacturing Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric buses

New Flyer of America Inc., the US subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. (NFI Group), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, announced that its Anniston, Alabama facility has successfully completed its first full build of an Xcelsior CHARGE battery-electric heavy-duty transit bus.... Read more →


Volkswagen Saxony plants purchasing renewable power

The Volkswagen brand is stepping up the use of renewable energy in production with a view to further reducing its environmental footprint. Starting this year, the three production plants of Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH have been supplied with Volkswagen Naturstrom electric power from 100% renewable sources by VW Kraftwerk GmbH. This... Read more →


Novel laser welding technique could expand use of advanced high-strength steel alloys

A Brazilian researcher has developed an innovative method of laser welding at high temperatures that enhances the properties of advanced high-strength (AHS) steel for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries The automotive industry’s demand for high-performance AHS alloys has increased in recent years owing to increasingly stringent passenger safety,... Read more →


Scania invests $178M in new foundry; 50% cut in energy consumption through process improvements and heat recovery

Scania plans to invest about SEK 1.5 billion (US$178 million) in a new foundry in Södertälje, Sweden, in order to triple production capacity and achieve a 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to the technology and methods used in the current foundry. Through more efficient materials handling and recycling, a... Read more →