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 →


India is the third-largest steel producer in the world after China and Japan, having surpassed other large steel-making countries such as the United States, Russia, and South Korea over the previous decade, according to the World Steel Association. In 2016, about 57% of India’s steel was produced using electric-based methods—the... Read more →


As part of a projected €22.8 billion (US$26.9 billion) investment in its plants worldwide, the Volkswagen Group will invest about €1 billion (US$1.2 billion) into its Zwickau, Germany plant to convert it into a pure-play e-mobility facility. As the Group announced earlier (earlier post), the Zwickau site is being remodeled... Read more →


Sumitomo Electric Industries and the University of Toyama have developed a high heat-resistant magnesium alloy for die casting applications. In die casting, a molten metal is injected into a die under high pressure and quickly cooled and solidified into the final part. Owing to its high productivity, die casting is... Read more →


Ford is working with California-based Ekso Bionics to test the use of exoskeleton technology for Ford assembly workers. Some Ford assembly line workers lift their arms during overhead work tasks some 4,600 times per day, or about 1 million times per year. At this rate, the possibility of fatigue or... Read more →


Magna is using a torsional welding process for joining thermoplastic materials in order to help automakers cut weight and costs. The torsional welding process, developed by Magna for automotive applications at its exteriors plant in Liberec, Czech Republic, in collaboration with Telsonic Ultrasonics, features a high-speed twisting motion that creates... Read more →


Ecoclean cuts BMW engine plant robot cell power and water consumption by ~30%

At the BWM Group’s engine plant in Steyr (Austria), in a reference project accompanied by the Technical University of Vienna, Ecoclean Monschau (formerly Dürr Ecoclean) has significantly raised the energy efficiency of a flexible EcoCFlex Classic robot cell that had been in service for several years. The system’s electric power... Read more →


Strangpresse exclusively licenses ORNL extruder tech for high-volume additive manufacturing

Ohio-based Strangpresse has exclusively licensed additive manufacturing-related extruder technology from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly print hundreds of pounds of polymer material. The ORNL inventions include an innovative nozzle that extrudes material to print large parts, such as tooling for aerospace and automotive applications... Read more →


BYD unveils North America’s largest electric bus factory; capacity for up to 1,500 vehicles annually

BYD, the world’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles, unveiled its expanded battery-electric bus manufacturing facility in Lancaster, California—North America’s largest. The growth of BYD Coach and Bus reflects a rapid transition to electric transportation and will allow BYD to build up to 1,500 battery-electric buses annually. The opening celebration was... Read more →


Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have devised a method for high-speed, in-line process control of platinum-based catalyst layers in the membrane electrode assembly of the fuel cell. Their system may have overcome a significant hurdle to manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells by creating a way to... Read more →


Toyota and Hitachi collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using IoT platform; accelerating PDCA

Toyota Motor Corporation and Hitachi, Ltd. will collaborate to build a high-efficiency production model using an IoT (Internet of Things) platform. These two companies will conduct verification at Toyota’s model plants (Toyota, Aichi Prefecture) starting from this October. Through this verification, they intend to establish a platform using Hitachi’s IoT... Read more →


Tesla reports 26,150 delivers for Q3; only 220 Model 3s due to production bottlenecks

In Q3, Tesla delivered 26,150 vehicles, of which 14,065 were Model S (54%), 11,865 were Model X (45%), and 220 were Model 3 (1%). This was the company’s best quarter yet for Model S and X deliveries, representing a 4.5% increase over Q3 2016, its previous best quarter, and a... Read more →


DOE’s High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program to issue 5th solicitation in January

The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg) program in the Energy Department’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) (earlier post) intends to issue its fifth solicitation in January 2018 to fund projects that allow manufacturers to use high-performance computing resources at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories to tackle major manufacturing challenges.... Read more →


ANSI and America Makes targeting automotive participation in Phase 2 of 3D printing standardization roadmap

In February 2017, the America Makes & ANSI Additive Manufacturing Standardization Collaborative (AMSC) published a standardization roadmap for additive manufacturing (3D Printing). The roadmap identified existing standards and specifications as well as those in development; assessed gaps; and maked recommendations for priority areas where there is a perceived need for... Read more →


Toyota is expanding the production of its hybrid powertrains to the US. Toyota will invest $373.8 million in five US manufacturing plants to support production of its first US-made hybrid powertrain and to implement Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) at its Alabama plant. Each of the projects is scheduled to... Read more →


ABB and Northvolt partner for Europe’s largest battery factory; semiconductor foundry as model

ABB and Northvolt have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a wide-ranging supply and technology partnership, including products and services for Northvolt’s planned lithium-ion battery factory and close collaboration on development of battery solutions and R&D activities. Northvolt intends for its factory to supply European customers in the automotive... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz to set up EV production in US, battery plant; $1B investment in Alabama

Mercedes-Benz will set up electric vehicle production in the United States. The company plans to produce EQ-branded SUV models at MBUSI (Mercedes-Benz US International), its Tuscaloosa, Alabama facility. At the time being launched, the EQ models will feature the latest status of automated driving—always under the premise of safety and... Read more →