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 →


thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel sign MoU to combine European steel activities in 50/50 joint venture

thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine their European steel activities in a 50/50 joint venture. Their aim is to create a leading European flat steel player to be positioned as quality and technology leader. The new entity is set to have pro-forma sales of... Read more →


Jaguar Land Rover seeking to increase the amount of aluminum from scrap for new vehicle production; 3-year, £2M REALITY project

Jaguar Land Rover Automotive is expanding the use of recycled aluminum in its car bodies to cut waste and reduce carbon emissions. A £2-million (US$2.6-million) project, called REALITY, will work to enable the closed-loop recycling of aluminum from end-of-life vehicles back into high-performance product forms for new vehicle body manufacture.... Read more →


A Hong Kong-Beijing-Taiwan mechanical engineering team led by Dr Huang Mingxin from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has developed a strategy to develop both high strength and high ductility in inexpensive, medium Mn (Manganese) steel. Its material cost is just one-fifth of that of the steel used in current... Read more →


Australian, Germany Li-ion gigafactory aspirants sign MoU

Magnis Resources Limited, part of a consortium aspiring to build a Li-ion gigafactory in Australia (earlier post), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with German Lithium-ion battery consortium TerraE-Holding GmbH (TerraE) for the supply of raw materials. TerraE-Holding GmbH has organized 17 major companies and research institutions into a consortium... Read more →


Magnesium is one of the lightest of all structural metals—75% lighter than steel, 33% lighter than aluminum—and is the fourth most common element on earth behind iron, silicon and oxygen. But despite its light weight and natural abundance, automakers have been stymied in their attempts to incorporate magnesium alloys into... Read more →


Toyota and Mazda enter business and capital alliance; $1.6B plant in US, joint development for electric, connected vehicle tech

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) signed an agreement to enter a business and capital alliance, with the aim of further strengthening their partnership. The companies agreed to: 1) establish a joint venture that produces vehicles in the United States; 2) jointly develop technologies for electric vehicles;... Read more →


TerraE forms consortium to build large-scale Li-ion battery manufacturing in Germany; 34 GWh/y by 2028

Germany-based TerraE-Holding GmbH has organized 17 major companies and research institutions into a consortium to handle planning for building large-scale lithium ion battery cell manufacturing in Germany. The goal is to gradually build up production capacities of up to 34 GWh/year by the year 2028. The consortium will address industrial... Read more →


Over the next decade, automakers will continue to increase the adoption of high-strength, low weight aluminum in new car and truck construction at a faster pace than ever before. Total aluminum content is expected to grow from 397 pounds (180.1 kg) per vehicle (PPV) in 2015 to 565 PPV (256.3... Read more →


At Audi’s Ingolstadt plant, humans and robots are now working side-by-side without a protective fence in an advance in human-robot cooperation (HRC). “Adhesive application with robot assistance,” abbreviated from the German as KLARA (Klebstoffapplikation mit Roboter-Assistenz), provides support with the installation of roofs made of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP)... Read more →


Altair and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) announced the winners of the 5th annual Altair Enlighten Award, which strives to promote and celebrate innovation in automotive lightweighting. The winner of the Full Vehicle category was the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which is 249 pounds (113 kilograms) lighter than its predecessor.... Read more →


LanzaTech collaborating with Swayana to convert waste gases from ferroalloy production to ethanol

South African engineering company Swayana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LanzaTech to collaborate on developing projects for the production of ethanol and higher value products from waste gases in the ferroalloy and titania smelting sectors. LanzaTech’s first commercial facility will be online at the end of 2017... Read more →


A research team at Japan’s National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) and Nagaoka University of Technology has developed a new high-strength magnesium sheet alloy (Mg–1.1Al–0.3Ca–0.2Mn–0.3Zn) that has excellent room-temperature formability comparable to that of the aluminum sheet metal currently used in body panels of some automobiles. The magnesium alloy becomes... Read more →


The correlation between spot welding and residual stress in boron steel was experimentally determined for the first time with neutron diffraction experiments conducted at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL). An open-access paper on the work is published in Metallurgical and Materials Transactions. A partnership led by WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) at... Read more →


By Mike Hattingh, RoboVent What’s the best way to control weld fumes from robotic welding? Overhead hoods and full work cell enclosures have long been the standard solution. But new tip extraction technologies are now offering another alternative for many manufacturers who rely on robotic welding. Overhead hoods are a... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant to produce batteries and electric powertrain components

Mercedes-Benz will build the fourth battery production factory in its global network—after the two plants in Kamenz and one in Beijing—at its Untertürkheim plant in Germany. As part of a transformation plan introduced in 2015, Untertürkheim—the lead plant in the global powertrain production and the home of Daimler headquarters—is successively... Read more →


DOE awarding $19.4M to 22 advanced vehicle technologies projects; Mercedes-Benz, GM Li-S battery projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $19.4 million to 22 new cost-shared projects to accelerate the research of advanced battery, lightweight materials, engine emission control technologies, and energy efficient mobility systems (EEMS). Among the awardees are Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America and GM, with separate projects on... Read more →


Tesla blames production shortfall of 100 kWh battery packs for lagging Q2 deliveries; says problem fixed; first Model 3s to be delivered 28 July

Tesla reported delivering just over 22,000 vehicles in Q2, of which just over 12,000 were Model S and just over 10,000 were Model X. While the Q2 2017 deliveries represent a 53% increase over Q2 2016, the figure is at the low-end of Tesla’s earlier guidance, and down about 12%... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz pilot test for automated driving in production

Mercedes-Benz is pilot testing the use of automated driving in production with its new S-Class. At the Mercedes-Benz plant Sindelfingen, an S 560 4MATIC drove itself independently off the final assembly line, without a driver at the wheel. The vehicle then drove automatically approximately 1.5 kilometers to the loading area... Read more →


Germany launches €60M, 3-year consortium project on high-volume production of automotive fuel cells; BMW, Daimler, Ford, VW

Germany has launched a ~€60-million, three-year consortium of leading industrial companies to investigate high-volume production of automotive fuel cell stacks. The “AutoStack-Industrie” project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), with €21.3 million in the first year. The “AutoStack Industry” project is a joint initiative... Read more →


Volkswagen IT expands deep learning competence via partnership with NVIDIA

Volkswagen IT is cooperating with US technology company NVIDIA with a view to expanding its competence in the field of deep learning. At the Volkswagen Data Lab—named the Group’s center of excellence for AI and data analysis—IT experts are developing advanced AI systems with deep learning. The Volkswagen Group is... Read more →


Warwick team develops new technique controlling brittle stages in production of high-strength, lightweight steels

A team at the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), University of Warwick (UK) has developed a new processing route which allows low-density steel-based alloys to be produced with maximum strength, while remaining durable and flexible—something which has been largely impossible until now. The development could enable the production of high-strength, lightweight... Read more →