Novelis Inc., the world leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, plans to establish a global network of Customer Solution Centers (CSCs) to accelerate collaborative innovation between Novelis and automakers for the next generation of vehicle design.
Novelis will work with OEMs to determine how to maximize lightweight, high-strength aluminum to design the best solutions for specific applications at the right cost to better compete against steel and other materials. The facilities will be led by teams of industry-leading researchers, designers and engineers located in close proximity to automakers’ manufacturing sites in North America, China and Europe.
In addition, Novelis CSCs will provide an environment to demonstrate product concepts, simulate customer processes and performance in use, as well as leverage data to educate stakeholders throughout the supply chain about elements ranging from forming to costing.
The first center is scheduled to open in Novi, Michigan with China and Europe to follow.
Customer Solution Centers will bring research and technical platforms, operations and commercial development together to increase collaboration and innovation. Each center will include high-tech development machinery ranging from computer-aided design (CAD) software to virtual collaboration capabilities and visualization technologies.
As the facilities come online, cross-regional teams will be in place to ramp up product development in critical stages for the auto industry.
Initially, Novelis working groups will be devoted to the following specific initiatives:
Automotive application development: Novelis engineers are using competitive, affordable aluminum solutions to achieve a variety of innovations, particularly the benefits of lightweighting, to bring customer-centric development projects to market. Significant time and investment are being made to help manufacturers develop high-strength components for applications ranging from car doors to electric battery enclosures to full body-in-white (BiW) design.
Innovative, high-strength, high-forming alloys: Novelis is currently bringing to market the next generation of high-strength aluminum alloys. Novelis Advanz 6HS-s650, Advanz 7UHS-701 and Advanz 7UHS-s702 will give automakers the highest-strength aluminum choice for BiW structural applications. In addition, automakers have been increasingly using Novelis Fusion 6HF – e200, a heat-treatable solution for applications requiring deep drawing, such as complex body sides.
Joining technology: Teams of Novelis research and technology professionals are developing ways to increase the adoption of aluminum through its ability to join with other materials as more vehicles are mixed-material. Novelis’ Fusion technology is proving advantageous for spot-welding and laser-welding needed for mixed-material architectures.
In addition to material and design application support, as part of its purpose to shape a sustainable world together, Novelis’ CSCs will provide sustainable process recommendations such as closed-loop recycling systems and the use of more alloys with higher recycled content to help curb CO2 emissions and establish more secure supply chains.
Novelis is accepting engineering candidates with a specialization in automotive design, metallurgy, CAD and costing to join the forthcoming CSCs.