Volkswagen AG intends to group more than 5,000 digital experts together in its new “Car.Software” unit with Group responsibility for software in the vehicle by 2025. The company plans to develop significantly more software in the car and for vehicle-related services itself and to boost the in-house share of software... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars and Telefónica Deutschland establish the world’s first 5G network for automobile production

Together with telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland and network supplier Ericsson, Mercedes-Benz Cars is putting in place the world’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production in its “Factory 56” in Sindelfingen. The 5G network is being installed by telecommunications company Telefónica Deutschland in collaboration with network supplier Ericsson. Once installation... Read more →


BMW Group opens >$1B plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico; digitalization and new sustainability benchmarks

The BMW Group officially opened the company’s new automotive plant in San Luis Potosi in Mexico. The company has invested more than US$1 billion in the new production location. The plant, which already employs 2,500 people, will have a capacity of up to 175,000 units per year once the ramp-up... Read more →


Volvo Cars and Varjo, the Finnish maker of high-end augmented reality headsets, have created a mixed reality approach to evaluating prototypes, designs and active safety technologies. The collaboration will be further strengthened by the Volvo Cars Tech Fund’s decision to invest in Varjo. The Tech Fund is the car maker’s... Read more →


BASF to build engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethanes plants at new $10B Verbund site in Zhanjiang

BASF plans to build an engineering plastics compounding plant and a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plant at the company’s proposed integrated chemical production (“Verbund”) site in Zhanjiang, China. These will be the first production plants to come onstream at the site. The Verbund site in Guangdong would be BASF’s largest investment,... Read more →


SEAT reduces waste by 34% since 2010, expects to achieve 60% reduction by 2025

Since 2010, SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has improved its production-related environmental footprint by 34% on average with measures to emit less CO2 and fewer volatile organic compounds, generate less waste and consume less water and energy. Over the next few months, the company will implement measures designed... Read more →


Volkswagen Group to invest just under €1B to set up battery cell production facility with partner in Lower Saxony

As part of its electrification offensive the Volkswagen Group will move forward with setting up a battery cell production facility in Europe under a partnership. To that end, the Supervisory Board approved investments of just under one billion euros. Volkswagen plans to locate the battery cell production facility in Lower... Read more →


ORNL, Lincoln Electric advance collaboration on large-scale metal additive manufacturing technology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lincoln Electric announced their continued collaboration on large-scale, robotic additive manufacturing technology at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing InnovationXLab Summit. The new agreement builds upon ORNL and Lincoln Electric’s previous developments by extending additive technology to new materials, leveraging data analytics and enabling rapid... Read more →


DOE to award $89M for advanced manufacturing R&D, battery manufacturing a key focus

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award $89 million to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (DE-FOA-0001980) addresses priorities such as domestic manufacturing for energy storage. The US manufacturing sector is growing; US manufacturers have created almost 500,000 jobs since 2017 and more... Read more →


United States Steel Corporation (USS) will invest more than $1 billion to construct a new sustainable endless casting and rolling facility at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pa., and a cogeneration facility at its Clairton Plant in Clairton, Pa., both part of the company’s Mon Valley Works. The cutting-edge... Read more →


Porsche has launched two new cogeneration plants in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen to enhance its environmentally friendly energy mix and close the remaining gap to CO2 neutral production of the fully electric Taycan in Zuffenhausen. The heat and power plants, each of which has an output of around two megawatts, run exclusively on... Read more →


ABB signed a formal agreement with SAIC Volkswagen to provide robotics painting solutions for the first New Energy Vehicle (NEV) factory of the Volkswagen Group based on the Modular Electric Driver Kit (MEB), an automotive platform specifically designed for the mass production of electric vehicles. Financial details were not disclosed.... Read more →


NextGenAM partners Premium AEROTEC, EOS and Daimler are building a pilot production line for a next-generation automated additive manufacturing (AM) process. The aim of the project is to develop a digitalized next-generation manufacturing line which can produce aluminum components for the automotive and aerospace sectors significantly more cost-effectively than is... Read more →


The BMW Group’s worldwide spare parts logistics center in Dingolfing has recently started piloting autonomous transport platforms. The electrically powered AutoBox helps to move incoming spare parts efficiently from the freight dock to the warehouse. With a deck space of almost 20 square meters, the AutoBox can transport 20 lattice... Read more →


Nissan’s Decherd assembly line is using a mirror bore process in the all-new 2019 Nissan Altima 2.5-liter engine. (At WCX SAE World Congress Experience this year in Detroit, Nissan presented a paper on the development of and technologies applied in the new 2.5L engine for the Altima, including the mirror... Read more →


Volkswagen Group collaborating with Minespider to use blockchain to trace raw material back to point of origin; pilot project on lead

The Volkswagen Group and blockchain specialist Minespider are collaborating to optimize raw material supply chains, eliminate sources of error, and guarantee social and ecological standards. The two will set up a pilot project to achieve transparency in the the global supply chain for lead. Starting in April, Volkswagen will work... Read more →


BMW Group Production is focusing increasingly on easy-to-use and effective virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality applications. VR images, or artificially created images, are ever more realistic and hard to distinguish from real pictures. In AR applications, illustrations complement real images. AR and VR images can be viewed in special... Read more →


Siemens is intensifying its cooperation with the EDAG Group—a leading global independent engineering company for the automotive industry—further to promote industrial applications of additive manufacturing (AM) and to make engineering and production processes more efficient. The “NextGenerationSpaceframe 2.0” intelligent modular system features a combination of bionically designed and additive-manufactured nodes... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars lays foundation for a battery factory at the Untertürkheim site

At the site of the Mercedes-Benz Untertürkheim plant in Germany, the construction of the battery factory at the Brühl sub-plant has begun with the symbolic foundation-laying ceremony. By the end of the decade, Mercedes-Benz Cars will produce high-efficiency traction batteries for future Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles of the EQ product and... Read more →


BYD produces 300th electric bus in Lancaster; AVTA nears 1M emission-free miles

BYD has produced its 300th bus at its Lancaster, Calif. manufacturing plant. BYD is celebrating the milestone with its highly valued customer and neighbor Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA). AVTA is closing in on a landmark of its own: 1 million miles of zero-emission bus operations. AVTA expects to make... Read more →


BMW Group and Microsoft launch Open Manufacturing Platform

At Hannover Messe, Microsoft and the BMW Group announced a new community initiative to enable faster, more cost-effective innovation in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing production and profitability can be hindered by complex, proprietary systems that create data silos and slow productivity. The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) is designed to break... Read more →


DOE to award nearly $5.2M for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation; manufacturing, materials and mobility

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nearly $5.2 million for a new solicitation (FBO423-19) under the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative, the umbrella program for the HPC4Manufacturing (HPC4Mfg), HPC4Materials (HPC4Mtls), and HPC4Mobility programs. The new funding opportunity seeks qualified industry partners to work collaboratively with... Read more →


ArcelorMittal investigates hydrogen-based direct reduction of iron ore for steel production; CDA

To permanently reduce CO2 emissions, steelmaker ArcelorMittal has developed a low-emissions technology strategy, which targets not only the use of alternative feedstocks and the conversion of CO2 emissions, but also the direct avoidance of carbon (Carbon Direct Avoidance, CDA). This year, the Group intends to launch a new project in... Read more →


Ericsson, Audi and Sick demonstrate human-robot interaction in realtime using 5G at Hannover Messe

An the 2019 Hannover Messe, Ericsson, together with Audi and Sick (a leading provider of sensors for industrial automation), is demonstrating human-robot interaction in real time using 5G. In the future, wireless production robots and employees will work hand in hand. Real-time interaction is essential for smooth collaboration. The key... Read more →


Siemens to be integration partner for Volkswagen Industrial Cloud

The Siemens technology group will be the integration partner for the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. (Earlier post.) Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) earlier this week announced the development of the Industrial Cloud; in the future, the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine the data of all machines, plants and systems from... Read more →


SEAT to launch 6 electric and plug-in hybrid models, develop smaller version of MEB for lower-cost EVs

SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, presented its electric strategy which, until the beginning of 2021, includes six electric and plug-in hybrid models. The electric version of the Mii and el-Born will be the brand’s first two fully electric models, while the new generation Leon and the Tarraco will... Read more →


Volkswagen and Amazon Web Services (AWS) will develop the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud together. Both companies announced a multi-year, global agreement jointly to develop this project. In the future, the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud will combine the data of all machines, plants and systems from all 122 facilities of the Volkswagen Group.... Read more →


SEAT has lowered water consumption per car produced by 31% over past 8 years

SEAT has succeeded in lowering its water consumption per car produced by 31% in the past 8 years and is moving towards the goal of achieving 38% by 2025. The paint workshop and the rain test booth are the areas that consume the most water and where most progress has... Read more →


GM to invest $300M in Orion Township plant for new Chevrolet EV

General Motors is investing $300 million in its Orion Township, Michigan, assembly plant to produce a new Chevrolet electric vehicle. The new Chevrolet electric vehicle is in addition to the existing Chevrolet Bolt EV and will be designed and engineered off an advanced version of the current Bolt EV architecture.... Read more →


Audi has put a new service-water supply center into operation at the Ingolstadt site. In conjunction with the existing treatment plant, about half of the wastewater produced at the site can now be recycled and treated for reuse. In this way, Audi will saves up to 500,000 cubic meters of... Read more →


Ford adds 2nd North American site to build BEVs

Ford is expanding its production capacity for the company’s next-generation battery electric vehicles at a second North American plant. Tied to the company’s $11.1-billion investment in global electric vehicles, Ford is expanding its BEV manufacturing footprint to its Flat Rock Assembly plant in southeast Michigan. The plant will become the... Read more →


The Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden is continuing to develop into the Volkswagen Group’s primary test location for trialing innovative technologies. In conjunction with the Wolfsburg and Emden factories, the Gläserne Manufaktur is part of a “technical center” project. The primary idea is to achieve automation of complex work steps within... Read more →


Toyota bumping US investments up to nearly $13B over 5 years; focus on advancing electrification

Toyota announced it will exceed its 2017 pledge to invest $10 billion in the US over five years with a new commitment to reach nearly $13 billion over the same period. Of that, Toyota announced nearly $750 million in five different states, with more to come. The new investments include... Read more →


Volkswagen suggests launch edition of ID. EV may sell out before introduction in September; pre-booking opens 8 May

Volkswagen’s ID. electric vehicle, the first to be based on the MEB, will be presented at the IAA later this year, with pre-bookings for the launch edition opening on 8 May. “Given the interest in the ID. family shown by our dealers, I think it is possible that the launch... Read more →


Porsche investing €600M in Leipzig plant; new body shop for electric Macan

Porsche is investing more than €600 million (US$677 million) to expand its factory in Leipzig. A new body shop with a total area of 75,500 square meters will produce the vehicle bodies for the next generation of the Macan—which will be a fully electric series—from the beginning of the next... Read more →


BASF Ultramid being used for fuel cell components for Mercedes GLC F-CELL

In close cooperation with Joma-Polytec and Mercedes-Benz Fuel Cell GmbH, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, BASF’s engineering plastic Ultramid has successfully been used to manufacture a number of fuel cell system components. This solution is being used as standard in the new Mercedes GLC F-CELL, which combines a fuel cell... Read more →


The High Performance Computing for Manufacturing Program (HPC4Mfg) announced the recipients of $1.2 million in federal funding for four public/private projects aimed at solving key manufacturing challenges in steelmaking and aluminum production through supercomputing. Source: ArcelorMittal. The summer 2018 HPC4Mfg call for proposals, the sixth overall for the program, had... Read more →


Williams Advanced Engineering has developed a pair of innovative technologies that promise a step-change in the affordability of composite materials. Known as 223 and Racetrak, these technologies offer comparable performance to existing composites solutions, but with a range of additional benefits, and at a cost that brings them within reach... Read more →


Audi is testing factory vehicles powered by used lithium-ion batteries at its main plant in Ingolstadt. Like all automobile manufacturers, Audi is obliged by law to take back energy carriers after they have been used in cars. Because they still have a large proportion of their original charging capacity, an... Read more →


FCA to invest $4.5B to expand production capacity in Michigan, electrify Jeep vehicles with PHEV, possible BEV models

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. will invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and will work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its... Read more →


Motiv Power Systems (Motiv), the leading provider of all-electric medium-duty fleet chassis, announced a commitment from Detroit Custom Chassis LLC (DCC) to install Motiv’s all-electric EPIC chassis on the base Ford F-59 platform, which is assembled by its affiliate Detroit Chassis Plant (DCP), both owned by Spectra. DCC assembly line... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars develops blockchain prototype for sustainable supply chains

Mercedes-Benz Cars and Icertis, a leading provider of enterprise contract management solutions in the cloud, have developed a blockchain prototype for consistent documentation of contracts in the supply chain. Daimler requires its direct suppliers to pass on and control standards and contractual obligations with regard to working conditions, human rights,... Read more →


The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is establishing a “Transformation Hub Electric Mobility” to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) with specialized knowledge in the process chain for manufacturing a combustion engine re-orient for electric mobility. The hub is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg with €2.6 million. The Fit4E... Read more →


The BMW Group Plant in Dingolfing in Lower Bavaria will increase the number of Dingolfing-based jobs in the production of e-drive components several times over in the next few years to a total of up to 2,000. In 2018, the share of electrified models more than doubled year-on-year, to around... Read more →


Evonik has developed a new polymer powder for applications in higher temperature range as part of its polyamide 6 series. The product further expands Evonik’s portfolio of high-performance materials for powder-based 3D printing technologies. Evonik’s new polyamide powder features high mechanical strength as well as excellent chemical and temperature resistance.... Read more →


The production of an electric vehicle currently generates significantly more CO2 than that of cars with a combustion engine—around 150% on average. From a lifecycle view, this additional carbon burden is offset compared to the combustion engine vehicle during the use phase, as EVs rack up zero-emission miles that eventually... Read more →


Together with E.ON, Audi is building a solar energy park on the roofs of the two logistics centers of its plant in Győr covering about 160,000 square meters. This will create Europe’s largest photovoltaic system installed on a building at the Audi Hungaria plant in Győr. The system will have... Read more →


KS HUAYU AluTech GmbH—a joint venture between Rheinmetall Automotive and China’s HUAYU Automotive Systems—has developed a new production process for the new Chinese plant in Guangde, a process that is particularly suitable for highly complex engine block geometries and electric motor housings. The process was brought to series maturity in... Read more →


According to a new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report, blockchain technology can not only provide tamper-proof transmission of manufacturing data, it also yields something just as valuable to its users—traceability of that data to all participants in the production process. Because blockchain gives us both capabilities, we... Read more →


In the UK, steelmakers and university experts will partner in a 7-year, £35-million (US$45-million) research network called SUSTAIN. SUSTAIN is led by Swansea University, partnered with the Universities of Sheffield and Warwick, and involves more than twenty partners across the UK steel industry: companies, trade bodies, academic experts and research... Read more →