The BMW Group is using Blockchain technology in purchasing to ensure the traceability of components and raw materials in multi-stage international supply chains. In 2019, we conducted a successful pilot project for purchasing front lights. This year, we want to expand the project to a large number of other suppliers.... Read more →


Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), part of the Daimler Trucks family, plans to start the series production of fuel-cell trucks by the late 2020s. At the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show in October, MFTBC unveiled the Vision F-CELL, a light-duty fuel-cell concept truck. The Vision F-CELL delivers 135 kW... Read more →


6K, a leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials, has entered the energy storage market with a new division called 6K ENERGY dedicated to energy storage materials. The move follows three years of internal development supported by commercial customers and the US Department of Energy... Read more →


Faced with the compelling need for more respirators, the French government asked a group of French industrial companies led by Air Liquide to study the possibility of increasing the production of respirators so as to provide 10,000 respirators in 50 days, between the beginning of April and mid-May. In response,... Read more →


As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, it created a critical shortage of face masks. To help protect workers in essential services across the country, GM launched a rapid-response project to produce masks at scale on 20 March. Seven days later, the team had produced its first sample on... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, will begin producing in Michigan the Airon pNeuton model A ventilator with the goal to produce 50,000 of the needed units within 100 days and up to 30,000 a month thereafter as needed. Established in 1997, Airon Corporation is a privately held... Read more →


The SEAT Leon line at the Martorell, Spain, plant is producing automated ventilators to collaborate with the healthcare system in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Going from producing cars to ventilators in record time is the result of the intense work of many SEAT employees. The motivation of everyone... Read more →


Hyundai Motor to establish Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore

Hyundai Motor Company will establish a Hyundai Mobility Global Innovation Center in Singapore (HMGICs) to accelerate its innovation efforts, with support from the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). The new innovative lab will be located in Singapore’s Jurong Innovation District. HMGICs will occupy a footprint of 44,000 m2 with the... Read more →


An international team of researchers led by Hao Chen of Tsinghua University has developed a unique chemical boundary engineering (CBE) approach significantly to improve steel’s physical properties. In an open-access paper in Science Advances, the team reports that when applied to plain steels with carbon content of only up to... Read more →


On 20 March, GM announced a cooperation with Ventec Life Systems to increase production of Ventec’s multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. (Earlier post.) One week later, on 27 March, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), directing the Scretary of Health and... Read more →


Volkswagen AG is releasing employees with medical qualifications for up to 15 working days with full pay if they volunteer for work in the public health service. As of 27 March, there were 42,288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Germany—a country-wide average of 51 cases per 100,000 population (0.05%)—with 253... Read more →


INEOS, a leading chemcial manufacturer, announced it will build a UK factory to produce 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer per month within 10 days and will replicate this in Germany. These will be produced according to World Health Organisation specifications and be specifically designed to kill bacteria and viruses.... Read more →


Ford Motor Company, joining forces with firms including 3M and GE Healthcare, is lending its manufacturing and engineering expertise to expand quickly production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting COVID-19. In addition, Ford plans to assemble more than 100,000 face shields... Read more →


As a response to the growing time and cost pressures facing vehicle manufacturers seeking to develop latest generation automotive electrification technologies, MAHLE Powertrain has opened a new, dedicated facility for the extensive testing of battery modules. The facility, based at the powertrain specialist’s Northampton (UK) technical center, enables the strip-down... Read more →


Showa Denko Packaging Co., Ltd. (SPA), a consolidated subsidiary of Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), has developed a new product to be added to the lineup of SPALF aluminum laminate film used as packaging material for pouch-type lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), and will mass-produce the new product. This new product is specialized... Read more →


Stratasys Ltd. announced a global mobilization of the company’s 3D printing resources and expertise to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, spanning its Stratasys, GrabCAD, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing and partner network with donated printing capacity across all regions. The initial focus is on providing thousands of disposable face shields for use... Read more →


COVID-19 infection at Toyota Takaoka plant

Toyota announced that a second male, full-time employee in his 20s working as a line worker at its Takaoka Plant in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee in question (Employee “B”) was a close contact of the Toyota employee who tested positive for COVID-19... Read more →


GM and Ventec Life Systems, in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the US’ coordinated private sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating to enable Ventec to increase production of its multi-function ventilator VOCSN to support the growing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Ventec’s VOCSN seamlessly integrates five separate devices including a Ventilator, Oxygen... Read more →


More auto plant shutdowns for COVID-19

Joining BMW, Ford and FCA in suspension of production in the US due to COVID-19 (earlier post) are: Toyota is temporarily suspending production at all of its automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the US, through 3 April. Nissan will suspend production of its manufacturing... Read more →


GM, Ford, FCA to suspend production temporarily in N. America

General Motors will begin a systematic orderly suspension of manufacturing operations in North America due to market conditions, to deep clean facilities and continue to protect people. The suspension will last until at least March 30. Production status will be reevaluated week-to-week after that. we have agreed to a systematic,... Read more →


DOE announces $3M to improve manufacturing processes through high performance computing

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $3 million for high-performance computing, modeling, and simulation projects to improve manufacturing processes. DOE will fund projects that aim to achieve national energy savings and improve or reduce the lifecycle energy consumption of the critical materials supply chain. Applicants are highly... Read more →


The Thailand Board of Investment announced that Thailand has received more foreign direct investment supporting the country’s growing electric vehicle production ecosystem. According to the Electric Vehicle Association of Thailand, the number of companies that are part of Thailand’s electric vehicle industry has risen significantly since 2015, from 76 to... Read more →


Volvo Cars is significantly cutting CO2 emissions in its logistics operations by switching transports between its manufacturing plants and new car depots from trucks to trains. Especially in Europe, where trucks are still ubiquitous in transporting new cars to distribution depots and dealerships in individual markets, the company is in... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed an airless paint atomizer that uses static electricity instead of air to replace the conventional air paint atomizers used in the vehicle body painting process. The newly developed airless painter, the first of its kind, achieves more than 95% coating efficiency (the amount of paint... Read more →


As the Volkswagen Chattanooga factory ramps up production of the new Atlas Cross Sport, and lays groundwork for assembling the next generation of Volkswagen electric vehicles planned to begin in 2022, engineers are using augmented reality (AR) goggles to design production lines and help spot potential issues. Different colors indicate... Read more →


Renault Trucks is beginning serial production of its D and D Wide Z.E. electric trucks (earlier post) in its Blainville-sur-Orne plant in Normandy. The factory, which has been operating since 1957, specializes in the production of medium-duty vehicles and truck cabins; 240 cabins are made every day and 72 distribution... Read more →


As part of a three-year research project supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, the BMW Group and three partner companies from Bavaria are exploring the possibilities for making BMW Group Plant Dingolfing a smart factory for logistics. The “Autonomous and Connected Logistics” research project... Read more →


Honda, like other automakers, has is focused on reducing the weight of its vehicle components, from body frames and engines down to the bolts. To achieve a reductive design, the structure and materials used in every part must be scrutinized. The latest target for Honda R&D is the crankshaft. Crankshafts... Read more →


FCA will invest $400 million to repurpose an idled transmission plant in Kokomo, Ind., to build the GMET4 engine—the Company’s 2.0-liter Global Medium Engine inline four-cylinder turbo that is currently offered on the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Cherokee. The 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine is part of FCA’s Global Medium Engine... Read more →


Volvo Cars formally inaugurated a new battery assembly line at its Belgian manufacturing plant in Ghent, where it will start building its first fully electric car, the XC40 Recharge P8, later this year. Volvo XC40 Recharge powertrain The XC40 Recharge P8 is the first of a family of fully electric... Read more →


At an event in the GM Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan, General Motors unveiled the core of its new strategy to grow the company’s EV sales quickly, efficiently and profitably. The heart of GM’s strategy is a modular propulsion system and a highly flexible, third-generation global EV platform powered... Read more →


In their most recent collaboration, Henkel and Covestro have developed a solution enabling the efficient fixation of cylindrical li-ion battery cells inside a plastic cell holder. The solution is based on a UV-curing adhesive from Henkel and a UV-transparent polycarbonate blend from Covestro. With a strong consumer push to reduce... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars has begun production of the first Mercedes-Benz compact vehicles with plug-in hybrid drive (earlier post) at the Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant in southern Germany. Supported by a systematic digitization of production processes, Mercedes-Benz Rastatt plant and its workers have implemented the simultaneous ramp up of two body variants: The... Read more →


Mining giant Rio Tinto will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets and a company objective for net zero emissions from operations by 2050. The new targets for 2030 are: A further 30% reduction in Rio Tinto’s emissions... Read more →


Researchers at the US Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners have developed a new methodology to identify which mineral commodities important to US manufacturing are at greatest risk to supply disruption. The risk tool identified 23 mineral commodities posing the greatest risk. The methodology evaluated the global supply of and... Read more →


Eurasian Resources Group plans NCM material plant for EV batteries

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a leading diversified natural resources group, is assessing the construction of a battery material plant to produce nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor materials for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The Group is evaluating technical solutions offered by engineering firms BGRIMM Technology Group from China and Outotec from Finland,... Read more →


Global Power Synergy PLC (GPSC) is building a battery manufacturing facility in Thailand using 24M’s novel SemiSolid lithium-ion technology (earlier post). GPSC is the main power and utility company of PTT Group. GPSC is a long-time partner of 24M. (Earlier post.) In May 2019, 24M delivered 40 grid-scale, 110 Amp-Hour... Read more →


Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), together with partners at the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) are developing an agile production system for batteries. The German Ministry of Science, Research and Art Baden-Württemberg (MWK) is funding... Read more →


Niobium is a metal primarily used by the steel industry as a ferroalloy strengthening element. High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel accounts for about 90% of niobium usage with an average content of about 0.03% Nb. Adding niobium reduces the amount and weight of steel required, an important feature for... Read more →


Rio Tinto approved a $98-million investment in a new solar plant at the new Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, Australia, as well as a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara power network. The $2.6-billion Koodaideri mine was approved in November last year with construction commencing... Read more →


Rare earth elements (REEs) are vital materials for modern technologies. The US National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is collaborating with the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to demonstrate a novel process for the extraction of REEs from coal using plasma. REEs, which represent the 15 elements of... Read more →


DOE awards $187M to support innovative advanced manufacturing R&D, including $65.9M for batteries

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced approximately $187 million in funding, including $48 million of cost-share, for 55 projects in 25 states to support innovative advanced manufacturing research and development. These projects address high-impact manufacturing technology, materials, and process challenges. The DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s... Read more →


ZF Friedrichshafen AG is joining the Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP), which was announced in 2019 by the BMW Group and Microsoft. The OMP is an open industrial IoT platform to accelerate production and logistics optimization efforts. (Earlier post.) The aim of this initiative is to enable faster and more cost-effective... Read more →


BMW’s press shop in Dingolfing—the largest of the BMW Group worldwide—is the first in which all aluminum sheet waste is separated and recycled to make it reusable for industry. The BMW Group has invested around €6.5 million euros in the technical retrofitting of the Dingolfing press shop for the implementation.... Read more →


BASF will build a new battery materials production site in Schwarzheide, Germany, as part of its multi-step investment plan to support the European electric vehicle (EV) value chain. BASF’s production site Schwarzheide is located in the Lausitz region of southern Brandenburg, Germany, and is one of the company’s largest production... Read more →


ASI certifies one Novelis facility against Performance Standard, two against Chain of Custody Standard

The Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) announced that Novelis’ plant in Ohle, Germany has been successfully certified against the ASI Performance Standard for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminum. The Ohle plant supplies foil and packaging products to such diverse applications as coffee capsules, foil trays for the food industry,... Read more →


SEAT is the first industrial manufacturer in Europe to have outdoor, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) with SLAM navigation (simultaneous localization and mapping), 4G connection and inductive charging for the batteries. To date, eight AGVs are operating outside the production workshops at the Martorell plant to automate the transport of parts.... Read more →


IVECO and FPT Industrial, the commercial vehicle and powertrain brands of CNH Industrial N.V., and Nikola Motor Company will manufacture, through their European joint venture, the Nikola TRE in Ulm, Germany, at the IVECO manufacturing facility. This strategic and exclusive heavy-duty truck partnership saw CNH Industrial taking a $250-million stake... Read more →


The BMW Group is expanding production capacity and increasing its staff at the Competence Center for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing faster than originally planned. Due to growing demand for electrified vehicles, the plant expects the number of modules needed for production of high-voltage batteries to double from the previous year.... Read more →


Together with start-up Circulor, Mercedes-Benz is conducting a pilot project for transparency on CO2 emissions in the cobalt supply chain as part of STARTUP AUTOBAHN. The project partners use blockchain technology to track the emissions of climate-relevant gases as well as the amount of secondary material along the complex supply... Read more →