SK Innovation signs 6-year agreement with Glencore for up to 30K tonnes cobalt; batteries for 3M EVs

SK Innovation has signed a six-year agreement with Glencore for up to around 30,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in hydroxide between 2020 and 2025. Glencore projects approximately 30,000 tonnes of cobalt production per year through 2022 with its Katanga mine in Africa (DRC). SK Innovation said that by signing the... Read more →


GM, LG Chem to form JV, invest $2.3B to build new EV battery cell plant in Ohio

General Motors and LG Chem are partnering to mass-produce battery cells for future battery-electric vehicles. Together, the companies will invest up to a total of $2.3 billion through a new, equally-owned joint venture company. The JV will establish a battery cell assembly plant on a greenfield manufacturing site in the... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars has opened a factory for plug-in hybrid (PHEV) batteries in the Bangkok region in Thailand. The new battery factory was built on a 50,000 m² site located at the vehicle manufacturing plant in the Bangkok region. The new plant is the third production facility in the company’s global... Read more →


BMW Group investing €400M in Plant Dingolfing for production of BMW iNEXT EV

The BMW Group is investing around €400 million in its Dingolfing vehicle plant for production of the BMW iNEXT. In doing this, it is preparing for the manufacture of pure battery-electric and highly automated BMW cars at its largest European production location. With the launch of the BMW iNEXT in... Read more →


Volkswagen Group says environmental impact per produced vehicle down 37% from 2010

The Volkswagen Group says that it is making faster progress towards sustainable and efficient production while also making good progress towards reducing its production costs. We are producing more environmentally friendly than ever. From 2010 to the end of 2019, the environmental impact per produced vehicle is expected to drop... Read more →


ArcelorMittal invests in new sustainability program across Europe; ResponsibleSteel site certification

ArcelorMittal plans to roll out a new sustainability program across Europe, aiming to secure ResponsibleSteel site certification for all its ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products sites. The 12-month program will enable each site to prove that the company’s production processes meet rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social,... Read more →


The BMW Group and Great Wall Motor have launched a new joint venture—Spotlight Automotive Limited—and are building a joint plant in China, where the BMW Group will produce future fully-electric models of its MINI brand. The plant will have a standard capacity of up to 160,000 vehicles per year, which... Read more →


Audi increases upfront expenditure for electric mobility; €12B by 2024

Audi AG plans an outlay of approximately €37 billion for research and development expenditure and investment in property, plant and equipment over the next five years (2020 to 2024). The current planning reflects a significant improvement in investment and cost discipline, as well as the strong prioritization of investments in... Read more →


Largest pilot plant for CO2-neutral production of hydrogen begins operation at voestalpine site in Linz

What is currently the world’s largest pilot plant for the CO2-neutral production of hydrogen has successfully commenced operation at the voestalpine site in Linz, simultaneously setting an international milestone in the advancement of new energy supply options. As part of the EU-funded H2FUTURE project, partners voestalpine, VERBUND, Siemens, Austrian Power... Read more →


Rio Tinto approves $749M investment in Pilbara iron ore mine; lower GHG, autonomous haulage

Rio Tinto has approved a $749-million (A$1-billion) investment in its existing Greater Tom Price operations (100% owned) to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia. The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine will facilitate mining of... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


Valmet Automotive has started the production of EV battery packs in its new plant in Salo, Finland. The battery plant project has progressed on schedule, and with the ramp up of production volumes, Valmet Automotive will continue recruiting more employees to the Salo plant. Valmet Automotive has completed the first... Read more →


General Motors and Isuzu announced a $175-million investment through their DMAX joint venture to build an all-new, diesel engine components plant in Brookville, Ohio. The new 251,000 square-foot facility would expand the production of critical engine components for the company’s current DMAX diesel engine manufacturing operation in Moraine, Ohio. 2017... Read more →


Volkswagen will assemble its ID.3 EV at the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden in addition to the Zwickau plant. The ID.3 is the first model in the latest generation that Volkswagen is putting on the road under its global electric offensive. Following on from Zwickau, Dresden now becomes the second assembly... Read more →


Volkswagen of America marked the start of construction for its electric vehicle production facility. The Chattanooga site, where EV production will begin in 2022, will be Volkswagen’s North American assembly base for electric vehicles based on the Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). The company also announced it intends to build... Read more →


DOE awards $3.6M to High Performance Computing projects in manufacturing, materials and mobility

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.6 million to 12 projects under its High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative. Selected projects will receive access to the National Laboratories’ high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and expertise to help address key challenges in US manufacturing, material, and mobility development.... Read more →


The new plant of The SAIC Volkswagen joint venture’s new plant—which is dedicated to production of all electric vehicles on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB)—has been completed in Anting, Shanghai. Celebrating the start of pre-production, a first China-specific all-electric Volkswagen ID. model rolled off the production line. The start... Read more →


New EV OEM Lordstown Motors buys GM plant, licenses Workhorse IP

Lordstown Motors Corp. (LMC), a new original equipment manufacturer (OEM), has acquired the GM manufacturing complex in Lordstown, Ohio. The move paves the way for LMC to begin production of the Endurance all-electric pickup truck, purpose-built for fleets starting in late 2020. The LMC entity was created in connection with,... Read more →


DOE announces up to $4M for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $4 million for new projects to support manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation. The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative, managed by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), is seeking qualified... Read more →


ABB opens new plant for battery systems for mobility applications in Baden

ABB officially opened a new plant for energy storage systems for mobility applications today in Baden, Switzerland. The energy storage systems will be used in railways, e-buses/trolleybuses and e-trucks. The facility represents an important investment in Switzerland as a production location. ABB has already received orders for energy storage systems... Read more →


ArcelorMittal entered into a licensing agreement of its Usibor part processing technology patent with AK Steel. This licensing agreement is a part of the settlement of a patent infringement case that has been pending in the Federal District Court for the District of Delaware between the two companies. The result... Read more →


Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation (TDX) and Spain’s Gestamp, a multinational specialized in the design, development and manufacture of highly engineered metal components for top vehicle manufacturers, are cooperating in a project to bring advanced monitoring and analysis to the welding of vehicle chassis parts. By drawing on know-how from... Read more →


Audi developing robotic process automation (RPA); as of 2020 also in combination with AI

Audi is now developing software robots (bots) to carry out monotonous tasks for employees at PC workstations. The digital robots can perform tasks such as entering data or creating standardized reports faster, more efficiently and without errors. The company wants to relieve its employees of such work so that they... Read more →


FCA to build battery assembly plant in Turin

FCA will build a new battery assembly complex in Turin as part of its overall e-mobility strategy. The new “Battery Hub” will be located in the Mirafiori complex and preparations will begin in early 2020. The initial investment will be approximately €50 million. This strategy has been at the center... Read more →


Umicore opens new facility for the production of fuel cell catalysts in Korea

Umicore inaugurated its new production facility for fuel cell catalysts in SongDo Incheon City (Seoul area), Korea, close to Umicore’s technology development center for catalysts. The facility will support the growth of Hyundai Motors Group as well as other automotive customers. Umicore expects to ramp up production in 2020 and... Read more →


Rio Tinto started the commissioning of industry-leading filter press technology at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Québec, Canada, six weeks ahead of plan and under its CAD $250-million budget. The new filter presses will deliver environmental benefits by moving the refinery to dry stacking of bauxite residue and extend the... Read more →


ArcelorMittal is adding to its family of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the auto industry with the development of Fortiform 980 Extragal (-GI) in North America. With the second generation of steels, body engineers had some limitations in using the higher strength grades for parts that play a role... Read more →


CATL starts construction of Li-ion factory in Germany; 14 GWh by 2022

China-based Li-ion battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) has begun construction of its first lithium-ion battery factory in Thuringia, a state in east-central Germany. CATL has developed partnerships with a number of European companies in the automobile industry including BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler, Volvo, and Bosch. Germany is home... Read more →


ORNL, University of Toledo to collaborate on advanced materials, manufacturing research for vehicle applications

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Toledo have entered into a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research into the advanced design and manufacturing of high-strength, intelligent, lightweight materials for use by the automotive sector. The partnership brings together the manufacturing, carbon fiber and... Read more →


Airbus and LM Industries create mobility startup Neorizon; digital manufacturing

Airbus and LM Industries, the the parent company of Local Motors and Launch Forth, have formed Neorizon to provide disruptive and innovative products with an initial focus on local mobility and autonomy. The Neorizon microfactory is intended to build products at unprecedented speeds through the combination of co-creation and cutting-edge... Read more →


Aerojet Rocketdyne teams with NASA to develop novel rocket engine technology; 3D printing

Aerojet Rocketdyne has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to design and manufacture a lightweight rocket engine thrust chamber assembly using innovative additive manufacturing processes and materials. The goal of the project is to reduce manufacturing costs and make a thrust chamber that is... Read more →


Webasto, a global systems partner to the automotive industry, has started the production of batteries for electric vehicles in Germany. The manufacture of battery packs for a European bus maker has already commenced at the company’s Schierling site in the district of Regensburg. From the beginning of 2020 the company... Read more →


Rio Tinto, China Baowu, Tsinghua U sign MOU to explore improving environmental performance across steel value chain

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Baowu Steel Group (China’s largest steel producer) and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. The China Iron... Read more →


Honda secures auto industry’s largest renewable energy purchase; 60% reduction in CO2 from N.A. manufacturing operations

Seeking to slash CO2 emissions from its North American manufacturing operations, Honda has entered into long-term virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for renewable wind and solar power that will cover more than 60% of the electricity that Honda uses in North America. These VPPAs will enable Honda to fully offset... Read more →


Volkswagen Group starts battery cell development and production in Salzgitter

Volkswagen has opened a pilot line for battery cells at the Volkswagen Group Center of Excellence in Salzgitter. Some 300 experts are involved in developing, testing and piloting innovative manufacturing technologies for the production of lithium-ion batteries. In a first step, Volkswagen is investing more than €100 million in amassing... Read more →


Audi has set the goal of successively reducing vehicle-specific CO2 emissions by 30% by 2025 compared with reference year 2015 and over the entire product lifecycle. In the long term, Audi is pursuing the vision of CO2-neutral mobility and aims to be climate-neutral throughout the company on balance by 2050.... Read more →


Volkswagen investing in climate protection projects to compensate for unavoidable CO2 emissions

Volkswagen is investing in climate protection projects to compensate for unavoidable CO2. The first project, Katingan Mentaya, a forest protection project on the Indonesian island of Borneo, compensates for the currently still unavoidable CO2 emissions from the supply chain, production and delivery of the new Volkswagen e-vehicle ID.3, as well... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation has developed a stationary fuel cell generator (FC generator) that makes use of the fuel cell system (FC system) equipped in the Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV). The FC generator has been installed within the Honsha plant grounds in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, and verification tests... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Michigan have mapped the annual flow of steel in the US, with the goal of achieving a detailed understanding of the flow to target increased material efficiency and the development of the circular economy. The results of the material flow analysis (MFA), published in the... Read more →


Toyota investing additional $391M in San Antonio truck assembly plant

Toyota is investing an additional $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant. Once the new investment is complete, the plant’s total investment will exceed $3 billion. This is Toyota’s third investment at its San Antonio truck plant which assembles the full-size Tundra and mid-size Tacoma pickup trucks; the... Read more →


At its paint shop in Győr, Hungary, Audi is testing a new method of body sealing. Before a car is given its paint finish, a paste-like sealing material is applied to areas such as the weld seams. This improves vehicle acoustics, guards against corrosion and seals off the interior. The... Read more →


BMW Group Thailand has inaugurated local high-voltage battery production plant in partnership with the DRÄXLMAIER Group, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers and a partner of BMW Group since 1966. BMW Group Thailand launched the local assembly lines in July 2019 at the DRÄXLMAIER Group plant. The high-voltage battery... Read more →


Series production of Volkswagen’s ID.3 electric vehicle will start at the Zwickau vehicle plant in November. Currently, the last robots are being installed and the assembly line is being commissioned. At Zwickau, Volkswagen is converting an entire vehicle plant from 100% internal combustion engines to 100% electric vehicles for the... Read more →


Toyota is preparing to apply the philosophy and technology of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) to elevate the design and driving performance of its small cars with the debut of the GA-B platform. The first TNGA platform—the GA-C platform for mid-sized cars—is the foundation for advances in the driving... Read more →


Volvo Trucks North America is utilizing 3D printing technology to produce tools and fixtures used in the manufacturing process at its New River Valley (NRV) plant in Dublin, Virginia, where all trucks for the North American market are built. The implementation of 3D–printed manufacturing tools enables quicker production and continuous... Read more →


Hyundai Motor Group has developed the new Vest EXoskeleton (VEX), a wearable robot created to assist industrial workers who spend long hours working in overhead environments. The VEX enhances productivity and reduces fatigue of industrial workers by imitating the movement of human joints to boost load support and mobility. The... Read more →


Polestar, the electric performance brand jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding, opened its first production facility. Polestar also announced its World Manufacturing Identifier, which officiates the brand as a standalone car company. The new Polestar Production Center in Chengdu, China will produce the Polestar 1—a carbon... Read more →


Researchers in the UK report that, with a bit of management, a largely untended slag heap could absorb significant amounts of CO2, partially offsetting the emissions from steel production. Their open-access paper is published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology. Pullin et al. Steel slag is a by-product... Read more →


BASF and Toray Advanced Composites sign supply agreement to bring CFRT tape to the automotive industry

Toray Advanced Composites and BASF signed a manufacturing and supply agreement focused on the production of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRT) tapes for the automotive and industrial markets. Toray Advanced Composites will produce high quality and affordable CFRT tapes using Ultramid engineering thermoplastics developed and produced by BASF. The fiber... Read more →