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 →


Researchers observe new way for metals to bend

A team of researchers has observed a new mechanism for metallic bending. The discovery not only upends previous notions about how metals deform, but could help guide the creation of stronger, more durable materials. AN open-access paper on the study is published in the journal Nature Communications. This creates new... Read more →


Henkel in R&D project SYMPA for 3D printing for final automotive parts; stereolithography with digital light processing

Henkel is partnering in a research and development project called SYMPA, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). The German and Austrian project consortium aims to develop new materials, printing methodologies and post-processing technologies... Read more →


Daimler Buses has equipped its Mannheim bus plant with a central charging station for the fully-electric eCitaro. It can also be used to provide the newly released eCitaro with electricity via a pantograph. The special feature of this charging station is that the charging devices are suspended at a height... Read more →


Adamas: China rare earth consumption for catalytic converters down on weak passenger vehicle production

Adamas Intelligence reports that according to the Association of China Rare Earth Industry (ACREI), China’s domestic manufacturers produced approximately 7.6 million liters of vehicle exhaust gas catalyst in the first half of 2019—a decrease of 13% year-over-year on weak passenger vehicle production. Vehicle exhaust gas catalysts comprising platinum-group metals are... Read more →


Roskill: world copper market size previously underestimated; EVs to account for 3.1-4.0Mt net growth by 2035

Roskill has constructed a comprehensive copper industry reference dataset covering the period 2014-2018, built upon a production, trade and consumption platform of the eleven main markets for semi-manufactures in copper and copper alloys. This new original data has been used to verify historical time series statistics of apparent and reported... Read more →


With a new coating process, researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have produced electrodes for lithium-ion batteries at record speed. At the same time, the new process improves the quality of electrodes and reduces production costs. Precise edges at new record speed: new process considerably increases production capacity of... Read more →


With its EcoPaintJet system, Dürr is presenting an automated application solution that ensures an unprecedented level of precision in applying sharp paint lines, enabling two-tone painting with reduced cost and effort. The EcoPaintJet also offers important benefits in the painting of electric cars. The EcoPaintJet is a quantum leap in... Read more →


Toyota plant in Poland to produce second hybrid transmission in 2021

Starting in 2021, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Poland (TMMP) plans to produce a second electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) at its plant in Wałbrzych. With this €70-million investment, TMMP will also be producing one of the electric motors that is integral to Toyota’s hybrid electric powertrain system. Together with earlier announcements,... Read more →


The aluminum producer Hydro now supplies sustainable aluminum for the battery housing of the Audi e-tron EV. The material is processed and manufactured along the entire process chain in an environmentally friendly manner and under socially acceptable working conditions. This has been confirmed by the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI) with... Read more →


Magna signs its first complete vehicle manufacturing JV in China; EVs with BAIC

Magna and the BAIC Group have signed a framework agreement governing their electric vehicle manufacturing joint venture (earlier post) in Zhenjiang, China, which marks another milestone of their continued cooperation. The transaction, which is pending regulatory approval and other closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of... Read more →


BMW Group Plant Spartanburg doubles battery production capacity

BMW Group Plant Spartanburg in South Carolina has doubled its capacity for production of high-voltage batteries. The plant’s own battery facility now produces the new fourth-generation batteries. These are intended for the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW X5 and the future BMW X3, also produced in Spartanburg. We... Read more →


Volvo Cars Tech Fund invests in Israeli technology start-ups MDGo and UVeye

Volvo Cars has made investments in two Israeli technology start-ups through the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, the company’s venture capital investment arm. Both UVeye and MDGo have their headquarters in Tel Aviv, where Volvo Cars has been involved with DRIVE, an accelerator for young companies in the mobility sector, since... Read more →


BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) has become the first automobile manufacturer to enable full 5G wireless coverage at all its plants. The new wireless standard allows large quantities of data to be transferred within a very short space of time, since data will now be processed in small, high-performance computer centers... Read more →


New database to speed creation of innovative steels

Researchers from the National University of Science and Technology (MISIS) in Russia have developed a database that will help create new grades of steels. This will speed up the process of creating innovative steel grades with specified strength and ductility allow at least 10 times, which will allow manufacturing car... Read more →


The Audi e-tron GT is the first vehicle in the VW Group to dispense with an actual prototype in the 3P (Production Preparation Process) workshops, according to Markus Moinot, Head of Production Planning Processes in Neckarsulm. Using VR glasses and controllers, employees from various departments test all assembly processes entirely... Read more →


BMW Group increasing use of AI in series production

Since 2018, the BMW Group has been using various AI applications in series production. One focus is automated image recognition: In these processes, artificial intelligence evaluates component images in ongoing production and compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same sequence. This way, the AI application... Read more →


Pre-series production of the ID.3 EV has already begun at the Volkswagen plant in Zwickau. The core components for electric cars are developed and produced for the new electric vehicles at the Volkswagen Group Components plants: the electric drive comes from Kassel; the Salzgitter plant supplies its colleagues in Hessen... Read more →


Germany-based AKASOL, a manufacturer of high-performance lithium-ion battery systems for commercial vehicles, plans to open a production facility in the metro Detroit area of Michigan. Opening dedicated operations in North America comes in response to specific demand for the firm’s high energy battery modules from major international manufacturers and will... Read more →


Voltaiq, a developer of advanced battery analytics solutions, has released, in partnership with Total Battery Consulting, an industry survey examining many of the challenges and opportunities battery manufacturers, suppliers and integrators currently face. The global battery industry is facing unprecedented growth and change. Over the next decade, as we continue... Read more →


Leading UK scientists set out resource challenge of meeting EV targets by 2050

UK Natural History Museum Head of Earth Sciences Prof Richard Herrington and fellow expert members of SoS MinErals (an interdisciplinary program of NERC-EPSRC-Newton-FAPESP funded research) recently wrote a letter to the UK Committee on Climate Change pointing out that meeting UK electric car targets for 2050 would require production of... Read more →


DOE to award $89M for innovative manufacturing technologies

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced $89 million to support innovative, advanced manufacturing research and development projects (DE-FOA-0001980). This Department of Energy (DOE) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) tackles key priorities such as domestic manufacturing for energy storage. US manufacturers have created almost 500,000 jobs since 2017 and more than 250,000... Read more →


Volkswagen opens IT Center in the Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden; Volkswagen Industrial Cloud

Volkswagen has opened a new IT Development Center in its Gläserne Manufaktur in Dresden. In Software Development Center Production (SDC Production), up to 80 newly hired IT specialists will be working on the Volkswagen Industrial Cloud. In the future, the Industrial Cloud will link all 122 Group-wide Volkswagen production facilities.... Read more →


Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have demonstrated an advanced friction extrusion manufacturing process to produce nanostructured rods and tubes directly from high-performance aluminum alloy powder in a single step. Using a novel Solid Phase Processing (SPP) approach, the research team eliminated several steps that are required during conventional... Read more →


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 →