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 →


Engineers at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering have developed a way to weld the super-strong but lightweight aluminum alloy known as AA 7075. Developed in the 1940s, AA 7075 long held promise for use in automobile manufacturing, except for one key obstacle. Although it’s nearly as strong as steel... Read more →


Volkswagen Group Components to start series production of flexible fast charging station in 2020; replacing heat exchanger production

Volkswagen Group Components—the new brand within the Volkswagen Group that supplies components including engines, gearboxes, electric drive systems, steering systems and seats towards e-mobility—will begin series production of the flexible fast charging station (earlier post) from 2020 onwards. This station, based on the principle of a powerbank, can charge up... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars to build battery factory in Jawor, Poland; ninth in its global network

Mercedes-Benz Cars will build a battery factory at the site in Jawor, Poland, and thus extend its global battery production network to nine factories. We will electrify the complete portfolio until 2022 and will be able to offer in each segment various electrified alternatives to our customers. This includes more... Read more →


Toyota and Panasonic to establish automotive prismatic battery JV

Toyota Motor Corporation and Panasonic Corporation have concluded a business-integration contract and a joint-venture contract toward the establishment of a new joint venture related to the automotive prismatic battery business by the end of 2020 (pending approval from the competition-law authorities in the countries and regions concerned). Toyota will hold... Read more →


LIBCOIN-BHEL consortium in discussions to build Indian Government’s first Li-ion Gigafactory; to scale up to 30 GWh

Magnis Energy Technologies Limited announced that the Government of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises advises that Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) and LIBCOIN (20% owned by Magnis) are in discussions to build India’s first Li-ion battery gigafactory. BHEL is India’s largest power generation equipment manufacturer; the government... Read more →


Ford, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem, RCS Global launch blockchain pilot to address concerns in strategic mineral supply chains; cobalt to start

Ford Motor Company, Huayou Cobalt, IBM, LG Chem and RCS Global will use blockchain technology to trace and validate ethically sourced minerals in an effort to support human rights and environmental protection while helping infuse more transparency into global mineral supply chains. The group, which includes participants at each major... Read more →


Volkswagen AG announced that Chattanooga, Tenn. will be the company’s North American base for manufacturing electric vehicles based on the modular electric toolkit MEB. This expansion of Volkswagen’s US footprint will include an investment of $800 million into the Chattanooga facility and create 1,000 jobs at the plant, plus additional... Read more →


A new computational model could potentially boost efficiencies and profits in natural gas production by better predicting previously hidden fracture mechanics while accurately accounting for the known amounts of gas released during the process. By considering the closure of preexisting fractures caused by tectonic events in the distant past and... Read more →


For the first time thyssenkrupp has produced ammonia from steel mill gases, marking the first time in the world that steel mill gases, including the CO2 they contain, have been converted into ammonia. The production represents a further milestone in the Carbon2Chem project, which is being funded by the German... Read more →


Customers can now get a much closer look at their Volkswagen e-Golf during production in Germany. In the Transparent Factory in Dresden, customers can accompany their future e-Golf a part of the way along the production line. Under the expert guidance of the factory’s employees, the customer is able to... Read more →


Mazda Motor Corporation, working separately with Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation and JFE Steel Corporation, has developed the world’s first cold-stamped vehicle body parts made from 1,310 MPa-class high-strength steel. The parts are used in Mazda’s new-generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which will underpin upcoming models starting from the all-new Mazda3.... Read more →


SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, has joined Alastria, the first semi-public multi-sectorial consortium which aims to provide a venue for digital cooperation in an independent, neutral network in which blockchain technology-based products and services are developed. SEAT is the first car manufacturer to join this network of more... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz Cars plants to source electricity from German wind farms

Mercedes-Benz Cars has entered into a power purchase agreement with Statkraft, Europe’s largest producer of renewable energy, enabling Mercedes-Benz Cars to source electricity directly from wind farms in Germany, whose subsidies from the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) expire after 2020. Because the agreement with Mercedes-Benz Cars will contribute to the... Read more →


Volkswagen Toolmaking opens 3-D printing center; HP Metal Jet binder jetting system

The Volkswagen brand’s Toolmaking unit is adding a 3-D printing center to its facilities in Wolfsburg. With the opening of the center, the unit is bringing the most highly advanced generation of 3-D printers to the Volkswagen Group, which will allow the production of complex vehicle parts in the future.... Read more →


BMW investing €200M in Munich plant to prep for series production of i4 EV in 2021

The BMW Group is investing around €200 million in its Munich plant in preparation for series production of the BMW i4 electric vehicle, which will be manufactured at the company’s headquarters starting in 2021. The BMW Group is pursuing the strategy of producing fully electric vehicles together with plug-in hybrids... Read more →


Arc welding generates welding fume that is hazardous for human health. A team from the Far Eastern Federal University in Russia, with other colleagues in Russia and Greece, has focused on the key characteristics, as well as dispersion models, of welding fumes within a work zone. An open-access paper on... Read more →


The BMW Group Leipzig plant is commissioning 70 more hydrogen-powered tugger trains (indoor tugs). These are used in production to supply the assembly lines with supplier parts. The BMW Group is working in a consortium including Fronius (manufacturer of fuel cell systems for forklift trucks), Linde Material Handling (goods handling... Read more →


The BMW Group is increasingly relying on innovations from the fields of digitalization and Industry 4.0 in production logistics. The focus is on applications such as logistics robots, autonomous transport systems at plants and digitalization projects for an end-to-end supply chain. Staff can control logistics processes from mobile devices such... Read more →


BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics launch cross-industry project to support sustainable cobalt mining

As part of a cross-industry initiative, the BMW Group, BASF SE, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electronics have launched a joint cobalt pilot project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A contract to this effect between the companies, together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, will aim... Read more →


GM restructuring; changing product development, production; 5 NA & 2 international plants shutting next year; staff reduction

General Motors on Monday outlined a series of major restructuring steps that it said would accelerate its transformation for the future, building on the strategy it laid out in 2015 to strengthen its core business, to capitalize on the future of personal mobility and to drive significant cost efficiencies. These... Read more →


Albemarle signs exclusivity agreement with Mineral Resources for 50/50 lithium JV in W. Australia; $1.15B deal

Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, signed an Exclusivity Agreement (Agreement) with Mineral Resources Limited in relation to the potential creation of a 50/50 joint venture (JV) to own and operate the Wodgina hard rock lithium mine and ultimately develop an integrated lithium hydroxide operation at... Read more →


Volkswagen to change Emden and Hanover to become electric vehicle plants by 2022

Following Zwickau, Volkswagen intends to change its plants at Emden and Hanover in Germany over to the production of electric vehicles. After Zwickau, Volkswagen is therefore establishing its second e-mobility center in Germany in Lower Saxony. At a works meeting held on Wednesday in Emden, HR Board Member Gunnar Kilian... Read more →


Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) has developed the what it says is the world’s first general-purpose hydrogen burner for industrial use in collaboration with Chugai Ro Co., Ltd. The burner is now in use at the forging line in Toyota’s Honsha Plant. In conventional hydrogen burners, hydrogen reacts rapidly with oxygen,... Read more →


Novelis plans Customer Solution Centers to innovate alongside automotive customers

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... Read more →


The BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant in Germany will supply the batteries for the all-electric MINI to be built in late 2019 in Oxford, South England. The batteries for the vehicle will come from the new battery production facility in Dingolfing; the electric motors from the neighboring BMW Group plant in... Read more →


Volkswagen Group China is beginning construction in Anting of the Group’s first factory specifically designed for the Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. The first model that will be produced in the factory of SAIC Volkswagen will be an electric Volkswagen brand SUV in 2020. Together with the FAW-Volkswagen factory... Read more →


Audi plans to apply machine learning (ML) in series production. The software Audi has developed recognizes and marks the finest cracks in sheet metal parts— automatically, reliably and in a matter of seconds. With this project, Audi is promoting artificial intelligence at the company and revolutionizing the testing process in... Read more →


BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore partner to develop sustainable life-cycle loop for EV batteries in Europe

The BMW Group, Northvolt and Umicore have formed a joint technology consortium in order to work closely together on the continued development of a complete and sustainable value chain for battery cells for electrified vehicles in Europe. The chief objective is to make battery cells sustainable by establishing a closed... Read more →


Novelis breaks ground on automotive aluminum facility in Changzhou, China; $180M investment to double capacity in 2020

Novelis, the global leader in aluminum rolling and recycling, broke ground on the expansion of its automotive aluminum manufacturing facility in Changzhou, China. The $180-million investment will double the facility’s production capacity of heat-treated aluminum sheet by 100,000 metric tons in order to better meet the growing demand for automotive... Read more →


BMW Group extends JV contract with Brilliance to 2040, increases stake to 75%; €3B investment in plants

The BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. (CBA) announced the early extension of the joint venture contract for BMW Brilliance Automotive (BBA) and the further deepening of the existing successful collaboration. The extended contract is valid for 22 years (from 2018 to 2040). Furthermore, the BMW Group intends... Read more →


The Volkswagen brand has introduced a new production strategy—TRANSFORM.TOGETHER—which targets a 30% increase in productivity worldwide by 2025 compared to 2018. Production is therefore making a major contribution to achieving the profitability target of over 6% for the brand. We must invest heavily in our future. Electromobility, autonomous driving, new... Read more →


DOE awards $1.2M to four vehicle and hydrogen projects under High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced $1.2 million in funding for four projects—two with the Vehicle Technologies Office and two with the Fuel Cell Technologies Office—under the High Performance Computing for Materials (HPC4Mtls) Program. This program aims to utilize the high performance computing (HPC) of DOE’s national laboratories to help... Read more →


DOE awards MIT researchers $1.9M to advance electrolytic production of copper; direct production of copper wire

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded MIT associate professor of metallurgy Antoine Allanore a $1.9-million grant to run larger scale tests of a new one-step, molten electrolysis process (earlier post) to produce copper from sulfur-based minerals—the main source of copper. One of Allanore’s primary goals is to make... Read more →


BYD invests $5M in new warehouse facility in US; greater efficiencies and production capacity for battery-electric buses

BYD has completed its latest US investment, a new $5-million 100,000-square-foot warehouse for its Lancaster manufacturing plant. This is the firm’s fourth expansion of its current manufacturing campus in Los Angeles County, bringing its total investment in Lancaster facilities to more than $53 million. The new warehouse provides additional space... Read more →


SJTU team makes progress in strain-hardening in high-strength metals by incorporating nanofillers

A team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), with colleagues at Tsinghua University and Brown University, have developed a means to regain the strain-hardening ability of high-strength metals by incorporating of extrinsic nanofillers at grain boundaries. A paper on their work is published in the ACS journal NANO Letters. Grain... Read more →


With the opening of three new FAW-Volkswagen vehicle plants at three locations—in Qingdao, Foshan and Tianjin—as well as the Volkswagen FAW Platform Tianjin Branch component plant, the Volkswagen Group is strengthening its localization strategy in China. With the opening of a second vehicle production plant in Foshan, a mega plant... Read more →


A new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study by Ricardo for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) across a broad range of vehicle sectors finds that the relative contribution of each vehicle life cycle stage is highly dependent on the vehicle type and powertrain technology as well as what assumptions are... Read more →


Volkswagen, in partnership with HP and GKN Powder Metallurgy, is the first automotive manufacturer using the “HP Metal Jet” process in propduction. HP Metal Jet simplifies and speeds up metallic 3D printing; productivity improves fifty times compared to other 3D printing methods, depending on the component. Volkswagen and its partners... Read more →


The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory announced the availability of a new manufacturing technology that simplifies the manufacture of nanomaterials in high volumes. Known as Flame Spray Pyrolysis (FSP), the technology offers significant benefits over traditional methods used to manufacture the particle-based substances that are critical to... Read more →


NextGenAM 3D printing project pilot plant opens; focus on high level of automation

The partners in the NextGenAM 3D printing project—Premium AEROTEC, Daimler, and EOS—have put their first pilot plant into operation at Premium AEROTEC in Varel, northern Germany. The partners launched the project in May 2017 to develop the basis of a future system for series production using 3D printing technologies. Additive... Read more →


The US Department of Energy (DOE), in partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is awarding nearly $3 million to 13 projects to stimulate the use of high performance supercomputers to advance U.S. manufacturing. The US DOE national laboratories have some of the most significant high performance computing (HPC) resources available,... Read more →


Audi is now the first premium manufacturer to produce automobiles completely free of wastewater. At its site in San José Chiapa, Mexico, the company is using a new water treatment process that collects 100 percent of the wastewater produced there, purifies it and feeds large volumes of clean water back... Read more →