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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

China – ABB has signed an agreement with SAIC Volkswagen to provide robotics painting solutions for a new factory being built in Shanghai. The plant will become the first new energy vehicle (NEV) factory of the VW Group based on the modular electric drive (MEB) platform.

“We are delighted to support China’s rapidly growing electric vehicle industry and to extend our partnership with Volkswagen as the company expands its electric vehicle manufacturing capabilities,” commented Sami Atiya, president of ABB’s robotics and discrete automation business. “This award recognises ABB’s deep expertise in the electric vehicle segment overall and, in particular, our robotics automotive expertise supported by global applications centres in China, Europe and the US.”

The factory is set to open in 2020, and will have an annual produce of 300,000 pure electric vehicles carrying Audi, VW and Skoda badges. Around 300 ABB robots will operate on three different lines, painting the exterior, interior and underbody. They will also be used to do cosmetic seam sealing and interior plate wax-spraying.

One of the big themes at the plant will be eco-friendliness. The paintshop will use primerless technology and a dry spray absorption system instead of a water circulation system. The companies expect the system to achieve energy savings of around 60%.

As well as SAIC and VW, several other OEMs are looking to up their game in the Chinese NEV market. The Volvo Geely plant in Luqiao will soon become home to the new fully electric Polestar 2, and construction of Tesla’s first factory in China is well underway.

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The post ABB to provide robots for SAIC VW appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

Germany – Since May 2017, Daimler has been working with Premium Areotec and EOS to develop a production line that would be able to produce aluminium components by using 3D printing. The companies found that manufacturing costs can be reduced by approximately 50% when compared to existing 3D printing systems.

“Additive manufacturing is suitable for smallest-series production of new vehicles (limited editions),” commented Jasmin Eichler, head of future technologies at Daimler. “Systematic development of the parts specifically for 3D printing means that the production costs can be further reduced and the quality optimised. 3D printing also makes particular sense during the advance development of vehicles. The low numbers required can often be produced more cost-effectively, and faster, with additive manufacturing than with conventional production processes.”

The process that the companies developed is centred on a scalable, fully-automated additive production chain, from data preparation and central powder supply right up to the point when the printed parts are mechanically sawn off the build platform. The build process, heat treatment and quality assurance processes are all completed without any manual work.

Daimler has been developing 3D printing techniques for some time. It recently started making small replacement parts for its buses, and has been examining more ways of using 3D printing at its Centre of Competence.

Several other OEMs have been looking at ways to enhance 3D printing processes. General Motors, for example, recently announced it was using new generative design software technology to create parts that are then 3D printed for proof-of-concept, while Ford has examining potential use cases for production-ready parts made with additive manufacturing tools.

Daimler has collaborated with two companies to develop a 3D printing production line

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The post Daimler develops 3D printing line appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

US – General Motors has added a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. The news comes ahead of the launch of the next generation Corvette, which is set to be revealed in July 2019.

“The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” commented GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18.”

Over one million Corvettes have been made at the Bowling Green Assembly plant since it opened in 1981. Over the past seven years, GM has spent over $900m upgrading the facility, installing a new body shop and new paint shop as well as increasing engine capacity.

The news comes just months after the OEM said it would close seven different plants across the world, five of which are in North America. Some companies, on the other hand, have revealed plans to invest considerable amounts in the US manufacturing operations.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post GM adds second shift to Bowling Green appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

Canada – Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) has announced that it will start producing the Lexus NX and NX Hybrid at its Cambridge plant in Ontario, Canada starting in early 2022. It already makes the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h at the south side of the facility, as well as the Toyota Corolla at the north.

“Building on our recent Toyota RAV4 announcement and our recent facility modernisation investments, we are excited to announce that TMMC has been selected to produce the popular Lexus NX and Lexus NX Hybrid models for the entire North American market,” commented TMMC president Fred Volf. “Together with the company’s recent investments in our facilities, today’s announcement demonstrates the tremendous amount of trust that Toyota has in the Team Members here at TMMC.”

An investment of CDN $1.4 billion (US$1.04 billion) was recently set aside by Toyota in order to convert the north side of the Cambridge plant and the plant in Woodstock to the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. The plan is to meet the growing demand for SUVs in the North America market by using these facilities to make the RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid, both of which are based on the platform.

The Japanese OEM has made a similar move at its Blue Springs plant in Mississippi, spending $170m to ready the facility for the production of the 12th generation Corolla. This, again, is based on the TNGA platform.

In our upcoming addition of AMS Magazine, we will explore the impacts of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Canada’s vehicle manufacturing operations.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post Toyota to make Lexus NX in Canada appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

China – Volkswagen is set to build a new plant for the production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as part of its joint venture with local Chinese OEM Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC). The plant will cost around 5.06 billion yuan (US$750.8m) and will be located in eastern Hefei city. It will have an annual output of 100,000 units.

Information of these plans was included in a document posted online by the Hefei Economic and Technological Development Area. It revealed that the two companies have obtained permission from environmental authorities to start construction.

According to a Reuters report, VW has confirmed the plans and said that the JAC-VW joint venture will soon launch its first model, titled the E20X. A pre-production version of the model was first shown at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2018.

VW has promised to launch 14 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China during 2019. This, it says, will be a key part of its plans to produce 22m EVs in the next ten years, over half of which are to be built in China. As well as working with JAC, the German has started building a $2.5bn NEV plant in Shanghai with SAIC.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicts that NEV sales could hit 1.6m units this year.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post VW and JAC to build BEV plant appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

China – Tier 1 supplier ZF has teamed up with truck and bus manufacturer Foton to open a transmission production plant for commercial vehicles in Jiaxing, south of Shanghai. The facility will be used to make TraXon, ZF’s compact modular transmission system, which will then be fitted to Foton vehicles and sold in the Chinese market.

“This joint venture sees the joined hands of two industry leaders,” commented Heyi Xu, CEO of Foton’s parent company BAIC Group. “It speaks for the product innovation and business capabilities of BAIC, and ZF global leadership in transmission products and manufacturing. Both parties will leverage on their respective technology and strengths, form a modular and standard production platform, in order to produce cutting-edge, efficient and intelligent transmission products for the world. We will provide Chinese customers of commercial vehicles the desired world-class products, leading the development of the sector.”

The TraXon system will also be paired with ZF’s Intarder transmission brake – a system which allows for wear-free braking without fading. This relieves the service brakes by up to 90%, and in doing so, reduces maintenance costs and brake dust emissions. The Intarder will also soon enter production at the new plant in Jiaxing.

The opening of the plant comes after ZF and Foton established a joint venture, called ZF Foton Heavy Commercial Vehicle (HCV) Automation Transmissions, at the end of 2016. The companies also operate another joint venture called Foton ZF Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Automated Transmissions.

Several companies have been constructing new manufacturing facilities in China. This is due to the fact that the government recently passed a bill, lifting a longstanding law that meant foreign companies could only make goods in the country if they did so under a joint venture that was mainly owned by a local company. The likes of Tesla, Nissan and Toyota have all announced plans to expand existing plants or build new ones in the near future.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post ZF and Foton open transmission plant appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 2M ago

US – General Motors has added a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. The news comes ahead of the launch of the next generation Corvette, which is set to be revealed in July 2019.

“The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” commented GM chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18.”

Over one million Corvettes have been made at the Bowling Green Assembly plant since it opened in 1981. Over the past seven years, GM has spent over $900m upgrading the facility, installing a new body shop and new paint shop as well as increasing engine capacity.

The news comes just months after the OEM said it would close seven different plants across the world, five of which are in North America. Some companies, on the other hand, have revealed plans to invest considerable amounts in the US manufacturing operations.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post GM adds second shift to Bowling Green appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Sweden – Volvo Cars has announced that it has invested a multi-billion kroner sum to install a new paint shop at its Torslanda plant. This will reportedly result in a reduction of energy consumption and emissions from the painting process by at least one third, according to the OEM.

“We have identified our paint shop operation as one area in which we can achieve significant reductions in energy consumption and emissions,” said Javier Varela, senior vice president manufacturing and logistics at Volvo Cars. “Volvo Cars is committed to our vision for a more environmentally sustainable business. This investment also strengthens our plans for the Torslanda plant to remain globally competitive.”

As well as helping to cut emissions and energy consumption, the new paint shop will also support the launch of next generation Volvo vehicles that are based on the SPA2 architecture. Construction is set to begin in 2020.

Volvo Cars has outlined a goal of making its global manufacturing operations climate-neutral by 2025. It has recently taken several steps to this end, such as installing solar panels at its factory in Ghent, Belgium in 2018. The OEM also announced that its Skövde engine plant in Sweden has become the first climate-neutral facility in its global manufacturing network in 2018.

Taking sustainability one step further, Volvo has vowed to remove single-use plastics from all its offices, canteens and events across the globe by the end of 2019. The initiative has replaced more than 20 million single-use plastics to date with more sustainable and biodegradable alternatives.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post Volvo to install paint shop in Torslanda appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 3M ago

China – Volkswagen is set to build a new plant for the production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as part of its joint venture with local Chinese OEM Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC). The plant will cost around 5.06 billion yuan (US$750.8m) and will be located in eastern Hefei city. It will have an annual output of 100,000 units.

Information of these plans was included in a document posted online by the Hefei Economic and Technological Development Area. It revealed that the two companies have obtained permission from environmental authorities to start construction.

According to a Reuters report, VW has confirmed the plans and said that the JAC-VW joint venture will soon launch its first model, titled the E20X. A pre-production version of the model was first shown at the Beijing Motor Show in April 2018.

VW has promised to launch 14 new energy vehicles (NEVs) in China during 2019. This, it says, will be a key part of its plans to produce 22m EVs in the next ten years, over half of which are to be built in China. As well as working with JAC, the German has started building a $2.5bn NEV plant in Shanghai with SAIC.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicts that NEV sales could hit 1.6m units this year.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post VW and JAC to build BEV plant appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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Automotive Manufacturing Solutions by Automotive Manufacturing Solutions - 3M ago

US – Ford has said it will spend US$900m on its facilities in Michigan in order to ready for the production of both electric and autonomous vehicles. This is the latest in a string of investments that the OEM has recently announced it will make in US plants.

“We’ve taken a fresh look at the growth rates of electrified vehicles and know we need to protect additional production capacity given our accelerated plans for fully electric vehicles,” commented Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, global operations. “This is good news for the future of southeast Michigan, delivering more good-paying manufacturing jobs.”

The plan is to expand capacity at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant so that it becomes the production home of vehicles using the company’s next-generation battery electric vehicle architecture, which Ford said it was developing back in January 2018. The plant currently operates one shift, but a second will soon be added. The expansion will also enable the production of the next-generation Mustang.

A new autonomous vehicle manufacturing centre is also being built as part of the company’s investment in Michigan. Here it will upfit purpose-built hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology and unique interiors, starting in 2021, with the first vehicles being used for commercial purposes.

“As we ramp up AV production, this plan allows us to adjust our investment spending to accommodate the pace of growth of this exciting new technology,” Hinrichs added. “This new plan combines our core strength in mass manufacturing with the agility and leanness we’ve shown with our modification centres for specialty manufacturing.”

Outside the US, Ford has revealed its intension to make its next-generation Transit Connect van at its plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. Production is slated to begin in 2021, and according to the OEM, is a key part of its plan to boost its global competitiveness.

To receive bi-weekly updates on global manufacturing and production, please subscribe to our free newsletter. Available in English, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish.

The post Ford invests in EV and AV production appeared first on Automotive Manufacturing Solutions.

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