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OMRON Releases E2EW Series Durable Full Metal Proximity Sensor

OMRON Releases E2EW Series Durable Full Metal Proximity Sensor

OMRON Corporation has launched the E2EW Series Full Metal Proximity Sensors, which boast the world’s longest sensing distances. The sensors enabled both detection stability for different material components and durability with the full metal body. They help enhance productivity in the automotive industry, where downtime leads large production opportunity losses, by reducing risks of sudden stoppages due to sensors occurred in the welding processes for automobiles.

Automotive industry needs lighter weight of automobiles in accordance with the trend of electric vehicles and low fuel consumption, encouraging the material change in automotive components from iron to aluminum. This will increase mixed production lines containing iron and aluminum. Full metal proximity sensors are mainly used in harsh welding processes. However, previous full metal proximity sensors have short sensing distances. In particular, the sensing distance for aluminum is shorter than the one for iron. Therefore, higher accuracy is required for installing proximity sensors for aluminum than iron, making the design, start-up, and maintenance of production lines complicated. With skilled labor shortages becoming severer, however, demand is growing for ways to maintain and enhance facility operation rates without relying on human experience or skills.

The sensing distance are approximately twice as long as previous models for iron, and six times as long as previous models for aluminum, meaning equivalent sensing distances to detect iron and aluminum components. In addition, OMRON’s technologies prevents coating abrasion which allows 60 times longer-lasting spatter resistance than previous models. The E2EW Sensors with its durable body and long sensing distance increase sensor installation flexibility, and they help enhance productivity by streamlining production lines which require skills from the start-up, operation, to maintenance.

 

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Pulsed Laser To Boost Car Manufacturing

Pulsed Laser To Boost Car Manufacturing

A consortium of European scientists is developing a new precision pulsed laser that looks set to boost the car industry with a 10 percent reduction in waste products, a five percent reduction in chassis costs, and a two-third decrease in manufacturing time.

Operating at 1.5km/s, the new laser will be powerful enough to cut the hardest boron steel used in car construction at one cubic centimetre per minute—over a thousand times faster than existing technology that currently ablates steel at one cubic millimetre per minute.

Exerting an average power of 2.5kW, or 100kW in a single pulse, and with repetition rates up to 1GHz (magnitudes higher than the current 1MHz upper limit), the laser will have the control and refinement to etch moulds for vehicle parts at micron-scale accuracy as well as micro-weld dissimilar metals for solar thermal absorbers.

Pulsed lasers send out short blasts of energy, or ‘pulses’, in tiny fractions of a second. For this new laser, the pulses are so fast that their duration is measured in femtoseconds.

Aiming to improve car manufacturing speed and efficiency, while reducing the potential production costs and environmental impact, the new pulse laser system has received a €5 million development grant from the European Commission.

Going by the acronym ‘PULSE’, the consortium behind the new laser draws on expertise from 11 research institutions and industry partners from six different European countries and is coordinated by Tampere University in Finland.

“By harnessing the unique characteristics of patent protected tapered double-clad fibre amplifiers power-scaled multichannel laser, the PULSE project will create unparalleled high-power beam qualities, M2<1.1, and pulse energies 2.5-250µJ,” said Dr Regina Gumenyuk, project coordinator.

The laser system will enable an improved digital design to lighten vehicle chassis weight—benefitting fuel economy and increasing the range of electric vehicles.

A prototype is expected to be ready by 2021.

 

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Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Thailand Remains As Production Base For Toyota

Toyota Motor Thailand announces that the company will invest an estimated 10 billion baht annually in Thailand’s automotive industry and continue to use Thailand as a production base for both domestic and export markets. This investment will build confidence among foreign investors.

Previously, Toyota has successfully obtained privileges with total investment of 19 billion baht for production of hybrid electric vehicles (EV) from the Board of Investment (BoI) in 2017. According to Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, the board chairman at Toyota motor Thailand, the company plans to localise manufacturing of eco-friendly vehicles and has submitted an investment plan worth 10 billion baht for the government’s EV scheme. Furthermore, the company has also submitted applications with BoI to produce plug-in hybrid and battery EVs in January. Mr Ninnart said that Toyota will be manufacturing plug-in hybrids over the next three to four years and EVs in 2023.

Toyota also plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid EVs a year, making 70,000 batteries for EVs and producing other parts such as doors which totals up to 9.1 million units. Furthermore, the company is looking into a project next year to recycle the cells of hybrid car batteries which can be used for solar rooftops.

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ABB Wins $18 Million Transformer Order From Indian Railways

ABB Wins $18 Million Transformer Order From Indian Railways

ABB has won an order of about $18 million from Indian Railways to supply traction transformers. These transformers are customised for the WAP-7 type electric locomotive, which is a 6000 horsepower strong locomotive capable of hauling 24 coaches at speeds of up to 140 kilometers per hour.

The project is part of the ‘Mission Electrification’ initiative of Indian Railways, which aims to convert an additional 24,000 kilometers of railways from fossil fuels to electrification. The mission also aims to enhance energy efficiency by adopting high quality equipment and facilitating the increased adoption of renewable energy in railway operations.

“We are proud to extend our long-standing relationship with the Indian Railways and contribute to the electrification of the country’s rail network. These transformers have been specially designed to deliver the highest levels of performance and efficiency,” said Laurent Favre, head of ABB’s transformers business, a part of the company’s Power Grids division.

The transformers will be manufactured at ABB’s Vadodara facility in Gujarat.

ABB transformers power about half the world’s electrical locomotives and train sets, and most train manufacturers and rail operators rely on them. ABB’s traction transformers are compact, lightweight and extremely reliable. In addition to traction power solutions, ABB provides a diverse power portfolio for rail and urban transport solutions including static frequency converter stations, power quality systems, ABB Ability network management systems, energy recuperation and energy storage systems, system studies and dynamic traction power supply simulations based on powerful software tools.

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Anglo American’s Venture Capital Spin Off Seeks Investors For Renewable Energy Projects

Anglo American’s Venture Capital Spin Off Seeks Investors For Renewable Energy Projects

LONDON, ENGLAND: AP Ventures is a venture capital fund manager that was initiated in July 2018 when Anglo American, the world’s largest platinum miner, contributed US$55 million in cash alongside six investments worth US$45 million and Public Investment Corporation contributed another US$100 million. Currently it is seeking investments to enter the fuel cell electric vehicles and renewable energy market due to the phasing out of fossil fuel usage by numerous countries as well as the rise in market demand. In particular, the company has a heightened interest in China as the country represents a large potential customer pool as well as a strong capability in reducing the cost of complex manufacturing through scale expansion. A benefit that is essential for the mass commercialisation of fuel cell vehicles. Furthermore, fuel cell vehicles have been highlighted as a key development area in Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” economic strategy and constitutes the nation’s new energy vehicles ambition. An ambition that has also spurred Chinese companies to enter the fuel cell vehicle industry through the acquisition of foreign technologies.

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China’s Largest Beverage Manufacturer Wahaha Aims To Set Up Smart Car Brand

China’s Largest Beverage Manufacturer Wahaha Aims To Set Up Smart Car Brand

CHINA: Hangzhou Wahaha Group has set up a car manufacturing subsidiary, Zhejiang Haha Technology Innovation Centre Co. Ltd., in order to enter the automotive industry. Although government approval is still required for formal business operations, the automotive offshoot is intending to develop intelligent vehicle technologies and smart cars using next-generation technologies as well as novel, environmentally and energy friendly materials. A move that is largely motivated by forecasts of increasing consumer demands and government incentives for electric vehicles and automotive technological advancements.

Previously, Chief Executive of Wahaha Group, Zong Qinghou, had pledged his deep interest in technology and invested over US$10m over a span of five years in an Isreali artificial intelligence centre focused on the development of camera lens in driver-less cars.

Other Chinese start ups entering the electric vehicles market include NIO, XPENG Motors as well as established household appliance manufacturers LeEco and GREE and real estate companies Baoneng, Evergrande and Wanda Group.

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Germans Already Going With Asian Batteries

Germans Already Going With Asian Batteries

Electric and hybrid vehicles are expected to account for 30 percent of the global auto market by 2030, according to metal consultants CRU, up from 4 percent of the 86 million vehicles sold last year.

Global automakers plan to invest at least $90 billion in electric cars and batteries, the most expensive component in the vehicles, to finance hundreds of new models over the next five years. For now, carmakers in Europe have been importing batteries from Asia, but as production ramps up that will become less viable. Setting up production in Europe would cut shipping costs by a quarter, consultancy P3 Group.

But some carmakers are not waiting for a European industry, instead signing contracts with Asian firms coming to the region. German’s BMW said it was not involved in the European alliance while Europe’s biggest automaker, Volkswagen, said it plans to get batteries from LG Chem’s Polish factory due to open this year. Mercedes maker Daimler has awarded a contract to CATL.

The European Commission’s plan calls for 110 million euros in battery related research, help for projects from a 2.7 billion euro EU innovation fund and the development of an EU “green battery” trademark. Supporters of the initiative argue Europe can carve out a niche by selling green batteries produced with renewable energy and ethically sourced raw materials.

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