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Electrification In The Automotive Industry

Electrification in the Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes. Marat Faingertz of ISCAR looks into the impact of this trend on the metalworking industry, and how new machining requirements can be addressed.

Public awareness of global warming, together with a pressing concern to create and maintain a clean environment, has led to a series of legislations worldwide that is forcing automakers to decrease CO2 emissions. Apart from improving fuel consumption, downsizing engines, and making lighter vehicles, automakers must turn to new technologies in order to cope with these emission limitations.

A rapid increase in battery electric vehicle (BEV) development, manufacture, and implementation, shows that electric vehicles are not only the future but are, in fact, the present. The automotive industry is on the brink of colossal changes and soon our perception of cars and transportation may alter completely.

ISCAR, a company with many years of experience in the production of metal cutting tools, offers unique, cutting-edge solutions for the new BEV Industry. As a leader in providing productive and cost-effective machining solutions, ISCAR strives to stay up to date with all the new trends and technologies and be a part of a brighter, greener future.

The following is a list of some of the common component machining processes in the BEV industry and some of the leading possible machining solutions and recommendations for each part.

Stator Housing Machining

One of the most notable trends of the electric vehicle powertrain is its simplicity. There are far fewer moving parts compared to the traditional internal combustion engine (ICE), therefore, manufacturing time and cost dramatically drop when producing BEVs. 

One of the main components of an electric motor is the motor (stator) housing made from aluminium. A special approach is needed to achieve this part’s critical key characteristics of lightweight, durability, ductility, surface finish and precision, including geometrical tolerances. The partially hollow form represents an additional challenge and maintaining low cutting forces is essential for roughness and cylindricity requirements.

ISCAR’s complete machining solution for this process has facilitated the transformation from the standard costly lathe-based process to an economical machining centre. Our aim is to reduce scrapped parts and reach an optimal CPK ratio (Process Capability Index—a producer’s capability to produce parts within the required tolerance).

Main Diameter Reaming

The most challenging operation in machining the aluminium stator housing is the main diameter boring and reaming. Because of the trend to use low power machines, the tool’s large diameter and long overhang require creative thinking to minimise weight and spindle load while maintaining rigidity. Exotic materials such as titanium and carbon fibre are used for the tool body, as well as the welded frame design.

The use of Finite Element Method (FEM) helps resolve the obstacles associated with this challenging application by enabling the consideration of many parameters, such as cutting forces, displacement field during machining, natural frequency, and maximum deformation.

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Driving Hard On The Race Track: Wear-Resistant Iglidur Gears In The Gearbox

Driving Hard On The Race Track: Wear-Resistant iglidur Gears In The Gearbox

The iglidur I6 gears from the 3D printer for car racing of the “Youth Discovers Technology” (Jugend entdeckt Technik – JET) challenge

Electromobility is a crucial topic of the future. For Germany to be in the pole position, it is important to inspire young minds to take up scientific and engineering professions. Towards this purpose, the annual JET Challenge takes place at the IdeenExpo in Hanover. Students are given the task of building a fast, tough and energy-efficient racing car from a standard, remote-controlled car with a limited budget. Wear-resistant 3D-printed gears from igus made from the high-performance plastic iglidur I6 helped in this endeavour.

Build a fast, energy-saving racing car from an ordinary, remote-controlled car and overtake all other teams in a race – that’s the goal of the “Youth Discovers Technology” (Jugend entdeckt Technik – JET) Challenge, organised by the Society of German Engineers (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure – VDI) and the University of Hanover (Hochschule Hannover – HSH). As with the renowned models, the key factor is not speed alone, but also energy efficiency. In June 2019, visitors to the IdeenExpo can see the JET Challenge in action at the HSH trade fair stand. 25 teams compete for victory with their racing cars on a 1:10 scale on a 20-metre race track. The rules are strict. Available to each team is a budget of just 50 euros. Apart from battery, motor and speed controller, all components must be purchased, developed or built by yourself.

Save money with the igus 3D printing service

The teams are currently preparing for the next IdeenExpo. Students of the Eugen Reintjes vocational school are relying on a wear-resistant and tough gear transmission to enhance the performance of their race car. The biggest difficulty with this gearbox was the gear procurement. Due to the small budget, the students couldn’t afford big innovations. Finally, they found what they were looking for at the motion plastics specialist igus in Cologne: cost-effective, low-wear gears from the SLS printer. After a simple online configuration, the gears were printed and provided, made from the high-performance plastic iglidur I6.

High performance plastic makes race cars tough

Laboratory tests prove that the material I6 is significantly tougher than other plastics. In an experiment at our in-house test laboratory, the engineers tested gears made of polyoxymethylene (POM) and iglidur I6 at 12 revolutions per minute and loaded with 5Nm. A machined gear made of POM failed after 621,000 revolutions, while iglidur I6 was still in very good condition after one million revolutions. Thus, the team does not have to worry about potential failures. The gears in the racing car have already successfully completed an initial test run. The car is energy efficient and still reaches the top speed of 60km/h.

The young engineers support from igus promotes innovative projects

Innovative projects such as the race car gears for the JET Challenge are supported by igus as part of the young engineers support. The initiative supports young pupils, students and inventors in the development and execution of their technical projects. Further information on yes can be found at http://www.igus.sg/yes.

 

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The Atmosphere’s Electric

The Atmosphere’s Electric

Formula Student allows ambitious students to gain intensive practical experience in the design, production and commercial aspects of automotive engineering—from every angle and well away from the confines of a lecture theatre. Article by Paul Horn GmbH.

Zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in less than four seconds, an engine power of 160 kW and real team spirit—that sums up life for the Raceyard Formula Student Team from Kiel University of Applied Sciences. They are entering the “E” category of the competition with an electric racing car that they have developed and built themselves. 

To assist with the production of the car’s parts, Paul Horn GmbH is giving the Kiel students advice on tools for turning and milling.

“We really appreciate the company’s machining expertise. Thomas Wassersleben is our contact person at HORN and thanks to him we always receive good advice and rapid support,” explains Lukas Schlott. Lukas is the member of the Raceyard Team with responsibility for marketing and event management.

The collaboration with the Institute for Computer Integrated Manufacturing – Technology Transfer (CIMTT) has actually been running for several years. Wassersleben advises the Institute’s mechanical workshops on machining solutions and tools. He was also the HORN sales representative that received the initial enquiry from the 2017/2018 Raceyard Team and passed it on. HORN responded to this enquiry by offering a set of tools that included the Supermini 105, the S100 grooving and parting-off system, and some Boehlerit ISO inserts and DS aluminium milling cutters.

“This set of tools enabled our mechanics department to solve tricky machining tasks by overcoming the access difficulties created by the long throat depths and narrow bores,” recalls Schlott.

A new race car is created for each season of the Formula Student competition. Just like the car itself, the make-up of the team also changes, as some members inevitably come to the end of their studies. This means that each new team has to develop, produce, assemble and test its own race car. However, the experience accumulated over previous seasons is also fed into the latest development work. The 2017/2018 Raceyard Team has 50 members assigned to four main areas: Sponsorship and Finance, Mechanics, Electrics, and Marketing & Event Management.  

Self-developed and Self-produced

The students developed and produced the entire race car themselves, apart from a few components. For the brake callipers, the Kiel students opted for SLM (selective laser melting) technology. Using this additive manufacturing process, they were able to print the brake callipers from an aluminium alloy powder made to their very own design specifications. And when it came to finish boring the brake piston cylinder surface, the responsible mechanics decided on the HORN Supermini 105 system.

“Due to the calliper’s three-dimensional shape and the very tight cylinder tolerances, the production process was a real challenge for our mechanics,” says Schlott.

The aluminium axle leg was machined using a triple-flute solid carbide end mill from the DS system with polished chip spaces. The difficulty with this component was the long throat depth required for the tool. In addition, the component geometry meant that the engineers went for the extra-long milling tool.

“Thanks to the polished chip spaces and the geometry of the milling cutter, we don’t experience any problems during machining in terms of chips adhering and chatter marks,” says Wassersleben.

CFRP Monocoque Design

The racing car has a CFRP monocoque chassis. The students decided on the same carbon fibre material for the aerodynamic components and other parts such as the steering linkage. For the purpose of producing the moulds and laminating the parts, the team had access to the machinery and expertise of another sponsor.

“It was certainly a challenge to laminate the individual CFRP layers because the fibres in each layer had to be arranged in particular directions to ensure the subsequent rigidity of the chassis and other assemblies,” clarifies Schlott. In order to calculate the aerodynamics as well as the rigidity of the chassis and other components, the students made use of the powerful computers available at the Kiel CIMTT institute. 

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Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

Thailand BOI Introduces EV Package And Over 35 Billion Baht In Investments

The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has approved the roll out of a comprehensive set of incentives covering all major aspects of the Electric Vehicles (EV) supply chain, with a focus on Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), local production of critical parts, and the inclusion of commercial vehicles of all sizes as well as ships.

The board also approved 35.7 billion baht (US$1.1 billion) worth of large investment projects in several sectors.

“In line with the Government policy to promote electric vehicles across the board, and to answer the radical changes underway in the global car industry, the BOI today approved a package that will accelerate the development of EV production and related supply chain in Thailand, and allow the entire sector to move into higher gear,” said Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI, after a board meeting chaired by Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha.

New Package For EV

The new promotion package, which replaces the first EV package which expired in 2018, covers a comprehensive range of electrical vehicles, namely passenger cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, tricycles, and ships.

Incentive schemes for these different types of electric vehicles can be summarised as follows:

  • Four wheelers: Qualified projects with a total investment package worth at least 5 billion baht will be granted a 3-year tax holidays for PHEVs, but as for BEVs, an 8-year corporate income tax exemption period will be offered and will be extendable in case of R&D investment/expenditures.
  • Motorcycles, three-wheelers, buses and trucks: Qualified projects will be granted 3-year corporate income tax exemption, extendable if meeting additional requirements.
  • Electric-powered ship production projects, for vessels with less than 500 gross tonnage, will be eligible for eight years of corporate income tax exemption.

The BOI also approved to add four more types of EV parts in the list of critical parts, namely high voltage harness, reduction gear, battery cooling system and regenerative braking system. These four categories will all receive eight years corporate tax exemptions.

To promote local EV battery production, the BOI also approved additional incentives for the production of both battery modules and battery cells for the local market by granting a 90 percent reduction of import duties for two years on raw or essential materials not available locally.

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Walter Automobiltechnik Deploys Automated Quality Control Solutions From Creaform

Walter Automobiltechnik Deploys Automated Quality Control Solutions From Creaform

Creaform has installed a second robot-controlled measuring system at Walter Automobiltechnik GmbH (WAT) in Berlin, Germany. WAT is a system supplier of metal assemblies for the automotive industry. It focuses on complex welded assemblies such as motorcycle frames and engine mounts, with a great deal of its work including motorcycle frames, torsion struts and more for the BMW Group.

WAT recently landed the contract for development and series production of the engine mount for BMW’s new fully electric Mini Cooper SE. When the company needed to measure the vehicle’s complex tubular space frame, the decision fell on the MetraSCAN 3D-R, a powerful robot-mounted optical scanner that is Creaform’s automated quality control solution.

The WAT team uses MetraSCAN 3D-R for fully automated measurement of the complex tubular space frames with many connection points for peripheral equipment. 90 percent of the features were such that they could not be reworked, and they would immediately have caused the production line to stop if they were not made exactly to specification. Due to the high-temperature galvanizing required, the process required that many of these features had to be manually reworked. This means that qualitative safeguarding of the finished parts had to be conducted by carrying out 100 percent of the measurement of the series production within a given cycle time. A measurement report and 3D scan had to be saved for each frame, for traceability purposes.

Tommy Laukdrej, Head of Quality Assurance at WAT explained this: “We use two automated measuring cells with handling robots from Panasonic and the Creaform system, which consists of the MetraSCAN 3D-R scanner, the C-Track optical camera system, and the VXelements scanning software. We chose Polyworks from Duwe3d as the measurement evaluation software, because we have been using this software with success and complete satisfaction for over 10 years.”

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Battery Electric Vehicles Will Be Less Reliant On Lightweighting By 2030

Battery Electric Vehicles Will Be Less Reliant On Lightweighting By 2030

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are poised to be the future of the auto industry. Looking toward the future of BEVs, a new report from Lux Research, “Electric Vehicle Lightweighting 2030,” analyses the future of vehicle lightweighting and necessary BEV success factors over the next decade.

In the past, lightweighting – or purposely designing more lightweight cars specifically for fuel efficiency – has been a key tool for improving the fuel economy of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, the transition from ICEs to BEVs changes both the goals and the design considerations around lightweighting.

Anthony Schiavo, Senior Analyst at Lux, states, “BEVs are overwhelmingly more efficient than ICE vehicles due to regenerative braking and more efficient motors and are increasingly outgrowing the issue of limited range. Materials companies need to start planning for a fully mature BEV space.”

Lux predicts that battery pack energy densities will increase by roughly 15 percent over the next decade. This increased energy density can be used to either extend the range of a vehicle by keeping battery size the same or reduce cost by shrinking the size of the battery pack. In its analysis, Lux modeled both scenarios and calculated a lightweighting benchmark. Lux determined that in order for lightweighting to be a cost-effective solution against batteries by 2030, it will need to cost, on average, less than $5 per kilogram of weight saved.

“This benchmark is not the only thing guiding lightweighting decisions,” cautions Schiavo. “To find adoption, materials companies and manufacturers will need to find solutions that save on both weight and cost.”

“We predict vehicle structure will be an opportunity for high-strength steel and aluminum, as they provide weight reductions at minimal cost,” Schiavo continues. “Bumpers are expected to benefit from design advancements that utilise glass fiber, carbon fiber, and thermoplastics. Other material priorities, such as sustainability, durability, and end-of-life issues, however, will take priority over lightweighting by 2030.” Lux found that there’s far more risk of disruption from improving energy storage technologies – which could substantially outstrip forecast improvements by 2030 – than there is from novel innovations in materials.

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Thailand’s Position As Key Automotive Production Hub To Further Strengthen In Next Five Years, Says GlobalData

Thailand’s Position As Key Automotive Production Hub To Further Strengthen In Next Five Years, Says GlobalData

Automotive sector has long been a key pillar of the Thailand economy. Increasing domestic demand, attractive tax incentives by government and reduced import duties on auto parts are all set to boost investments in the sector and the country’s position as a key automotive production hub for leading automakers is set to strengthen over the next five years, according to GlobalData.

Major automakers including Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, Isuzu, Ford and Mazda have chosen Thailand as their production hub. As of 2019, Thai vehicle production capacity was approximately 4.1 million units with Japanese OEMs Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Nissan holding majority shares of 20.8 percent, 12.4 percent, 10.2 percent and nine percent, respectively, according to Federation of Thai Industries (FTI).

Nissan recently announced plans to ramp up vehicle production in Thailand in order to meet the strong overseas demand, especially for Nissan Kicks e-Power and Nissan Navara. The company plans to hire over 2,000 people in Thailand.

Animesh Kumar, Director of Automotive Consulting at GlobalData, says: “Thailand is presently Nissan’s only production base in the ASEAN region and a leading export hub for the company, exporting to over 100 countries. The plans to ramp up production and manpower are aligned with major business restructuring and new priorities set by the company in between 2019 and 2020.

“As a part of restructuring, the company also discontinued a few models and re-aligned capacity utilisation in Thailand. The company’s announcement to increase production in Thailand follows its shutting down of production in Indonesia and Spain. The move will further strengthen Thailand’s position as a strategic location and key production hub for Nissan globally.”

Thailand is also bolstering its image as one of the budding EV hubs in ASEAN. Attractive incentives through Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) investment support has made OEMs including Mitsubishi, BMW, FOMM, Nissan, Toyota, MG to ramp up EV production in the country.

Mr Kumar concludes: “The Big three in Southeast Asia markets–Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia–have been competing against each other to attract investments. Governments and administrators in all three countries have extended attractive policies, packages and subsidies and over the years managed to attract several global players. However, at the moment, Thailand indeed has its nose ahead. Favourable policies and support from the government, strong automotive supply chain, export potential, EV opportunities, skilled workforce and strong domestic market are conducive for the further growth of Thailand as a key automotive production hub that caters to the domestic as well as global markets.”

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Hyundai To Manufacture EVs In Singapore From 2022

Hyundai To Manufacture EVs In Singapore From 2022

Hyundai Motor has announced that it plans to manufacture its electric vehicles (EVs) in Singapore, starting in 2022, according to Straits Times. As such, the auto maker will be setting up a 28,000 square metre plant in Singapore with construction to begin in October.

The new plant will have the capacity to manufacture 30,000 EVs a year, with as many as 6000 cars sold in Singapore, and the new facility will create hundreds of jobs for the city. An electric compact crossover based on the IONIQ EV range is speculated to be the first vehicle produced at the plant.

Earlier this year in April, the automaker has announced that they will be establishing a Smart Mobility Innovation Center to accelerate its innovation efforts and transformation into a smart mobility solution provider.

This is in line with Singapore’s initiatives to boost the city’s EV market which includes expansion of charging infrastructure by 2030 and the goal to eliminate combustion engines from 2040.

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Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda And Toyota Joint Venture Commits Additional $830 Million To Cutting-Edge Manufacturing Technologies

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, (MTM), the new joint-venture between Mazda Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Corporation, has announced an additional $830 million investment to incorporate more cutting-edge manufacturing technologies to its production lines and provide enhanced training to its workforce of up to 4,000 employees.

Total funding contributed to the development of the state-of-the-art facility in US is now $2.311 billion, up from the $1.6 billion originally announced in 2018. The investment reaffirms Mazda and Toyota’s commitment to produce the highest-quality products at the facility. It also accommodates production line enhancements made to improve manufacturing processes supporting the Mazda vehicle and design changes to the yet to be announced Toyota SUV that will both be produced at the plant.

The new facility will have the capacity to produce up to 150,000 units of a future Mazda crossover vehicle and up to 150,000 units of the Toyota SUV each year. MTM continues to target up to 4,000 new jobs and has hired approximately 600 employees to date, with plans to resume accepting applications for production positions later in 2020.

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Future-Driven Technologies Will Drive The Global Light Commercial Vehicle Market Towards Recovery

Future-Driven technologies Will Drive The Global Light Commercial Vehicle Market Towards Recovery

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) Market Outlook, 2020, finds that global sales of LCVs are projected to reach 9.49 million units in 2020, with pickups contributing to 4.62 million units. The global economic impact of COVID-19 caused the market to decline by 19 percent in global LCV sales from 11.72 million units in 2019. The European market is experiencing the worst hit as countries such as Italy and Spain are facing an average decline in LCV sales of 35 percent to 50 percent in 2020.

“Strong stimulus packages from the governments will be necessary to support the economy and cope with low business confidence and high unemployment rate, which stemmed from nationwide lockdowns during the pandemic,” said Marshall Martin, Industry Analyst, Automotive & Transportation, at Frost & Sullivan. “The 2020 slowdown will be particularly pronounced across advanced economies such as the United States, Germany, Italy, and Japan.”

E-commerce and connectivity will continue to drive the global LCV market as last-mile delivery and electrification are expected to grow in influence in the coming years. With restrictions on geographical movement during the COVID-19-induced lockdown, e-commerce and last-mile delivery applications will see a spike in demand to deliver essentials at doorsteps.

He added: “Electric light commercial vehicles (eLCVs) will continue to gain prominence going forward with a slew of launches expected until 2023. Emerging trends in the market, such as connectivity, advanced safety, and autonomous features, offer great opportunities for the growth of the global LCV market in the next three to five years.”

The market outlook in key regional markets will vary considerably. The main trends and growth opportunities in each key region are presented below:

  • APAC: 2020 is expected to be a turning point for the penetration of eLCVs in the larger ASEAN region with substantial investment coming from OEMs and fleets.
  • North America: LCVs are expected to be on the decline for the rest of the year, with full-size pickups expected to be the most affected because of the slowdown in the construction sector.
  • Europe: The region is expected to have a fairly good penetration of eLCVs compared to other regions going forward, with several new launches such as e-Dispatch and e-Transporter expected in 2020.
  • China: The market in China is expected to pick up gradually from Q2 2020 as the recent growing domestic demand for pickups has pushed local OEMs to create more pickup products.

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