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What Will Move Us Next?: IAA Mobility 2021 Highlights

What Will Move Us Next?: IAA Mobility 2021 Highlights

With 2021 coming to a close and some countries slowly easing restrictions within their country, the post-pandemic world has certainly been enlightened to how mobility affects us significantly.

By Ashwini Balan, Eastern Trade Media


Mobility can be labelled as an umbrella term that encapsulates a wide range of functions either as enabling mobility or in itself mobility. Especially in our digital world, the possibility is simply limitless from our standard automobiles to digital solutions and urban air mobility. With the global vision of an all-electric future, the organisers of IAA Mobility 2021, have brought together a phenomenal trade show that has been a trending topic among trade leaders, international corporations and fans of the latest automotive innovations. 

400,000 participants from 95 countries – 744 exhibitors and 936 speakers from 32 countries – 67 percent of visitors under the age of 40 – international media reach of 137 billion – survey shows very positive exhibitor and visitor response. All these statistics makes it further evident that the premiere of IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, from the 7th to 12th September, was a roaring success and is now the largest mobility event in the world.

“We took a courageous step and were rewarded by the visitors,” said Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), which organized the first IAA Mobility this year jointly with Messe München.

“What will move us next?” is the motto of this year’s show with three key pillars being mobility of the future, commitment to constant change, and a platform for all those shaping the future. Among the massive list of exhibits, some were well-known OEMs such as Renault, Hyundai, Ford, BMW, MINI, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, Huawei, Microsoft, IBM, Bosch, Magna, Schaeffler, Continental, Michelin, and the bicycle brands Canyon, Specialized, Riese & Müller, Rose, Kettler and many more.

I have narrowed some interesting products and innovations that might be of interest to you. 

Products: 176 listed

Automobiles Related

Innovations: 340 listed

“We are now evaluating the event and will further develop our strategy so that we can welcome an even broader spectrum of exhibitors at the next IAA MOBILITY, and to continue the dialog on the future of mobility.,” Hildegard Müller said. 

Regardless of the event format in Munich, the IAA Mobility will continue operating its website www.iaa.de, making it a worldwide digital platform for the transformation of mobility on the path to climate neutrality, for innovations around cars, bikes, scooters, car and ride sharing, digitization and urban development.

References of the content:
1. Original Article Source: Press Release, IAA Mobility 2021 Website

2. The best photos of the IAA MOBILITY 2021 are available here

3. The film about the IAA MOBILTY 2021 is available here

4. The public-domain photo. and film material is available here

5. The complete list of exhibitors is available here

6. The complete list of partners is available here

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BMW And Ford Lead $130 Million Investment In Start-Up For Solid-State Batteries

BMW And Ford Lead $130 million Investment In Start-Up For Solid-State Batteries

Solid Power, an industry-leading producer of all solid-state batteries for electric vehicles has announced a $130 million Series B investment round led by the BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and Volta Energy Technologies. Ford and the BMW Group have also expanded existing joint development agreements with Solid Power to secure all solid-state batteries for future electric vehicles.

The investment positions Solid Power to produce full-scale automotive batteries, increase associated material output and expand in-house production capabilities for future vehicle integration. The BMW Group and Ford aim to utilise Solid Power’s low-cost, high-energy all solid-state battery technology in forthcoming electric vehicles.

“BMW and Ford now share leading positions in the race for all solid-state battery-powered electric vehicles,” said Doug Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Solid Power. “Solid Power now plans to begin producing automotive-scale batteries on the company’s pilot production line in early 2022 as a result of our partners’ continued commitment to Solid Power’s commercialisation efforts.”

Solid Power has demonstrated its ability to produce and scale next-generation all solid-state batteries that are designed to power longer range, lower cost and safer electric vehicles using existing lithium-ion battery manufacturing infrastructure.

Solid Power’s leadership in all solid-state battery development and manufacturing has been confirmed with the delivery of hundreds of production line-produced battery cells that were validated by Ford and the BMW Group late last year, formalising Solid Power’s commercialisation plans with its two long-standing automotive partners.

“Solid-state battery technology is important to the future of electric vehicles, and that’s why we’re investing directly,” said Ted Miller, Ford’s manager of Electrification Subsystems and Power Supply Research. “By simplifying the design of solid-state versus lithium-ion batteries, we’ll be able to increase vehicle range, improve interior space and cargo volume, deliver lower costs and better value for customers and more efficiently integrate this kind of solid-state battery cell technology into existing lithium-ion cell production processes.”

“Being a leader in advanced battery technology is of the utmost importance for BMW. The development of all solid-state batteries is one of the most promising and important steps towards more efficient, sustainable, and safer electric vehicles. We now have taken our next step on this path with Solid Power,” said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development.

Solid Power is currently producing 20 ampere hour (Ah) multi-layer all solid-state batteries on the company’s continuous roll-to-roll production line, which exclusively utilises industry standard lithium-ion production processes and equipment.

Both Ford and the BMW Group will receive full-scale 100 Ah cells for automotive qualification testing and vehicle integration beginning in 2022. Solid Power’s all solid-state platform technology allows for the production of unique cell designs expected to meet performance requirements for each automotive partner. Solid Power’s truly all-solid cell designs achieve higher energy densities, are safer and are expected to cost less than today’s best-performing lithium-ion battery cells.

 

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BMW And Mercedes Put Autonomous Drive Collaboration On Hold Due To COVID-19

BMW And Mercedes Put Autonomous Drive Collaboration On Hold Due To COVID-19

The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG are putting their cooperation on development of next-generation technology for autonomous driving temporarily on hold.

Following this news, David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, offered his view:

“The two companies cited the cost of developing a new next generation shared autonomous drive technology platform, as well as current business and economic conditions, as reasons for putting the cooperation on hold.

The technology for fully driverless vehicles is expensive and difficult to develop and as the COVID-19 crisis continues to decimate industry sales, the immediate focus for car companies is on core activity, surviving and being competitive for the ‘new normal’ conditions ahead.

For now, BMW and Mercedes will continue with their separate current generation advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) technologies and shelve the more ambitious collaboration – while not completely closing the door on returning to it at a later date.

They will also keep options open to work with others outside the traditional automotive eco-system as the industry and transportation space is transformed over the next decade.

The COVID-19 crisis is forcing re-evaluations of company priorities and strategies, especially future investment commitments. For many in the industry, the huge sums involved in some advanced technologies – such as automated drive – are simply not justifiable in current market conditions.”

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Achieving Perfect Gaps And Joints

Achieving Perfect Gaps And Joints

Here’s how BMW in Munich was able to increase process reliability for front and rear end assembly. Article by Carl Zeiss.

The ZEISS T-SCAN fulfils the highest demands with regard to ergonomy. For this reason, larger components can also be scanned without fatigue.

The front-end decisively characterises the silhouette of a vehicle. For this reason, perfect assembly and strict adherence to the joint plan are of great importance to car maker BMW. For a long time, gaps have been tested only with gap gauges. In this process, deviations of tolerances are effectively visualised, however, it does not contribute to determining the cause of an error. In the past, in order to track down this error, vehicles with a conspicuous joint and gap profile, therefore, had to be driven to the measuring room and measured there.

So, the department searched for a digi­tising system to optimise the assembly process. It should be used right after the final assembly and should provide as precise results as did the system in the measurement room.

Intuitive 3D Scanning

The hand-held ZEISS T-SCAN laser scan­ner enables fast, intuitive, and highly precise 3D scanning. Hand scanner, tracking camera and the touch probe are perfectly matched. The modular system can thus be used for numerous appli­cations. Here, the unique scanning speed and the precise measurement results are of great value. This is because the surface of the component is scanned contact-free and lightning-fast with the help of the laser line generated in the hand scanner. Around 210,000 points per second are recorded—more than with any other conventional method. As the tracking camera detects the position of the scanner, 3D surface data can be calculated with the help of triangulation.

With the touch probe, it is also pos­sible to take tactile measurements of additional single points, for example, in order to capture hole edges or not observable depressions. The data captured with the ZEISS T-SCAN thus describes the actual state precisely. This can then be easily compared with the target specifications, as defined in the CAD model. Deviations can be quickly detected in a user-friendly way with a false colour comparison of the entire surface.

As the ZEISS T-SCAN also fulfils the highest ergonomic demands, fatigue-free scanning even of larger components is possible. Thanks to the light and compact scanner housing, the ZEISS sys­tem can also easily capture data in areas that are difficult to access. The intuitive and easy handling extend the range of applications or user groups.

Single point 3D data acquisition at optically inaccessible areas with the touch¬probe ZEISS T-POINT.

Faster Evaluation

Since March 2016, three assembly wor­kers have been inspecting front and rear ends of an average of six completely finished vehicles per day. As a result, joint and gap widths of the two-part and rounded off radiator grille, the so-called BMW kidney, the headlight, and the bumper are measured. The briefly trained operators of the ZEISS T-SCAN capture 80 to 90 measurement points at the front end and 40 measurement points at the rear end of the various models. The measured actual values are then compared with the set values of the CAD model. Within two hours, it can be determined whether the front and rear ends show any defects. In this way, the quality engineers of assembly and body construction can counteract much faster.

For the quality and process engineers, the ZEISS system is therefore an impor­tant prerequisite to more effectively control in-house processes as well as those of the suppliers. Thanks to the portability of the ZEISS T-SCAN system, the apparatus for the assembly of the front and rear end can be measured directly in the production hall.

 

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Open Manufacturing Platform Accelerates IIoT Developments

Open Manufacturing Platform Accelerates IIoT Developments

Microsoft Corporation and the BMW Group has announced a new community initiative to enable faster, more cost-effective innovation in the manufacturing sector. In manufacturing today, production and profitability can be hindered by complex, proprietary systems that create data silos and slow productivity. The Open Manufacturing Platform (OMP) is designed to break down these barriers through the creation of an open technology framework and cross-industry community. The initiative is expected to support the development of smart factory solutions that will be shared by OMP participants across the automotive and broader manufacturing sectors. The goal is to significantly accelerate future industrial IoT developments, shorten time to value and drive production efficiencies while addressing common industrial challenges.

Built on the Microsoft Azure industrial IoT cloud platform, the OMP is intended to provide community members with a reference architecture with open source components based on open industrial standards and an open data model. In addition to facilitating collaboration, this platform approach is designed to unlock and standardise data models that enable analytics and machine learning scenarios — data that has traditionally been managed in proprietary systems. Utilising industrial use cases and sample code, community members and other partners will have the capability to develop their own services and solutions while maintaining control over their data.

“Microsoft is joining forces with the BMW Group to transform digital production efficiency across the industry,” said Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Cloud + AI Group. “Our commitment to building an open community will create new opportunities for collaboration across the entire manufacturing value chain.”

With currently over 3,000 machines, robots and autonomous transport systems connected with the BMW Group IoT platform, which is built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud, IoT and AI capabilities, the BMW Group plans to contribute relevant initial use cases to the OMP community. In the future, use cases—such as digital feedback loops, digital supply chain management and predictive maintenance—will be made available and, in fact, developed further within the OMP community.

“Mastering the complex task of producing individualised premium products requires innovative IT and software solutions,” said Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Production. “The interconnection of production sites and systems as well as the secure integration of partners and suppliers are particularly important. We have been relying on the cloud since 2016 and are consistently developing new approaches. With the Open Manufacturing Platform as the next step, we want to make our solutions available to other companies and jointly leverage potential in order to secure our strong position in the market in the long term.”

Graphic showing various components involved with the Open Manufacturing Platform The OMP is the next evolution in the BMW Group’s and Microsoft’s long-standing technology partnership and mutual commitment to innovation and creating industry-wide opportunities for collective success. Through the OMP, community members will have greater opportunities to unlock the potential of their data, allowing them to build and integrate industrial solutions more quickly and securely and, in turn, benefit from contributing to and learning from other organisations.

The OMP will be designed to address common industrial challenges such as machine connectivity and on-premises systems integration. This will facilitate the reuse of software solutions among OEMs, suppliers and other partners, significantly reducing implementation costs. For example, an ROS-based robotics standard for autonomous transport systems for production and logistics will be contributed to the OMP for everyone to use. The OMP will be compatible with the existing Industry 4.0 reference architecture, leveraging the industrial interoperability standard OPC UA.

“This is very good news for the manufacturing industry,” said Stefan Hoppe, president and CEO of the OPC Foundation. “The use of open international industry standards such as OPC UA in the OMP community enables manufacturers, machine builders and suppliers to integrate their existing equipment and systems efficiently and securely. For a long time, companies have promoted proprietary, closed ecosystems — the OMP commitment to open development will shape tomorrow’s manufacturing.”

The underlying platform will continue to evolve over time, along with manufacturing requirements, to incorporate new innovations including areas of analytics, artificial intelligence and digital feedback loops.

 

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US-China Trade War Pushes Manufacturing To Southeast Asia

US-China Trade War Pushes Manufacturing To Southeast Asia

MANILA – Increasing tension between the USA and China has caused a diversion of manufacturing activities from China to Southeast Asia due to rising labour costs, tariffs and political instability.

In accordance to the manufacturing production index from the Japan Center for Economic Research, five key Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore) have a recorded 4.5 percent increase in manufacturing for 2017 while China experienced a corresponding 15.7 percent decrease. Similarly, for the first half of 2018, the Philippines’ experienced a 13.8 percent rise in its manufacturing production index due to infrastructural initiatives from President, Rodrigo Duterte’s government. A trend that was also replicated by the 4 to 5 percent rise in manufacturing by Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand due to increased GDPs, exports and infrastructural growth.

Under newly developed China-plus-one strategies, manufacturers have been looking to tap onto manufacturing facilities in Southeast Asia before exporting to China to circumvent tariffs and increasing Chinese labour costs induced by the Trade War. A strategy that German automaker, BMW, has deployed by building some of its models in Thailand, an automotive industry hub, before exporting to China. Taiwanese power components supplier Delta Electronics also plans to re-divert its key production bases in China to Thailand by converting its Thai affiliate, Delta Electronics (Thailand), into a subsidiary while contract electronics maker, New Kinpo Group, is looking to build new facilities in the Philippines as it shifts its focus away from China. A sentiment that is shared by the group’s CEO, Simon Shen, as the company eyes a further expansion in Thailand and Malaysia due to increasing demands from clients who are looking towards Southeast Asia as a manufacturing base.

This could signal a continued downward trend in China’s lead in real GDP growth although Makoto Saito, an economist at the NLI Research Institute in Japan has said “If the U.S. economic cycle enters a downward phase in 2019, Southeast Asia could face a slowdown as well”.

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BMW And Toyota Invest In Self-Driving Shuttle Startup

BMW And Toyota Invest In Self-Driving Shuttle Startup

Michigan, US: BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures, venture-capital arms of their respective auto making groups, are among the leading investors in the US$11.5-million “seed investment” funding round for a Michigan-based start-up—May Mobility—that is developing low-speed, self-driving electric shuttle systems. 

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