ArcelorMittal invests €96 million to upgrade steel plants in Florange and Dunkerque
ArcelorMittal is to invest €96 million ($113 million) at its Florange and Dunkerque sites in France.Read Now
In Florange, eastern France, €67 million will be invested in a new production line for automotive steels. This project is part of the company's strategy to have a centre of excellence for automotive steels production in the Lorraine region: Florange and Mouzon in France, and Dudelange in Luxembourg.
The investment will see the construction of a new 600,000 tonne Usibor line in Florange, which will be operational by mid-2019 and is expected to employ 75 people of which 20 will be newly created jobs. This line will be dedicated to producing advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the automotive industry and will replace the current electro-galvanising line.
The new line, which will be integrated with a hot strip mill and a pickling line, will be able to produce steels such as Usibor 2000 and Ductibor 1000 as well as a new Usibor Ultraprotect coating. This builds on Florange's strong reputation for Usibor.
The line also strengthens ArcelorMittal's position in advanced high strength steels for the automotive industry, which has been a focus of its R&D efforts. This has led to the design of Usibor 2000, which the group is soon to produce on an industrial scale. The line will put ArcelorMittal in a strong position to meet fast-growing demand for Usibor.
In parallel, customer demand for electrogalvanised products is shrinking, as they opt for more advanced high-strength steels. As a result, the current electro-zinc coating line in Florange has been operating below its 300,000 tonne capacity and ArcelorMittal has decided to convert this line into a Usibor line. Demand for electrogalvanised products will be met by ArcelorMittal's three other electrogalvanising lines within northern Europe: Marchin and Genk in Belgium and Dudelange, Luxembourg.
Greater flexibility for high value-added products from Dunkerque
At Dunkerque, ArcelorMittal will invest €29 million in the plant's steel shop, to deliver technical improvements that will provide greater flexibility for high value-added products.
The vacuum degassing unit will be modified, adding steel desulphurisation, and a better slag retention system will be installed on the converters. These projects will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2018.
These investments will increase the steel shop's ability to produce grades with very low sulphur, phosphorus and nitrogen contents, in line with the requirements of automotive customers in particular. Therefore, Usibor 2000, awaited by customers, will go into industrial production at Dunkerque in 2019.
Adient closes plant in Slovakia after its seating plan comes apart
Adient will shut down its Lozorno, Slovakia plant in 2018 following Faurecia's takeover of seat production for Volkswagen Slovakia.Read Now
Adient has announced that it will close its factory in Lozorno in the Bratislava region by the end of June 2018, reports The Slovak Spectator. The reason given is the decision by Volkswagen to award its seating business to Faurecia, starting in September 2017.
Adient's company management said that they analysed several options at both regional and global levels concerning how to provide new opportunities for the Lozorno factory, but the analysis has produced no effective solutions.
Aware of the consequences that the closure of its factory will have on the local labour force, the management has offered its employees jobs at other centres in Slovakia based on their qualifications. Under the terms of the collective agreement, the 250 employees affected will receive severance pay and further support.
"Making this decision wasn't easy," Hynek Maňas, European director of the manufacturing complete seat system division, told TASR. "All projects dealing with the manufacture of complete seat systems in Lozorno will terminate after approximately 11 months and, therefore, this move was inevitable."
Adient runs another five production factories in Slovakia, a technological centre in Trenčín and a global business centre in Bratislava.
"Shutting down production in Lozorno won't have any impact on the operation of the other centres," Maňas said to TASR. "Slovakia will continue to provide key processes, with our other centres in Slovakia currently having more than 280 new jobs up for grabs."
Adient currently employs 75,000 people at 230 production facilities in 33 countries.
Adient's loss, Faurecia's gain
Apart from Lozorno, Adient has other plants in Slovakia; two in Žilina for seat production and textiles, and another in Martin that produces seat covers, as well as a plant in Lučenec and a research centre in Trenčín. Reportedly, Adient's overall turnover in Slovakia is worth €183 million ($215 million).
As reported in Automotive Purchasing, in January 2017 Faurecia inaugurated a €20 million manufacturing plant in Slovakia to produce car seats for the Volkswagen Group in Bratislava, employing around 1,300 people. The plant is to assemble seats for the Volkswagen's Touareg, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and Q8 models.
Calsonic Kansei announces manufacturing expansion in the US
Calsonic Kansei has held a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce its $16.33 million investment to remodel a warehouse in Canton, Mississippi.Read Now
"We are very excited about the new Calsonic Kansei (CK) North America Canton facility," said North America Vice President Nancy Rice. "Manufacturing began in May and we have plans to increase the volume shipping from this site over the next year.
"This location becomes the 79th manufacturing plant in all of CK. The Americas Region is the single largest contributor to Global CK and we are excited to be able to enlarge our manufacturing footprint in the US. This new plant is key to achieving our Mid Term Business plan. Investing in the facility allows us to increase capacity and utilisation."
The new facility is already operating, with Phase 2 expected to be completed in 2018.
Continental develops new highly connected camera platform
New modular, scalable, and interlinked MFC 500 camera platform from Continental is said to perform all camera tasks and cater to every vehicle architecture.Read Now
The supplier has said that the hardware and software offers everything from simple object detection to the instant analysis of complex scenarios with neural networks for automated driving. This latest camera generation can open up a wide range of application possibilities, with up to eight megapixels of resolution and an aperture angle of up to 125 degrees, enabling cross-traffic objects to be detected even earlier.
"The most crucial features of the MFC 500 are modularity, scalability, and interlinking," says Karl Haupt, Head of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Business Unit and a member of the Management Board of the Continental Chassis & Safety Division. "Our modular kit consists of the intelligent MFC 500 camera, various satellite cameras, and a central computer for assisted or automated driving (Assisted & Automated Driving Control Unit, ADCU), all of which can be combined to suit customer requirements."
The environment recognition and driving functions can be integrated into the camera, but they can also be housed in a separate control unit (ADCU), providing maximum flexibility – the modular design supports both options. The scalable software can also be optimally adapted to the conditions prevailing in the vehicle, such as infrastructure and computing power.
High performance and 360-degree environment detection
"The use of multi-camera systems and 360-degree environment recognition is essential for the realisation of automated driving," explained Dr. Sascha Semmler, Head of Program Management Camera at the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Business Unit. "Here we rely on our modular system components, which can be used for assisted and automated driving and for surround view."
Computer vision and neural networks
Classic computer vision procedures allows the MFC 500 to control complex situations in road traffic, such as crossing situations with approaching lateral traffic. The variety of environment detection requirements is also constantly increasing, from detecting simple objects during parking and the joint processing of surround view camera images to controlling complex situations in road traffic, such as crossing situations with approaching lateral traffic.
"We have to develop a complete understanding of the scenarios, because this enables us to make predictions about the immediate future and to react accordingly," said Dr. Thomas Brohm, Head of the Sensorics Development at the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Business Unit.
In addition to classic computer vision procedures, the MFC 500 also uses neural networks that can be scaled to match the available hardware. Neural networks consist of mathematical units that can learn and are able to process and execute complex functions.
Interlinked with the environment
The camera is also interlinked with the environment: by connecting it to the electronic horizon ('eHorizon') and 'Road Database', road information and landmarks can be transmitted to and received from the cloud to locate the vehicle and enable proactive driving. "Another advantage of interlinking is that the software – and consequently the functions – are always kept up-to-date, in this case by means of over-the-air updates," said Dr. Sascha Semmler. "This makes our latest camera generation even more future-proof."
Continental will demonstrate the next camera generation during the International Motor Show, IAA in Frankfurt/Main (Hall 5.1. Booth A07 / A08).
DENSO develops new safety products for new 2018 Lexus LS
DENSO Corporation has announced two new products to be incorporated in the new 2018 Lexus LS, which will be released in Japan and US after this autumn.Read Now
A new stereo vision sensor (pictured) and millimetre-wave radar sensor will help improve safety performance of vehicles by more precisely detecting obstacles and lane lines on roads.
The stereo vision sensor uses 3D image processing techniques called 'dense stereo matching' to detect obstacles of different shapes, including pedestrians, vehicles, and guardrails, as well as empty road spaces marked by lane lines. This enables autonomous emergency braking and automatic steering control to avoid obstacles. The product's highly sophisticated cameras can also better detect pedestrians at night.
The new millimetre-wave radar sensor provides higher pedestrian detection performance in a more compact module. More frequent radio waves emission also detects obstacles with higher sensitivity, particularly pedestrians approaching from the sides. Furthermore, the product's radar beam can be emitted over a wider angular range, without requiring a mechanism to adjust the angle, as with previous versions. This reduces its size by 60% compared to conventional radar sensors, thereby allowing for easier installation.
Chinese supplier orders four multi-station mechanical presses from Schuler
Automotive supplier Chongqing Lianhao Technology has ordered four mechanical forging lines from Schuler, multi-station mechanical presses with link drive and a press force between 8,000 and 20,000 kilonewtons for delivery in China.Read Now
"We have to thank our sales department in Weingarten for the acquisition of this order," said Markus Bieg, head of the Industry Division in Weingarten. "Our colleagues here will also be responsible for the technical aspects of the product and design of the system. This demonstrates how important this site is for the Schuler Group." Manufacturing and assembly will take place at the Göppingen and Erfurt sites. The delivery of the four forging lines is planned to take place in the course of first half-year of 2018.
Thanks to the large stroke range – from 250 to 800 millimetres – presses of the type MML2 with link drive, which are available with optional ServoDirect technology, are suitable for the mass production of drive and chassis components in a large variety of sizes – from bevel gears to transmission shafts. The link kinematics reduce the forming speed, thereby increasing both the quality of the parts and the formability of the material. The link drive system of the MML2 developed by Schuler can be optimally adapted to the respective component requirements during the design of the press and permits a use for both cold and warm forging.
Schaeffler adds labyrinth sealed deep groove ball bearings to automotive component portfolio
The German supplier has launched its new range of CoRX and Twin-Ax bearings labyrinth seals that protect against water and contamination.Read Now
The highlight of these new products is the inclusion of two sealing rings that are smartly interconnected and make the ingress of water and contamination into the inside of the bearing impossible.
Deep groove ball bearings can be found on the drive trains of a wide range of vehicles, including front-wheel drive compact cars, limousines, small vans, and all-terrain SUVs. Many of the applications in which these bearings are used mean they are often subjected to extremely harsh conditions, where water and contamination can penetrate into the inside of the bearing and cause damage. Schaeffler has said that it is putting an end to this with its new CoRX and Twin-Ax deep groove ball bearings for passenger car drive shafts, which are equipped with a labyrinth sealing system that keeps contamination out of the inside of the bearing. The special feature of this system is a pair of specially formed sealing rings.
CoRX and Twin-Ax: outstanding sealing action with low frictional torque
Unlike the existing Seal-Slinger+Ax deep groove ball bearings, the CoRX and Twin-Ax bearings feature cassette seals. While CoRX bearings are equipped with axial and radial seals, Twin-Ax bearings feature two axial lips made from corrosion-free stainless steel. The outer sealing ring is water and dust-repellent. Both bearings have a third sealing lip with minimal interference to ensure that the lubricating grease stays inside the bearing, and it also provides improved wear protection. What is more, the frictional torque inside the bearings is minimised thanks to the optimised sealing lip contact, which means they are ideal components for high-speed drive shafts. CoRX and Twin-Ax bearings are suitable for a wide range of applications: they can be installed as both prop shaft and side shaft bearings and require no additional seals to be fitted (depending on the customer's requirements).
Deep groove ball bearings from FAG: customised components from a single source
Schaeffler is promoting its deep groove ball bearings as the perfect answer to the need for low frictional torques, outstanding sealing action, and maximum resistance to tilting. This is further exemplified by the already-established Single Contact bearing. This bearing runs with particularly low friction thanks to the optimised contact between its inner and outer ring, and is ideal for integration into the drive train as a semi-locating prop shaft or side shaft bearing. An alternative to this is the 2-Point Contact bearing, which was developed by Schaeffler's engineers with a view to providing maximum protection against tilting. Schaeffler's product portfolio also includes the Seal-Slinger bearing, which is equipped with two sealing rings and thus delivers significantly better sealing action.
Truck & Wheel Group readies new plant in Alabama in the US
Spanish auto supplier Truck & Wheel Group is moving forward with a 127,000 square foot, $30 million wheel assembly factory in Vance, Alabama.Read Now
The project will create more than 70 jobs in Tuscaloosa County, reports the Area Development newsdesk.
The company plans to establish a highly automated facility that will assemble, sequence and balance wheels for delivery to automotive production lines. This is the first US operation for the company, which wants to expand its market as a tier one supplier. The facility is scheduled to open next year.
According to state officials, the factory will be highly robotic and automated, attaching tyres to rims, inflating them and running quality assurance tests in a matter of seconds. The two firms previously teamed up to build a 500,000-square-foot parts warehouse for the automotive sector.
Truck & Wheel began in Europe in the 1990s and now has 26 branches there. It is one of the major logistics operators of tis type in Spain, France, Germany and Portugal, and has recently opened centres in Mexico.
Dara Longgrear, Executive Director of the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, said the company is joining a diverse lineup of auto suppliers in the region. "Truck & Wheel Group is introducing advanced automation technology that is new to our region," Longgrear said. "They will make a good addition to our automotive cluster and our international community."