The multi-year project involves a major reconstruction to the company's existing operations in Kodaira, Japan, and will include four new facilities set to open over the next four years.
"The world is rapidly evolving and Bridgestone must be ready to meet the needs of the next generation with advanced and sustainable solutions for mobility and beyond," said Masaaki Tsuya, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Executive Officer, Bridgestone Corporation. "Bridgestone Innovation Park will be the cornerstone of our company's next chapter as we focus on innovation that contributes to society's advancement and creates new value for our customers, our partners, and the world around us."
Bridgestone Innovation Park will be designed to foster the flexibility and creativity needed to support a more inclusive and connected society over the next 50 years while operating with the same core values and philosophy that have made Bridgestone successful for the past 90 years.
In the 1960's, Bridgestone's Founder, Shojiro Ishibashi, built the company's former Tokyo plant and technology centre in Kodaira to create an inclusive, active and healthy local community that valued the surrounding environment. His efforts to promote mobility, people, and the environment are still celebrated today through the company's "Our Way to Serve" global corporate social responsibility commitment, which helps guide Bridgestone to improve the way people move, live, work and play within its long-standing mission of "Serving Society with Superior Quality."
The next generation of the company's Kodaira footprint will bring these values to life through four primary facilities, which together comprise Bridgestone Innovation Park. The first facility is scheduled to open in June 2020, with the anticipated full schedule as follows:
・ Bridgestone Innovation Gallery (Formerly Bridgestone TODAY): Museum dedicated to Bridgestone history and innovation initiatives; designed to engage customers, partners and the local community through the Bridgestone story. (Scheduled to open in June 2020)
・ B-Innovation: Next-generation innovation and collaboration lab empowering joint creation with various internal and external stakeholders. (Scheduled to open in November 2021)
・ B-Mobility: Demonstration and testing facility to promote agile product development; will include several courses and data analysis capabilities. (Scheduled to open in November 2021)
・ Bridgestone AHL Arena： Barrier-free activity center providing access to sports for people of all ages and abilities; designed to promote a more diverse and inclusive society in alignment with the company's Active Healthy Lifestyle (AHL) values and its Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partnerships. (Scheduled to open in March 2022)
The development of Bridgestone Innovation Park is one of several significant milestones in the next year that signify the company's transformation. As a Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner, Bridgestone also will showcase many of its advanced mobility solutions and services in support of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 - which will be held in its global hometown.
This project supports the Group’s recently-announced G.R.O.W. STRATEGY, which focuses investment in high-growth sustainable solutions in materials. The new site production is targeted to be on stream by H1, 2022.
Sustainable mobility is driving double-digit growth demand for PVDF in applications in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, where Asia is the largest market. Solvay’s solutions and innovation pipeline in SOLEF PVDF will help its customers optimise energy storage efficiency by increasing the battery’s energy density, safety and power. Other growing applications include offshore oil and gas pipes and liners, high purity semiconductors, and membranes for water purification.
“Solvay’s decision to raise SOLEF PVDF capacity in Changshu, which follows our recent announcement to raise capacity in Europe, proves our continuous commitment to meeting our customers’ needs worldwide,” said Solvay Executive Committee Member Augusto Di Donfrancesco.
Recently, the World Alliance For Efficient Solutions created by the Solar Impulse Foundation recognised the value of SOLEF PVDF as a sustainable (and profitable) solution for a cleaner environment
Privately-owned Filc is headquartered in Škofja Loka, Slovenia, and operates two more production sites in Mengeš and Lendava, Slovenia, as well as a sales office in Dayton, OH, USA. Filc has roughly 360 employees. The transaction is subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.
“With the acquisition, we would like to further strengthen our performance materials business, and expand our portfolio and technological footprint in Europe,” said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Freudenberg Group CEO.
“Filc has great needle punch know-how which we will benefit from, especially in terms of composites. Filc´s exceptionally good adhesive coating abilities will allow us to offer customer solutions in adjacent segments in the construction business,” explained Dr. Frank Heislitz, Freudenberg Performance Materials CEO. “In addition, we will expand our technical expertise in acoustics, both in construction and automotive, and provide customers a broad technology portfolio with lamination, printing, and coating.”
“Becoming part of a globally active company offers an opportunity for regional and global expansion of our business. In addition, sharing our expertise in technology will be crucial to scale up our growth,” added Anže Manfreda, CEO of Filc.
The company was founded in 1937 and has been in the nonwovens business since 1963. Freudenberg has a long-standing global footprint and the broadest technology platform in the nonwovens industry and is thus an ideal partner for Filc.
Fuel cell systems have a recirculation system for unused hydrogen on the anode side. An active blower is often used for this purpose, which must function safely and efficiently even at high concentrations of hydrogen. To ensure this, Pierburg has developed a hydrogen recirculation blower (HRB) based on a side-channel blower and without dynamic sealing elements to ensure ultimate hydrogen tightness over lifetime. The hydrogen recirculation blower is available in both high- and low-voltage variants. The blower can start from cold and has excellent NVH characteristics. It has a rating of 0.7 to 2 kilowatts or up to 400 watts in the low-voltage version. It is driven by a brushless motor with sensorless control; LIN / CAN bus communication and diagnostic functions are also available.
Fuel-cell technology is currently gaining new importance for many vehicle manufacturers. After much investment in the development of this technology since the nineties and its inability to establish itself in the market, the time seems to have come for the fuel cell to gain acceptance as part of the sustainable trend towards electrification. It combines long ranges with short refueling times and is therefore an important addition to purely battery electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, some manufacturers have launched vehicles with fuel cells, and other OEMs in Asia and Europe are announcing the series launch of this technology over the next few years. In many regions of the world, including Germany, this is accompanied by the progressive expansion of the hydrogen filling station network propelled by comprehensive public funding.
So far, the focus of fuel-cell vehicle development has been on medium-sized passenger cars, but it is currently shifting towards larger passenger cars and SUVs, even extending to trucks and buses. Equipping such heavy vehicles with batteries for acceptable travel ranges will remain uneconomical for the foreseeable future due to the cost of the battery, its weight and the space required installing it. For those types of vehicles the fuel cell appears to be particularly preferable, because it is also a more economical solution.
Together with high-ranking officials and industry representatives, the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Kragujevac was unveiled. As a new employer in the region, the company is looking to recruit up to 800 new employees over the next few years.
"With this new plant in Serbia, we are expanding our manufacturing capacity in Eastern Europe's growth markets and responding to our customers' increasing presence in the region," said Tony Elenbaas, Vice President & General Manager, Europe & South Africa at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.
The company manufactures automotive interior components in a production area of approximately 18,500 square metres and has already created approximately 180 new jobs in the region. The plant is designed for up to 800 employees. Employee numbers are to be gradually increased year after year. This is the company's first plant in Serbia.
The good infrastructure in place and the availability of skilled workers in the Kragujevac region were key to selecting this location. Other factors included its central location in Southeast and Central Europe and proximity to other YFAI plants in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
For the engines developed with a displacement of two litres, die-cast housings are used on the lower-performance models. The manufacturing process for a second more powerful unit is low-pressure die casting. This uses inorganically produced cores and a special cooling technique in order to meet the complex geometry of the component on the one hand and the high mechanical requirements and operating specifications on the other. Production for both orders started in autumn 2018 and is planned to run until 2027.
On both models, the cylinders feature a special lining, applied by the OEM to deliver significant advantages in terms of friction and thus consumption and emission.
Back in 2017, Rheinmetall Automotive AG had been awarded the contract for several components on the OEM's diesel engine series. The order volume worth over €390 million ($429 million) also includes the latest generation of steel pistons, cylinder crankcases, plain bearings and electropneumatic transducers.
All these components contribute to low overall consumption and reduced emissions on these advanced drivelines.
“This announcement is exciting news for Adairsville and the State of Georgia,” said Governor Kemp. “NLMGA is manufacturing the innovative products that will fuel the future of the automotive industry, and we are grateful that they chose to invest in our state.”
In building this new facility, NLMGA will strive to achieve further growth and expand their business in order to continue creating value for its customers in the automotive sector. The company broke ground on the new facility on November 20.
“This facility is the beginning of our dream to manufacture aluminum forged suspension parts in the US,” said Katsu Nakajima, President of NLMGA. “We are excited to locate in the Adairsville community.”
As the demand for environmentally-friendly products and lighter-weight vehicles grows worldwide, NLMGA plans to manufacture aluminium products for automobiles at the plant in Adairsville.
Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Joseph Huntemann represented the Global Commerce Division on this project in partnership with Electric Cities of Georgia, Georgia Quick Start, and the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development.
“Congratulations to NLMGA as they break ground on this fantastic new facility in Adairsville,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This project is a testament to the strength of the automotive and manufacturing industries in Georgia and the collaborative effort between our state and local economic development partners.”
Nippon Light Metal Georgia (NLMGA) is a joint venture company of Nippon Light Metal North America Inc. and ITOCHU Metals Corp.
ZF already has two development centres in China, both located in Shanghai. With their respective focus on the development of active and passive safety technology as well as driveline and chassis technology, the two centres support ZF customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the massive expansion of future technologies such as automated driving and e-mobility has created additional demand for engineering capacities, which ZF is addressing with the establishment of the research and development centre in Guangzhou.
“The decision to build a third development centre in China is of great importance and confirms ZF’s strategic goal of further expansion in the largest global automotive market,” said Dr. Holger Klein, member of ZF’s Board of Management and responsible for the Asia-Pacific region. “The new centre will develop key technologies and system solutions for ZF that we can also use in other market regions.”
The new research and development centre in Guangzhou, is planned to be operational by 2023. In addition, the centre will also be home to a satellite of the Shanghai-based research and development centres in order to optimally serve customers in southern China.
The development centre in Guangzhou will have core competencies in engineering and research and development and will cover aspects such as software development and related technologies for the mobility of the future. Together, the three research and development centres in China will be able to offer ZF customers comprehensive system solutions ranging from software to hardware, thus contributing to clean, safe, and affordable next-generation mobility.
The settlement in Guangzhou also follows the ZF approach of localizing research and development directly in the respective markets and quickly adapting to the industry trends in electrification, automation, connectivity, and mobility services in China.
This allows considerable moisture to be detected on the road surface and the driving systems to be adjusted to a more stable driving behaviour as a preventive measure. For this wetness detection, a Structural Health and Knock Emission (SHAKE) sensor from HELLA has now been incorporated in the front wheel arch liners on the new Porsche 911. The SHAKE sensor identifies the condition of the road and detects a film of water on the surface.
Drivers often underestimate wetness on the roads. Accidents frequently occur when tyres lose contact with the roadway causing them to lose traction when it is very wet. "If we are to reliably prevent this, drivers must be made aware of road conditions in good time so they can adapt their behaviour," said Michael Jaeger, a member of the executive board at HELLA's Electronics division, responsible for actuators and sensors.
In the field of driver assistance systems HELLA has therefore further developed the so-called SHAKE technology. This supplements existing assistance and safety systems, as it allows the vehicle not only to "see" its surroundings (e.g. via radar and camera systems), but to also "feel" them, thereby covering the invisible area between all driver assistance systems in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle. Using a piezoelectric element, the SHAKE sensor for example detects vibrations and airborne noise from water droplets swirled up in the air and determines the degree of wetness between tyre and road.
If the system of the new Porsche 911 detects a wet road, the response behaviour of Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Traction Management (PTM) will be preconditioned. The driver also receives a warning and a recommendation to switch to WET-Mode. Various systems such as the response behaviour of the power unit then adapt to ensure maximum driving stability.
"This is a great advantage over most systems available to date, which only warn the driver when a critical situation with very wet roads has already occurred," said Michael Jaeger. The wetness sensor also has potential for autonomous driving scenarios. "Because to determine static friction and thus braking distances, precise information about road conditions is vital. And this is exactly what the SHAKE sensor can reliably detect."
In Europe, the Porsche 911 has been available to customers since spring 2019. In addition to the SHAKE sensor, HELLA has also contributes interior lamps, body control modules and accelerator pedal sensors.
Toyoda Gosei has been reforming its earnings structure in each global region as an integral part of its efforts to achieve sustainable growth. However, its European business has continued to struggle. After considering remediation measures, it has decided to sell all of its shares in TGM.
At the completion of this transaction, TGM and its subsidiary Meteor Sealing Systems will no longer be consolidated subsidiaries of Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. The procedures for this transfer of ownership shares and management rights will be completed by the end of December 2019.
The estimated loss to be incurred from the transfer is JPY21 billion ($193.2 million), which Toyoda Gosei will report as a loss on liquidation of business in its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020.
“Strategy for growing markets and fields” is one of the key pillars in Toyoda Gosei’s 2025 Business Plan, the company’s medium and long-term business plan, and management resources are prioritised for allocation to growing markets and product fields. The company will continue to respond swiftly and flexibly to the accelerating changes in the business environment with the aim of achieving sustainable growth into the future.