Automotive Purchasing Weekly 21 December 2015 - page 10

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GM invests$356million inFlint,
SaginawandGrandRapids
operations
16 December 2015 | OEM
General Motors will invest more than $356
million in a new engine line in Flint and
driveline and powertrain components in
Saginaw and Grand Rapids, creating more
than 50 jobs and helping to retain nearly
500 positions.
The Michigan investment announcements
come on the same day as an amended
agreement between GM and the Michigan
Strategic Fund under the Michigan
Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) tax
credit programme. As part of the amended
agreement, which was approved by the
Michigan Strategic Fund, GM will invest $1
billion in Michigan by 2030. The announced
investment of $356.35 million represents
more than one-third of that amount.
Since 2009, GM has made investment
commitments in Michigan of more than
$9 billion. During this time period, GM
has far exceeded its original investment
commitment under the MEGA Agreement.
GM’s substantial investment in Michigan and
the corresponding job growth and retention
has contributed Michigan’s economic
success since 2009.
“The agreement with GM on MEGA credits
helps Michigan’s budget forecast. And
today’s announcement that it is investing in
Saginaw, Flint and Grand Rapids proves the
company wants to retain a strong presence
in Michigan,” said Govenor Rick Snyder.
“The fact that GM is committing to invest $1
billion by 2030 here is even better news.
It’s a globally competitive environment, and
GM’s announcement shows it appreciates
that Michigan is a Comeback State with a
skilled work force and exciting expansion
opportunities.”
The announcement includes:
Flint Engine Operations: $263 million for a
future engine programme. The investment
retains approximately 410 hourly and
salaried jobs at the plant
Saginaw Metal Casting Operations: $50
million for driveline components. The
investment retains 68 jobs
Grand Rapids Operations: $43.35
million for powertrain components. The
investment creates 55 and retains 15 jobs.
“These investments will better position
GM and its work force to produce high quality
engines and components for customers
who demand greater fuel efficiency and
performance from our vehicles,’ said Bill
Shaw, GM North America Manufacturing
Manager.
Details pertaining to the engine
programmes and associated vehicles will be
released at a later date.
“The membership and leadership of
Region 1-D are excited about this investment
in our area and our work force,” said UAW
Region 1-D Director Gerald Kariem. “These
investments were earned with the quality
and skill our membership brings to their
jobs every day, and we appreciate GM
giving us the opportunity to continue to
prove the UAW work force is world class.
Congratulations, GM and UAW Locals 659,
668 and 167.”
The
announcement
raises
GM’s
announced U.S.-facility investment in 2015
to $7.1 billion, including $353.4 million
announced recently in four other states:
Bedford, Indianna: $127.4 million for
engine components
Bowling Green, Kentucky.: $44 million for
increased engine capacity
D-Max/Moraine, Ohio: $82 million for
productivity improvements
Defiance, Ohio: $100 million for engine
components.
FordandCorning introduce light-
weight technologyonFordGT
16 December 2015 | OEM
The new 2016 Ford GT supercar will debut the Corning Gorilla Glass hybrid windscreen – a
more durable, scratch-resistant window that is about 30% lighter than traditional glass.
Developed by Ford and Corning, the
window will be used on both the windscreen
and rear engine cover of the Ford GT,
contributing to enhanced vehicle handling,
improved fuel efficiency and reduced risk of
glass damage.
“Gorilla Glass hybrid is a great example of
how Ford works with suppliers to innovate in
every area of our business,” said Hau Thai-
Tang, Ford Global Purchasing Group Vice
President. “Ford GT is setting new standards
for innovation through performance and
light-weighting, and we’re excited about
exploring other applications for this great
new technology.”
When tasked with developing lightweight
and advanced material vehicle applications,
the Ford team approached Corning, a leader
in material science that introduced light
and durable Gorilla Glass to the consumer
electronic market in 2007. Interested in
further exploring potential automotive
applications, Ford engaged Corning to help
research and develop a unique formulation
for exterior vehicle glass.
Once the technology was studied for
Ford’s supercar concept, the team realised
there were real-world applications for the
new hybrid glass. A small, dedicated group
comprised of purchasing and engineering
employees from Ford and Corning fast-
tracked the technology to be introduced
within four months.
“This successful collaboration is one
of the reasons we spend research and
development resources to develop new
innovations and solve tough problems,” said
Wendell Weeks, Chief Executive Officer,
Corning Incorporated. “Ford recognised
the significant value of these innovative
light-weighting technology and committed
significant resources to quickly get it
qualified for production applications. We
worked with Ford to develop a glass that
successfully withstood thousands of hours
of durability testing and is now being used
in a Ford production vehicle. We are excited
to introduce this game changing technology
to the market.”
Gorilla Glass hybrid
A traditional automotive laminated
windscreen consists of two layers of
toughened glass sandwiched around a
clear, thermoplastic interlayer binding agent.
Originally introduced in America by Henry
Ford, the technology has been used in the
auto industry for nearly a century.
The new hybrid glass uses a multilayer
approach – a pane of toughened
automotive-grade formed hybrid acts as
the strengthened inner layer, an advanced
noise-absorbing thermoplastic interlayer is
in the centre, with toughened glass as the
outer layer. The result is a windshield and
rear engine cover approximately 32% lighter
than competitive vehicles.
“During development, we tried different
glass variations before we found a
combination that provided both weight
savings and the durability needed for
exterior automotive glass,” said Paul Linden,
Ford Body Exteriors Engineer. “We learned,
somewhat counterintuitively, that the
strengthened interior layer of the windscreen
is key to the success of the hybrid window.”
The new Gorilla Glass hybrid window
laminate is approximately 25% to 50%
thinner, and has equal to, or greater strength
than traditional laminate. Traditional
laminate glass ranges from four millimetres
to six millimetres in thickness, while Gorilla
Glass hybrid window ranges from three to
four millimetres. This remarkable reduction
in thickness greatly reduces the weight of
each panel.
The new technology was tested over
stone and in rough road conditions, and had
to endure specific projectile, rollover and
wind tunnel testing.
“In addition to the new hybrid technology
for the exterior glass of Ford GT, we’re using
a unique glass combination for the bulkhead
panel between passenger cell and engine
bay,” said Linden. “We’re excited that we
can use tailored glass applications to meet
specific needs and provide maximum weight
savings.”
The reduced weight of the windscreen,
engine cover and bulkhead glass on Ford
GT improves acceleration, fuel economy
and braking performance. Perhaps most
important is the benefit on handling –
removing the weight of glass high in the
construction of the vehicle lowers the
centre of gravity and contributes to the car’s
outstanding agility.
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