Tenaris plans to restart activity at its two plants in Pennsylvania: the Koppel melt shop and Ambridge seamless pipe mill. The plant in Koppel – the company’s first domestic steel shop – is finalizing an investment announced in 2020 to upgrade its steel bar size capabilities while also incorporating additional improvements in safety and automation. Tenaris has since increased its investment to include the revamping of existing cranes used to feed the furnace with scrap metal and a new production management system to improve process control at the steel shop. The more than $15 million investment is projected to be completed in May with production to start up in June.
Volvo Group and SSAB signed a collaboration agreement on research, development, serial production and commercialization of the world's first vehicles to be made of fossil-free steel. Volvo will start manufacturing the first concept vehicles and machines with steel from SSAB using hydrogen in 2021. Plans call for smaller-scale serial production to start during 2022 and for a gradual escalation toward mass production to follow. Volvo and SSAB will also work together in research and development to optimize the use of steel in Volvo’s products with regard to weight and quality. The two companies plan to develop a number of products of fossil-free steel with the goal of reaching serial production within a few years.
Ultium Cells LLC, a joint venture of General Motors and LG Energy Solution, will invest more than $2.3 billion to build its second battery-cell manufacturing plant in the United States. The approximately 2.8 million-square-foot facility will be located in Spring Hill, Tenn. It is expected to create 1,300 new jobs. Construction will begin immediately, and the plant is scheduled to open in late 2023. Once operational, the facility will supply battery cells to GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant.
Automotive supplier Ningbo Xusheng Auto Technology Co. Ltd. of China issued the Final Acceptance Certificate to SMS group for a fully automatic closed-die forging line. Installed at the company’s Ningbo location in the province of Zhejiang, the forging line consists of an eccentric forging press and, as a pre-forming unit, an automatic forging roll. The press operates with a maximum press force of 25 MN. Ningbo Xusheng is using the line to produce aluminum chassis components, especially for electric vehicles. With support of specific simulation software, SMS group cooperated with Ningbo Xusheng to jointly develop the technology and the dies for the aluminum forging process.
Nucor Corp. will build a new tube mill on the site of its Nucor Steel Gallatin sheet mill in Kentucky. This location will allow the company to take advantage of investments made to expand capacity of the Gallatin mill and add a galvanizing line. The $164 million project is expected to be in operation by the middle of 2023 and create more than 70 new full-time jobs. The tube mill will have the capacity to produce approximately 250,000 tons annually of hollow structural section (HSS) steel tubing, mechanical steel tubing and galvanized solar torque tube. The Gallatin County site puts the facility near expanding solar markets in the United States and the largest consuming regions for HSS steel tubing.
ABB signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hitachi Construction Machinery to share their expertise and collaborate in bringing solutions to market that will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with heavy machinery in mining. The companies will explore possibilities to apply ABB’s electrification, automation and digital solutions to mining trucks and excavators provided by Hitachi Construction Machinery as part of wider efforts with mine operators to electrify all processes from pit to port.
Schuler Service repaired two machines damaged in a fire at Mühlhoff Umformtechnik, an automotive supplier in Uedem, Germany. As a result, part production on a new 2,000-ton press from the TSD series can also start on time – all within just 12 months of the fire. Because drive components with long lead times were already accessible, Schuler was able to shorten the time to commissioning by three months. This happened even though the experts on site had to contend with challenges such as the foundation, which was designed for the previous and significantly smaller 800-ton line.
Anchor Harvey, an aluminum forging company that seeks to set new standards for sustainable transportation, announced the launch of its new Electric Vehicle (EV) Workgroup. The new in-house working group draws from Anchor Harvey’s technological leadership and experience in forging components for the automobile and motorsports industries. By creating high-strength, lightweight forged aluminum components – such as steering knuckles, control arms, suspension components and structural nodes – the EV Workgroup will focus on vehicle parts built for increased range in support of manufacturers creating the next generation of transportation.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) secured the next-generation axle and driveshaft program for Ram’s heavy-duty pickup trucks. As Ram’s strategic driveline supplier through 2030, AAM expects current and future sales related to this program to exceed several billion dollars over its lifetime.
Schuler will deliver a 16,000-ton forging line, which includes a Farina forging press, to thyssenkrupp Gerlach. Internal assembly for the 16,000-ton line – one of the largest mechanical machines in the world, according to Schuler – has been completed at Farina’s facility in Suello, Italy. After the test run, the components (with a total weight of 1,700 tons) will make their way to thyssenkrupp Gerlach’s forging plant in Homburg, Germany. Production is expected to start in 2022.