Dana Incorporated started production of its Spicer Electrified eS9000r e-Axle for Class 4 and 5 commercial fleet applications. The e-Axle will be available for ordering in the third quarter of 2020. Dana is the first to market with this e-Axle classification in North America and has the in-house capability to manufacture all components of the system, including the gears, axle, motor and inverter. Designed for medium-duty truck and bus applications, the e-S9000r is based on the proven and widely specified Spicer S110, S111 and S130 rear-drive axle platforms and is engineered as a fully integrated e-Axle, including a gearbox and motor.
For decades, automotive component makers have relied on hot forging presses and shearing systems to transform metal bars into high-quality parts such as drive shafts, gear wheels and bearing rings, to name but a few.
General Motors will invest $2.2 billion at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. When the plant is fully operational, this investment will create more than 2,200 manufacturing jobs. GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks. The company’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM’s first fully dedicated electric-vehicle assembly plant. The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.
American Axle & Manufacturing, a leader in the design, engineering and manufacturing of automotive driveline systems and components, opened a new 15,600-square-meter manufacturing facility in the industrial area of Viladecans, Spain, just outside Barcelona. The facility will support demand and growth from new and current European customers, including Renault, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, Audi and Ford. AAM Barcelona produces a complete range of vibration control and damper products, including PV-bonded dampers, press-in compression dampers, isolation pulleys, in-mold bonded dampers and damped gears. It consolidates two smaller facilities in nearby Gavà and will employ nearly 300 associates at full capacity.
Toyota is investing $391 million at its San Antonio truck assembly plant in an effort to better serve customers. The announcement comes as part of a broader commitment from Toyota to invest $13 billion in its U.S. operations over five years through 2021. The investment will make the plant more competitive in the long-term and more efficient while remaining flexible with multi-vehicle production capabilities by introducing various advanced manufacturing technologies. Separately, Aisin AW, a supplier to Toyota Texas and other automakers, will invest $400 million and bring 900 new jobs to a future facility in nearby Cibolo, Texas.
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM) entered into a definitive agreement to sell its U.S. iron casting operations (Grede) to funds managed by Gamut Capital Management for $245 million. Across 10 manufacturing facilities, Grede develops, manufactures, assembles and supplies ductile, gray and specialty iron castings and machined components for the automotive, commercial vehicle and industrial markets. AAM will retain its El Carmen, Mexico, iron casting operations.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that Bharat Forge America Inc. will build an aluminum forging plant to manufacture automobile components in Lee County, N.C. The $127.3 million investment will create 304 jobs. The new facility will be part of a larger manufacturing center that will create as many as 460 jobs. According to Bharat Forge, the investment will help it create a strong global manufacturing footprint as part of its aluminum strategy.
This fourth article about Germany’s Lightweight Forging Initiative (now with international industry support) focuses on potential weight savings through innovative material selection and forging part and process design. This continuation of the article from June examines additional specific lightweighting opportunities on a hybrid car and a heavy-duty truck.
August 1, 2019
Forging technology has undergone continuous development during the past few years.
Thyssenkrupp will build an advanced forging line at its Homburg site in Germany’s Saarland region. The company will invest approximately $90 million in a new 12,000-square-meter facility to produce forged front axles for trucks. The centerpiece of the highly automated and digitized forging line will be a 16,000-ton forging press measuring 32.8 feet (10 meters) high and weighing 1,700 tons. According to thyssenkrupp, the press will produce 360,000 forged components per year and will not be restricted to one product. In addition to front axle systems, the line will be able to produce crankshafts and other forged parts as required.
India’s Bharat Forge Ltd. (Kalyani Group), a manufacturer of heavy-duty diesel crankshafts for commercial vehicles, rolled out its one millionth finish-machined crankshaft in mid-May. Bharat Forge, a long-standing supplier to Daimler AG, produces crankshafts that power Daimler’s heavy-duty engines. The company supplies machined crankshafts for the 13L and 15L engine platforms to Detroit Diesel in the U.S. Additionally, Bharat Forge shares the 13L platform with Daimler’s Mannheim plant in Germany.