American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (AAM), a global automotive supplier of driveline and metal-forming technologies, and Suzhou Inovance Automotive Ltd. (Inovance Automotive), a provider of automotive power electronics and powertrain systems in China, formed a technology development agreement that will accelerate the development and delivery of scalable, next-generation 3-in-1 electric drive systems, which integrate an inverter, electric motor and gearbox. The collaboration will seek to enhance the power density, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of electric drive technology offered in the global market.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) will supply its EcoTrac Disconnecting All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) for Chrysler’s new 2021 Pacifica minivan. AAM’s system seamlessly provides AWD safety and performance only when the vehicle senses it is needed, including during cold temperatures, windshield wiper use, front-wheel slip, heavy accelerations, electronic stability control activation, abrupt steering and rough road conditions. AAM’s Pacifica’s power transfer unit (PTU), rear drive module (RDM) and the drive train control module (DTCM) are the heart of its AWD system and use vehicle sensor data to constantly evaluate traction and assist the driver through difficult weather and challenging road conditions.
General Motors plans to invest $71 million into two Ohio manufacturing facilities, including $39 million at its Toledo transmission plant and $32 million at its Defiance casting plant. Work will begin immediately at the two locations. The Toledo investment will be used to upgrade and enhance the production of GM’s eight-speed rear-wheel-drive transmission, and the Defiance investment will be used to prepare the facility for future engine casting components work. The investments will enable the company to retain 240 jobs.
Can-Eng Furnaces International Ltd. received a contract from a Tier 1 manufacturer of forged suspension components for a system that will produce lightweight forged-aluminum parts for passenger vehicles. The system includes a pre-forging rotary-hearth aluminum heating furnace, water quench and continuous aging furnace. The equipment will be integrated into an automated forging cell that includes specialized material-handling components and advanced controls.
Viking Analytics, a Swedish provider of advanced analytics solutions for predictive operations, and Bharat Forge Kilsta, a Sweden-based supplier of forged components, began collaborating in a data-driven production quality project. In the coming months, Viking Analytics will prepare an assessment of the data collected by sensors installed in the oven that heats steel rods used in the production of crankshafts and front axle beams for heavy-duty vehicles. In Bharat Forge Kilsta’s Karlskoga plant, the forged steel is first heated in an induction oven, whose temperature varies according to different steel grades and products. If a disruption occurs, the oven must be adjusted to keep the metal at a constant temperature. This process is currently performed manually, which sometimes causes human-related deviations in the proper temperature-level records.
ArcelorMittal announced its intention to build an electric-arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking facility at AM/NS Calvert in Alabama. Once completed, the planned facility will be capable of producing 1.5 million tons of steel slabs annually for the hot-strip mill. It will also produce a broad spectrum of steel grades required for Calvert’s end-user markets. Construction is expected to take 24 months, and the new facility is anticipated to create 300 new jobs.
American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has developed a new independent rear drive axle (IRDA) for GM’s full-size SUVs, including the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, GMC Yukon Denali and Cadillac Escalade. AAM and GM worked together to replace the prior-generation axle with a newly designed three-mount independent rear drive axle module. The design features a lightweight aluminum carrier housing and a low-offset hypoid gear set to provide improved efficiency and better noise, vibration and harshness performance.
American Axle & Manufacturing’s (AAM) Electric Drive Technology will power Jaguar’s first pure-electric model, the I-PACE. AAM supplies both front and rear e-Drive units, which together deliver a total of 294 kW of AWD power and 700 Nm of torque. The system leverages AAM’s experience in the design, analysis and processing of geared mechanical systems to engineer compact, quiet and efficient drive units.
According to a report, Spain’s Alcorta Forging Group will open its first U.S. manufacturing operations and regional headquarters in Marysville, Ohio. The 100-year-old company, which develops and manufactures automotive components, will invest $15 million and create 50 new jobs. The 150,000-square-foot forging and manufacturing facility will be completed in three phases and include state-of-the-art machinery and equipment. Under the current uncertain circumstances, Alcorta will move forward with its pre-construction activities while remaining on hold for the construction launch.
Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG successfully completed the acquisition of commercial-vehicle technology supplier WABCO of Switzerland. WABCO’s integration into ZF unites two industry leaders behind a shared vision to create a customer-focused powerhouse to advance commercial-vehicle technology. The combined product portfolio now encompasses conventional and electric drive and chassis components; a comprehensive suite of sensors; and fully integrated, advanced braking, steering and driver-assistance systems for OEMs seeking technological differentiation for their new vehicle platforms.