Updates and announcements from the manufacturing arena

Multiple benefits
The software company CoreTechnologie GmbH (CT), with locations in Germany, France, USA, Japan and Great Britain, has released the latest version of its renowned 4D_Additive software. The advanced version includes an innovative batch nesting tool.

With the help of the new function, the CAD models stored in the system-specific database are ordered as in a web shop and automatically sent to the printer. The arrangement and orientation of the components, the so-called nesting, automatically takes place and does not require any 3D printing expertise of the user. As a result, the usually complicated and time consuming manual operation is significantly simplified and accelerated. The system is integrated in the so-called Partfinder, which makes it possible to locate and sort suitable parts for specific processes and machine has been extended with the advanced nesting tool of 4D_Additive running in batch mode.

The intelligent nesting functions with multiprocessor calculation ensure a reliable and fast automatic filling as well as the optimal utilisation of the construction volume and 100 per cent collision safety. Multiple other benefits are offered by the new function, including time saving and processing of exact B-Rep CAD data of all common systems such as Catia, NX, Solidworks, Creo, Inventor, STEP or JT.

Plant opens
Luxury marque Aston Martin Lagonda has opened its new manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales. While Gaydon continues to be the home of the company’s sports car production, St Athan is the home of Aston Martin’s first SUV, the DBX. Upon the commencement of full production at St Athan in the second quarter of 2020, the company will have created up to 600 new highly-skilled jobs, rising to 750 at peak production.

Commenting at the opening, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO, Dr Andy Palmer said: “Opening our new manufacturing facility at St Athan is a pivotal day for Aston Martin and a vote of confidence in the UK. St Athan is a critical step in delivering our new car, DBX, which will be built in the new facility. The opening of St Athan is a hugely important milestone in the company’s growth plan and integral to our ambitions as a global luxury brand with a presence in all major sectors of the market.”

Palmer added “Everyone involved in the creation of our new St Athan facility should feel proud today. It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. Our core business of producing beautiful, hand-crafted cars in England is now extended to Wales, which is extremely pertinent to us as a great British company.”

Top for innovation
Giesecke+Devrient (G+D) has been ranked among the top 50 of Germany’s most innovative companies. In the EconSight ranking, undertaken on behalf of the Handelsblatt newspaper, the group took the 28th spot among other innovation champions in Germany. In its current ranking list, the Swiss business research institute identifies the leaders in the race for digital penetration of future technologies and the companies that are decisively shaping the global innovation landscape.

The business model of Giesecke+Devrient is based on four pillars: products and solutions in connection with secure payment whether in the physical, electronic or digital world, securing digital connections between people and machinery on the internet, reliable and integrated identity solutions and protecting data networks and critical infrastructures against the abuse of data. The basis for the solutions to protect payment transactions, identities, connectivity and data are state-of-the-art technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, machine learning, biometry or blockchains.

“Given the increasing speed of innovation cycles, agility is very important for us as a tech company. We have established the basis for it with a comprehensive ecosystem. With this multi-level innovation strategy, Giesecke+Devrient is able to systematically launch new products and procedures in economically highly relevant fields on the market,” explains Ralf Wintergerst, Chairman of the Management Board and Group CEO of Giesecke+Devrient.

Michael Tagscherer, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the Munich based security technology group since July 2019, adds: “The transformation from the analogue to the digital world, and the related opportunity and necessity to develop new digital business models, is crucial nowadays. Even if it sometimes means disruption at first or is perceived as competing with existing business, companies must continuously develop and also explore new avenues. All activities contribute towards securing and expanding our market position.”

Engineering partner
INEOS Automotive has expanded its partnership with global mobility technology company, Magna on the development of the Grenadier. Its subsidiary, Magna Powertrain, has been responsible for chassis and suspension development since the inception of the project and it will now be joined by Magna Steyr, which will undertake the series development phase.

Dirk Heilmann, Chief Executive Officer of INEOS Automotive, confirmed: “The transition from concept to series development is a major landmark in the evolution of the Grenadier. We are pleased to have Magna, with their long heritage and experience in 4×4 development, with us for the next stage of the journey. With our production plans recently confirmed, we now move into all-important series development and start to set our sights on the start of production.”

Frank Klein, President of Complete Vehicle Manufacturing & Engineering at Magna Steyr, said: “Magna is in a unique position with our complete vehicle knowledge. We are excited to help INEOS Automotive bring the Grenadier to reality.”

Closed-loop recycling
Audi and Umicore have successfully completed the test phase of their strategic research co-operation. The result is that more than 90 per cent of the cobalt and nickel in the high-voltage batteries of the Audi e-tron can be recovered. The car manufacturer and the materials technology and recycling expert are therefore now entering the next phase. As of January, the partners will co-operate on a closed loop for cobalt and nickel. The recovered materials will be used in new battery cells.

“A closed loop for battery raw materials is a big leap technologically. We save precious resources and reduce CO2 emissions. In this way, we come significantly closer to our goal of a sustainable supply chain and reach a milestone on the road to achieving an overall carbon-neutral balance by 2050,” says Dr. Bernd Martens, member of the board of management for Procurement and IT at Audi. “It is our aim to think sustainability holistically. This includes dealing with the remaining ‘end of life’ as well as resource-saving development of our products.”

News in brief
Investment surge predicted
Manufacturers around the globe are planning to aggressively invest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, according to new findings from IFS. The international research, which examined the perception and adoption of AI within the sector, revealed that some 91% are planning to invest in AI strategies. Industrial automation and inventory planning & logistics were cited as the key focus areas by 54% and 40% of respondents, as manufacturers seek to enhance productivity and boost efficiency.

“AI is no longer an emerging technology. It is being implemented to support business automation in the here and now, as this study clearly proves,” IFS VP of AI and RPA, Bob De Caux, said. “We are seeing many real-world examples where technology is augmenting existing decision-making processes by providing users with more timely, accurate and pertinent information. In today’s disruptive economy, the convergence of technologies such as AI, RPA, and IoT is bolstering a new form of business automation that will provide companies that are brave enough with the tools and services they need to be more competitive and outflank larger competitors.”

Smart factory strategies
Senseye has entered into a new partnership with ATS Global to accelerate smart factory strategies. ATS will support Senseye’s clients with the design, implementation, or integration of automated machine data systems such as historians or manufacturing execution systems with its predictive maintenance software suite, Senseye PdM.

Senseye PdM is used by Global Fortune 500 industrial companies to automatically monitor in real-time production assets to deliver predictive maintenance at scale. Senseye PdM uses proprietary machine learning algorithms and AI to spot in advance assets that are likely to fail, providing customers with competitive advantage by reducing unplanned downtime, spare parts inventory, and maintenance costs.

Michael Jenke, Manager at ATS Germany, noted that by working together, the companies can help customers better connect their assets and accelerate smart factories benefits.