Carbon and Ford partner to digitally manufacture new parts
Digital manufacturing company Carbon is set to partner with Ford in providing digitally manufactured polymer parts. The parts include Ford Focus HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Cooling) Lever Arm Service Parts, Ford F-150 Raptor Auxiliary Plugs for a niche market, and Ford Mustang GT500 Electric Parking Brake Brackets.
Presented at the Additive Manufacturing for Automotive Workshop at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the collaboration follows from the duo’s recent launch of its Advanced Manufacturing Center in Redford, Michigan.
Based in Silicon Valley, Carbon brings together innovations in hardware, software, and molecular science to deliver industry-leading digital manufacturing solutions. Utilising Carbon’s robust and reliable printers, proprietary Digital Light Synthesis technology and innovative EPX (epoxy) 82 material, such innovation will prove essential for such parts, and have passed Ford’s thorough performance standards and critical requirements, such as interior weathering; heat exposure; UV stability; fluid and chemical resistance; flammability (ISO 3795); and fogging (SAEJ1756).
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Ford Motor Company and are excited about the many opportunities to leverage the power of digital manufacturing to deliver durable, end-use parts with similar – or better – properties as injection moulded parts,” commented Dr Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-founder of Carbon. “The automotive industry shows significant promise for using digital fabrication at scale, and our work with Ford is a perfect example of the kind of innovation you can achieve when you design on the means of production.”
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Through partnerships with companies that also include adidas, Johnson & Johnson, and Vitamix, Carbon is moving beyond 3D printing to full-scale digital manufacturing by helping customers create break-through products across industry sectors, from automotive to healthcare to consumer goods.
Through its Digital Light Synthesis technology and broad family of programmable liquid resins, Carbon can work to support manufacturers unlock new business opportunities, such as mass customisation, on-demand inventory, and intricate product designs. The company has also worked with transportation company Proterra, implementing additive manufacturing technology to support customers across the US.
The automotive is ramping up its investment in new innovative technologies to further support growing demands on a global scale. From artificial intelligence, automation and predictive analytics, Ford has also now also entered a blockchain pilot to trace cobalt, used in lithium-ion batteries in the development of electric cars. The pilot will involve a mine in the Congo, where decentralised ledger technology will work to eliminate any form of unethical practices and ensure all suppliers remain compliant across its supply chain activities.
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.