CBI survey reveals positivity in the industry
The latest CBI industrial trends quarterly survey has been released, and reveals that the volume of domestic orders has risen at the fastest pace since June 2014.
The research shows that the 461 manufacturing companies asked are more optimistic about their business solutions and exporting prospects, and demand is expected to grow strongly. There are still concerns over skilled labour availability and the sterling’s depreciation, but hopes are high.
CBI’s Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith, said: “UK manufacturers are firing on all cylinders right now with domestic orders up and optimism rising at the fastest pace in two years.
“The weaker Pound is driving export optimism for the year ahead, but is having a detrimental impact on costs for firms and ultimately for consumers.
“The new Industrial Strategy can support our manufacturing base by offering a shared long-term vision for the key sectors and regions of the economy and evidence-based plans for government and business collaboration. The CBI and its members across the country stand ready to support the Government in achieving this.”
David Jones OBE, Chair of Deeside Enterprise Zone in North Wales, added his own expert comment: “We are clear that there are challenges ahead for the manufacturing sector in the UK, but we also believe that there is significant demand and opportunity for the development of advanced manufacturing techniques and cutting edge engineering skills in Wales, particularly in the aerospace sector but also more generally.
“The recent £20m earmarked investment from the Welsh Government to establish an Advanced Manufacturing & Research Institute in North Wales, on the border with the Northern Powerhouse has demonstrated the commitment to ensuring we have a thriving competitive industry base that works on a UK level by driving growth, skills development and jobs across the U.K. As we enter an uncertain period, it is crucial that we maintain this momentum and future proof the excellent work that has been undertaken to date by continuing to invest in the innovation and competitiveness of the sector, for the benefit of the whole of the UK.”
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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.