EuroTech Embarks on Two Year Lean Journey
UK printed circuit board manufacturer EuroTech Group is undergoing a two-year scheme to train its employees in the latest cutting edge lean manufacturing techniques and practices.
The company from Exmouth employs more than 140 people and the first group of candidates to complete the course celebrated their success at a graduation ceremony in May.
EuroTech has built a specialist training centre within their main factory premises in the town, where it has been in existence for almost 50 years.
The two-year course involves training from external company Lean Education and Development Ltd, and will include methods to improve quality, service and waste reduction, thus enabling EuroTech to cut its own costs and adhere to Health and Safety and Environmental Best Practice. The certificates gained are fully accredited by official UK bodies Semta and Ofqual.
Managing director David Douglas told the Exmouth Express and Echo: “EuroTech has always considered training and the development of our employees to be a high priority.
“We work closely with local colleges and have a number of apprentices currently studying for various qualifications on a day release basis. We also fund and support staff who want to study for a range of qualifications in their spare time.
“This new initiative represents a major investment for us and shows our commitment to our employees and the local community – the skills they will acquire and the qualifications they will earn will benefit them not only now but in their future careers.”
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.