How 3PL can enhance growth and development in automotive manufacturing
Automotive manufacturing in Britain is a key area of industrial growth. Offering the potential for businesses to expand on a global scale and the opportunity to increase exports from Britain, it is vital that this sector is supported to enable wider benefits for the nation’s economy.
Consumer demand for cars is rapidly increasing on an international scale. According to Statista, international automotive sales are expected to have grown by almost 10 million units between 2012 and 2015. Effective logistics are a vital aspect to fulfil this demand, ensuring that operations run smoothly and that risks are reduced. As a result, manufacturers often choose to partner with a specialist third party logistics provider (3PL) to enhance their global operations.
3PLs are able to offer manufacturers insight and advice into the logistics challenges they may face, which is often significantly valuable when the provider has an in-depth knowledge of industry verticals such as the automotive industry. The changing marketplace requires new practices and more flexible operations that enable a higher volume of variations in the final product while still supporting OEMs. All of which go towards supporting growth, both nationally and internationally.
In order to grow globally, automakers are changing the way in which they run their operations. Manufacturers might typically build vehicles in a single location before shipping them across the world, however increasingly manufacturers are establishing more plants and locating these plants closer to the buyer. This allows manufacturers to respond more efficiently to changing market tastes globally, as well as fulfilling the increasing consumer demand more rapidly.
With this change, however, comes challenges. In order to find effective solutions and penetrate new markets, which facilitate global expansion, many manufacturers are partnering with a specialist automotive 3PL. DHL Supply Chain supports a number of manufacturers on a global scale by improving the efficiencies of logistics operations. For example, one international automaker sources parts from 94 suppliers across Turkey before distributing these parts to plants in Spain, France, Romania and Slovenia.
As part of this service, DHL operates a cross-docking facility on the manufacturers behalf to manage all inbound parts from those suppliers across the region.. At this facility DHL performs a variety of supportive tasks including parts consolidation, onward distribution and customs clearance facilitation in order to ensure that this network of plants across Europe runs efficiently.
The increasing global demands of automotive manufacturing operations requires new solutions that will ensure continued efficiency and meet consumer demand internationally. Working in partnership with a 3PL to enhance logistics will support global expansion in the automotive industry.
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.