MGR Fluid Power keeps UK hydraulics industry alive in Singapore
One of only a few UK manufacturing companies still producing hydraulic safety blocks in the UK has now completed a significant order for a major Singapore company - its first major foray into South East Asia - and is busy working on another.
MGR Fluid Power has successfully delivered a unit of 14 safety blocks to Bloomfosse PTE Ltd for use in hydraulic actuators for the marine and offshore energy sector. Winning the deal was due to the fact that MGR is uniquely positioned to fulfil orders straight from stock, resulting in considerably shorter lead times for buyers. The size 12 blocks include a vent down valve that can be deployed for system depressurisation before hydraulic maintenance, as well as a relief valve that prevents excessive hydraulic pressure with almost immediate effect. The valve protects both the accumulator and the pipework in the event of over-pressurisation and has been designed and manufactured to be used with various types of accumulators including bladder, piston, and diaphragm.
The deal is particularly significant for the UK manufacturing industry, as it demonstrates that the nation is still competing on a global stage when it comes to hydraulic component manufacturing. 20 years ago there was a plethora of hydraulic component manufacturers in the UK, but many have since been purchased by larger, overseas hydraulics companies and production offshored. MGR Fluid Power is one UK manufacturing businesses bucking the trend, having recently moved to a larger premises in the Midlands, increasing its production premises by 500 square feet.
Mike Retford, Managing Director of MGR Fluid Power, explained: “As a user and integrator of components, we often find that we have to purchase a lot of products that are manufactured and stocked outside of the UK, predominantly in Italy and Germany. Next day delivery is not always available but, if it is, it can be prohibitively expensive. This is why we made the decision to manufacture our range of safety blocks to stock. We’re probably the only hydraulics manufacturer in the UK to do this, which means we are able to work to significantly reduced lead times for buyers both in the UK and overseas.”
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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.