May 16, 2020

Protolabs launches metal 3D printing production capabilities

3D Printing
Additive Manufacturing
William Smith
2 min
The company hopes the quality of its parts will ensure use beyond the prototyping phase.
The Minnesota-based digital manufacturing company, Protolabs, has launched production capabilities for its metal 3D printing service.

Using secondary p...

The Minnesota-based digital manufacturing company, Protolabs, has launched production capabilities for its metal 3D printing service.

Using secondary processes, metal parts will feature improved strength, dimensional accuracy and cosmetic appearance. Such advances are contributing to Protolabs’ efforts to make the additive manufacturing of metal viable beyond just prototyping.

“We see it every day. The designers and engineers we work with in industries like aerospace and medtech are choosing additive manufacturing for complex components in high-requirement applications,” said Greg Thompson, global product manager for 3D printing at Protolabs. “These new production capabilities help them optimize their designs to enhance performance, reduce costs, and consolidate supply chains — and do so much faster than ever before.”

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Using direct metal laser sintering to build parts, Protolabs’ technology also features secondary options and quality control measures. The company says these include post-process machining, tapping, reaming, heat treatments, powder analysis, material traceability and process validation.

The company recently celebrated its 20th anniversary with the opening of a new 215,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Minnesota. Protolabs specialise in the rapid manufacturing of sheet metal, injection-molded, CNC-machined and 3D printed parts.

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May 12, 2021

Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing

SustainableManufacturing
BatteryCell
EVs
Automotive
2 min
Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell 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.

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