Siemens creates innovative IT platform for BAE's Eurofighter Typhoon
BAE Systems, creator of the world’s most advanced swing role combat aircraft, has partnered with Siemens to create a suite of IT services supporting the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The Eurofighter Typhoon can achieve supersonic speeds, able to travel the distance between London and Birmingham in six minutes. It has been used for air policing and peace support, and Siemens’s control system includes a bespoke machine tool collision avoidance software programme as well as operational and safety benefits.
Chris Dowson is the Product Specialist of Machine Tool Modernisation at Siemens UK & Ireland, and explained the background to the new control system solution:
“Following a long-standing service relationship with the maintenance team at BAE Systems, we assisted in the appraisal process of the legacy control system used in the spray booth for the Eurofighter Typhoon. We concluded that it was becoming increasingly obsolete which could, in the future, potentially present issues around safety, operational efficiencies and resourcing.
“In particular, we focussed upon the ‘man movers’ – a set of moving platforms controlled by a CNC controller which are used to support the skilled personnel hand spraying the aircraft’s exterior. BAE Systems wished to identify if there was a solution to minimise any potential for the platforms to inadvertently strike the aircraft during the spraying process. The sprayers are encased in full breathing equipment which impairs visibility and reduces their ability to successfully intervene if the platforms move too close to the aircraft. Any interruption part way through a spray, for example if the platform came into contact with the aircraft’s exterior, would mean the surface would have to be rubbed down again and re-prepared for spraying. In addition, through our discussions we were also able to develop and propose additional enhancements to both the diagnostic and overall process supervision aspects.”
Ian Hopkins, Facilities Engineering Manager of BAE Systems, summerised the system’s benefits:
“The new system within the spraying facility provides us with increased capability, flexibility and reliability. One key benefit for us, especially the operators, is the addition of the anti-collision system, this allows the operator to get closer to the aircraft without being concerned they will bump it; they can therefore concentrate on the job in hand. Furthermore, the system can be easily reprogrammed for use with different aircraft which gives us flexible operational options going forward.”
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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.