May 16, 2020

'Toyota New Global Architecture' manufacturing process unveiled

Toyota
automotive manufacturing
Akio Toyoda
Toyota New Gl
Glen White
2 min
Toyota unveils revolutionary new manufacturing process that could change the face of the global industry.
Toyota unveils revolutionary new manufacturing process that could change the face of the global industry.Toyota broke a two-year silence on a revamped m...

Toyota unveils revolutionary new manufacturing process that could change the face of the global industry.

Toyota broke a two-year silence on a revamped manufacturing process - built on sharing components among vehicles - that it says will produce half its vehicles by 2020 and slash costs.

The Japanese automaker, whose production system was for decades seen as the gold standard, giving the world such manufacturing concepts as “just-in-time inventory” and “continuous improvement” has high hopes for its new manufacturing concept and believes it could change the face of global automotive manufacturing.

Toyota said the first vehicle to be launched under the new program, known as Toyota New Global Architecture, will use a platform for midsize cars such as the Prius.

Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato said Toyota’s Lexus luxury vehicles also will be made under the system.

“This has been a period to rebuild Toyota’s development and manufacturing procedures,” Mr. Kato told a briefing at Toyota’s headquarters in central Japan. “The entire company is working on a structural reform so that we can grow in a more sustainable way.”

Toyota didn’t say how much savings the cuts are expected to deliver. However, the company did say that its modular assembly program will reduce costs in several ways. The introduction of smaller manufacturing lines, for instance, is expected to reduce initial plant investment by approximately 40 percent compared with 2008 levels, Toyota said.

Toyota engineers said the company’s new production process is built on much more expansive component sharing than its existing platform-sharing strategies.

Toyota said it plans to increase the use of same or similar components, regardless of vehicle size and styles, allowing it to order parts in bulk and save costs through greater economies of scale.

The automaker said it is also opening more business to suppliers outside the Toyota group, including European companies. For instance, German supplier Continental AG has recently started to supply Toyota with a new crash-prevention system, alongside Toyota group supplier Denso Corp., Toyota said.

In January, Toyota President Akio Toyoda said that Toyota likely would soon end its self-imposed three-year freeze on investment in new plants. Toyota executives and people familiar with the matter have said the automaker is considering investing in Mexico and China.

Toyota last month raised its full-year profit forecast to a record ¥2.7 trillion ($22.77 billion) on yen weakness and solid U.S. sales.

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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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