[VIDEO] How Ford is revolutionizing automotive manufacturing using innovation
Automotive manufacturer Ford continues to redefine the industry using innovation and thinking outside the box. Over one hundred years ago, the company’s founder Henry Ford developed the world’s first moving assembly line, and its culture of innovation remains at the core of the business today.
101 years down the line Ford has released a number of video’s demonstrating its approach to forward thinking, quality manufacturing.
Using 3d printing technology, Ford designs digital prototypes and tests them physically for a fraction of the time. This encourages greater creativity, pushing the boundaries of vehicle design, but also speeds up the process of development and thus saves valuable time and money.
Video gaming technology
By using virtual development tools like those used in the gaming industry, Ford designers and engineers can test new design, styling and ergonomic options before cars enter the physical production phase. This accelerates the design process and enables Ford’s experts to collaborate across the world.
Using advanced 3d technology, Ford can rearrange and optimize its assembly lines virtually, leading to improved production efficiency, and better worker health and safety. Virtual manufacturing is said to have reduced manufacturing related issues across Ford’s global production network by 90 percent since 2002.
Ford has always been a pioneer in the manufacturing sector and will continue to build on its culture of innovation and manufacturing strength. Today, the automaker is able to build 16 cars every minute to the same high standard in 80 factories spanning 22 countries.
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.