TORONTO—A day after Unifor President Jerry Dias issued scathing remarks about General Motors Co., the Canadian auto workers union president praised bargaining teams at Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles during the official opening to their labor negotiations.
DEARBORN, MI—Ford Motor Co. is teaming up with Jose Cuervo to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles. Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components, such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins.
TRAVERSE CITY, MI—Robotic laser welding will play a greater role in body-in-white assembly lines, as automakers increase their use of lightweight materials, according to Peter Busuttil, director of technology for KUKA Systems North America.
A surveillance camera in a retail store is designed to zoom in with laser-like precision to focus on people and merchandise. A race car is designed to handle crowded straightaways and steep turns with speed and agility.
Once a lagging market segment, automotive electronics has gained significant importance in recent years, as the industry, the culture and consumer expectations have changed. Safety and regulatory requirements for vehicles have increased, manufacturers have new warranty requirements, and what used to be “luxury” features are now expected to come standard with a new car.
Engineers at a major manufacturer of portable electronic devices had a problem. They needed to rivet a small, thin electrical contact to the device’s charger subassembly, but how could they head the tiny rivets—0.02 to 0.03 inch in diameter—without crushing the assembly?
About 300 miles northwest of Mexico City sits the town of Aguascalientes. Although its name means hot waters, the place is much more well-known for its gentle climate, brave bullfighters and being a stopover point between the mines of Zacatecas and Mexico City.
Successful manufacturers never get tired of facing new market challenges. This statement applies to companies across all industries—including those involved in the annual manufacturing of more than 1 billion tires worldwide.
MONTGOMERY, AL—Automotive supplier Gerhardi Kuntstofftechnik will invest $37.9 million to build its first North American assembly plant here. The factory, which will make radiator grilles, handles and trim components, is expected to create 235 jobs.