Automotive

GM ignition switch supplied by Chinese firm

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 7th, 2014

It seems that I write these types of articles all too often—the ones about bad parts coming from Chinese suppliers, like the accelerator-pedal arms on the Aston Martin found to be molded of counterfeit plastic material resulting in the recall of 17,000 cars.

An article in Canada's Business News Network stated that GM said the ignition switches that are to blame for its recent recall of millions of vehicles came from a Chinese supplier, Dalian Alps Electronics Co. Ltd.

Styrenic TPEs offer alternative to PVC, EPDM in window encapsulation

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 6th, 2014

A new series of styrenic thermoplastic elastomer (TPE-S) injection molding compounds provides automotive manufacturers with processing and end use properties that are superior to those of TPE-S materials currently used for window encapsulation, says the supplier Teknor Apex Company (Pawtucket, RI).    

Technical article: Molding and welding within the mold

By ENGEL
Published: July 3rd, 2014

In collaboration with Hummel-Formen and KVT Bielefeld, Engel sets the path for a new kind of process integration. The "joinmelt" process supports hot gas welding directly in the mold. Besides cost savings, it is said that the new process also improves part quality and functional safety.

Polyamide plant targets auto applications

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 2nd, 2014

Lanxess (Cologne) has taken its new plant for polyamide (PA) plastics in Antwerp, Belgium, into operation as planned. The 90,000 tonnes/year will primarily serve the automotive industry.

Problems with automotives have roots in the OEMs

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: July 2nd, 2014

What a difference a few millimeters make. Lately, we've heard GM apologizing for the tragic deaths and injuries of GM vehicle owners over an ignition switch problem that caused the vehicles to shut down - and air bags failing to deploy - on 2.6 million vehicles. GM CEO Mary Barra announced the firing of some high-level executives and engineers including Ray DiGiorgio, the switch engineer who'd designed the new switch but failed to put a new part number on it, and Gary Altman, a development engineer.

Thumbs up! 3D-printed finger cots support the assembly process at BMW

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: July 1st, 2014

Occupational health and safety has been further enhanced on the assembly floor at BMW through  the use of customized flexible finger cots fabrication from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) using 3D printing.

Manufactured in-house at BMW and customized to the shape of individual worker's fingers, the orthotic device is worn over the thumb to provide protection against excessive strains on the thumb joints when carrying out assembly processes such as insertion of rubber plugs into bodywork.

Clariant announces 50 percent capacity increase for innovative Licocene performance polymers

By Karen Laird
Published: June 30th, 2014

As customers around the globe wax lyrical about Clariant's Licocene performance polymers, the company has announced that it is increasing production capacity by 50 percent at its facility on the Frankfurt-Höchst Industrial Park in Germany. The facility is currently designed to produce 20,000 metric tons of Licocene per year in a continuous closed cycle. The debottlenecking of Clariant's existing production line represents a low double-digit million Swiss Franc investment. The additional capacity is scheduled to come on stream in Q1 2016.

Bayer MaterialScience shutters Darmstadt site

By Karen Laird
Published: June 30th, 2014

As part of the worldwide consolidation of its business with sheets made of the high-performance plastic polycarbonate, Bayer MaterialScience has decided to close its site in Darmstadt, Germany, responsible for overall sales and for the production of Makrolon Multi. European customers will be supplied in the future by the plants in Nera Montoro, Italy, and Tielt, Belgium. The closure in Darmstadt affects 90 employees. The company says it will do everything possible to ensure that this step is conducted in a socially responsible manner.

Mexico and the U.S. favored for next major automotive plant expansions

By Clare Goldsberry
Published: June 30th, 2014

Three vehicle manufacturers recently announced a new plant and a major plant expansion in North America. On June 26, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler announced jointly that their companies have agree to establish a 50-50 joint venture, the business entity that will oversee construction and operation of the new plant in Aguascalientes in North-Central Mexico. The new plant will be built in the immediate vicinity of an already existing Nissan plant and will have an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles when fully ramped up.

Evonik: More PA 12 capacity, new production processes alleviate supply fears

By PlasticsToday Staff
Published: June 29th, 2014

Evonik Industries has expanded its polyamide (PA) 12 production capacity at Marl Chemical Site by 5,000 tonnes/year, thereby increasing the supply security of its Vestamid high performance polymer material.

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