Thursday, 28 November 2013

New blanking press feeds JLR shops

A new blanking press shop erected at JaguarLandRover’s Chester Road facility in Castle Bromwich will produce parts for future models.

The blanking process involves the making of blank panels which is the first stage of creating automotive body panels. This takes rolled coils of steel or aluminium and cuts (using a hydraulic press) outline body panel shapes ready for second pressing to create finished body panels for assembly.

This process is currently only undertaken at Halewood for JLR and the purpose of the new line is to produce panels for Castle Bromwich and Solihull. The new blanker line was required to support JLR’s projected production volumes at the site.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Halewood strikes production milestone

The former Ford Halewood plant on Merseyside, now the facility of Jaguar Land Rover, today produced the 1,000,000th Jaguar Land Rover vehicle.

The 1,000,000 vehicle is a Range Rover Evoque, painted in a special one-off colour combination and donated to Cancer Research UK.

Global demand for Range Rover Evoque has exceeded expectations with 18,000 advanced orders before job 1 on 4 July 2011. With continued demand for Evoque and growing sales of Land Rover Freelander 2, this production milestone was achieved earlier than predicted.

Friday, 22 November 2013

VW boosts five-year investment

Volkswagen Group is to invest €84.2 billion in its Automotive Division over the coming five years. Over two-thirds of the total investment amount will continue to flow into increasingly efficient vehicles, drives and technologies, as well as environmentally friendly production.

This is the result of the group’s investment planning for 2014 to 2018 discussed by the Supervisory Board of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft at its meeting today.

“We will continue to invest strongly in our innovation and technology leadership, despite the uncertain economic environment. This will once again significantly boost the Group’s competitiveness and safeguard its future. I am convinced that this will give us extra power on our way to the top,” said Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft.

Volvo launches new ‘small’ engines in Europe

Volvo Group has started to use 5.1-litre and 7.7-litre diesel engines derived from the group’s wholly-owned Japanese division UD Trucks.

The engines will be used in Volvo buses and coaches as well as in Volvo and Renault commercial vehicles.

Interestingly, the Japanese-derived engines have an Indian connection. Volvo's Indian dimension stems from its joint venture (JV) with Eicher Motors, known as VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV). The JV started five years ago and is wholly Volvo owned.

Scania breaks new ground in ISB6.7 purchase

For the first time in its long history, Swedish truck and bus maker Scania has had to resort to using another manufacturer’s diesel engines in its vehicles.

Scania’s top brass have elected to equip the company’s Citywide single deck bus with the Euro 6 version of Cummins 6.7-litre six-cylinder ISB6.7 diesel engine.

This has not been an easy decision to make and could be a sign of the times. Could this be the precursor for further use of the US company’s engines in Scania’s product line-up? And why didn't Scania use an engine from MAN, for example? MAN has a 6.9-litre I6 diesel engine which is used in mid-range trucks. The MAN engine could be heavier and maybe more costly than the Cummins ISB6.7 - the latter aspect of cost may depend on whether the comparison is made between MAN engines made in Germany and Cummins units engines made in Darlington, or Cummins engines made in Darlington and the US

Ubisense wins another Smart order

Ubisense plc of Cambridge, UK, a market leader in real time location intelligence solutions, has announced that a ‘large European automotive manufacturer’ has deployed its Smart Factory System to another of its production lines.

Ubisense declines to name the customer but it acknowledges that Aston Martin, BMW, Cummins and Fiat are key amongst its customer base. On the basis of this the new order could be from BMW.

The order, valued at approximately €700,000 is part of a global framework agreement with the manufacturer that covers more than 100 sites and this represents the fourth installation since production acceptance was granted in July this year.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

‘Breakthrough’ CGI gasoline engine to bow soon

The world’s first ‘breakthrough’ gasoline passenger car engine with a compacted graphite iron (CGI) vee cylinder block will bow in the first quarter of 2014.

The first hint of the exciting new engine came a year ago at the annual general meeting in Sweden of process control specialist SinterCast when chief executive officer Dr Steve Dawson said: “We are happy to announce that we have achieved our first high volume commitment for a CGI cylinder block in a passenger car gasoline engine.”

He added: “The engine programme has been approved. We know the start of production (SOP), the production volumes and the applications. Breakthrough would not be too strong a word to use for this. This is an exciting development and a milestone for SinterCast.”