Die life is critical to profitability of die casting operations. Operating variables such as pre-heating and die lubricant application can make a big difference in die life. Preventive treatments such as stress relief and periodic application of shot-peening are available to preserve die life. When eventually a die is in need of welding repair, using best welding practices can further extend the useful life of a die. Professor David Schwam, Case Western Reserve University, will address methods of die care and maintenance from the perspective of best approaches to preserve and extend die life in the remaining two parts of this webinar series.

Part 2 – The Effect of Softening, Residual Stresses and Stress Concentration Factors on Die Life – This webinar will discuss in detail the effect of stress concentration factors, softening and residual stresses in thermal fatigue, soldering and washout failures. While eliminating tensile residual stresses may be difficult, minimizing them can help in preventing costly failures. Softening is evolving especially in the hottest spots of the die and can lead to premature failures. It will also address the commercially available preventive treatments such as stress relief and periodic application of shot-peening.

Date: December 5, 2012
Cost: Corporate Members $39
Non-Corporate Members $89

Part 3 – Repair of Dies – Over time, even the best die will show some cracking. This webinar will address how using best welding practices can go a long way in extending the useful life of welded dies. Pre-heating and post heat treating methods will be covered. In addition we will present novel methods of laser micro-welding cracks during this webinar.

Date: December 12, 2012
Cost: Corporate Members $39
Non-Corporate Members $89

Attending a webinar is an excellent way to obtain vital information without the hassle or cost of travel. These 60-minute presentations will not only address important information on the topic but also provide adequate time for questions, answers, and discussion. To register for this webinar please visit: www.diecasting.org/webinar.

Fisker Automotive Considers Southeast Michigan For Tech Site

The Detroit Free Press (11/16, Phelan) reports, “Fisker Automotive, the California-based electric car specialist that builds the $102,000 Karma luxury sedan, is considering southeast Michigan for a new technical center it will open somewhere in the Midwest early next year.” The automaker, “based in Anaheim, needs the second engineering center ‘to access the supplier base and expertise’ in southeast Michigan and get its new Atlantic sport sedan into production, company spokesman Roger Ormisher said. The company won’t hint at how many people the center will employ, but 100 people worked at an engineering office it had in Auburn Hills from 2002-10.” The Press notes, “Fisker, founded by former BMW and Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, has long had ties to the Detroit area. In addition to its old tech center, many Detroit veterans work for the company, including” President and CEO Tony Posawatz, “previously a leader of the program that developed the Chevrolet Volt, which uses extended-range electric technology that’s very similar to Fisker’s.”

The Detroit News (11/16, Shepardson) reports, “The move is aimed at bringing the company’s engineers closer to the heart of the auto industry. Michigan also is home to many battery plants and electric-vehicle engineers.” The company “is evaluating locations in the Midwest and intends to announce further details of the technical center’s location and expected staffing levels early next year. ‘This important step signals our commitment to bringing the Fisker Atlantic to market as soon as we can,’ Posawatz said. ‘We will be bringing our own engineering footprint closer to our supplier base and the expertise and professional workforce that have driven the American automotive industry for more than a century.'”

Toyota To Send Venzas To South Korea

The Detroit Free Press (11/16, Bomey) reports, “Toyota will export a crossover vehicle from Kentucky to South Korea, another step by the Japanese automaker to shift production out of Japan to offset the impact of a strong yen.” The automaker “said it would start shipping the Venza, made at its Georgetown, Ky., plant, to South Korea. The vehicle, which is only made in the US, was engineered at the company’s Toyota Technical Center south of Ann Arbor.” Toyota Senior Vice President Bob Carter told the Barclays Capital Global Automotive Conference in New York that the “decision reflects ‘our continuing strategy to use our North American plants as a manufacturing base to supply global markets.'”

Bloomberg News (11/16, Ohnsman) notes, “Toyota, along with Japan-based Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co., has been shifting more production to North America to counter the yen’s almost 30 percent rise against the dollar in the past five years, including opening a Corolla small-car plant in Mississippi, moving Highlander sport-utility vehicle production to Indiana and expanding Lexus RX SUV output in Canada. Last week, Toyota said it would make small cars with Mazda Motor Corp. (7261) in 2015 at a plant Mazda is building in Mexico. Yoshimi Inaba, chairman of Toyota’s US sales unit, in January said the company intended to make North America a global export base

GM Says It Will Have 500,000 Hybrid, Electric Vehicles Produced By 2017

The Detroit Free Press (11/15, Bomey) reports, “General Motors said today that it is committed to deliver at least 500,000 vehicles ‘with some form of electrification,’ such as a hybrid drive system, by 2017.” The automaker’s “announcement was timed to coincide with an event in San Francisco where GM is showcasing its electric-vehicle strategy.”

The Detroit News (11/14, Burden) reports, “GM will plan to meet that worldwide electrified-vehicle goal through a variety of technology including plug-in electrics, pure electrics and hybrids that use the company’s eAssist technology, said Mary Barra, GM’s senior vice president of global product development.” The automaker “is on track to sell more than 50,000 vehicles equipped with the company’s electrification technologies in the US this year, Barra said. Barra said GM over the past few months has been working to better define its advanced technology strategy including electrification. She said plug-in technology will play a bigger role in the future.” The company’s “engineers are working on the next-generation propulsion technology that powers the Volt and will power the Cadillac ELR to improve the ‘system’s value and efficiency in the not too distant future,'” she said.

AutoWeek (11/14, Colias) notes, “GM’s sharper focus on EVs and plug-in hybrids comes despite tepid sales of EVs such as the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i. GM has found relative success with the Volt, sales of which have far eclipsed the Leaf since both cars were launched with much fanfare in late 2010. Through October this year, GM sold 19,309 Volts, vs. 5,003 in the year-earlier period. Leaf sales sank 16 percent, to 6,791, according to the Automotive News Data Center.”

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