Detroit Electric To Offer $135,000 Electric Sports Car

The AP (4/3) reports on the Detroit Electric car company which built 13,000 electric cars between its founding in 1906 and going out of business in 1939. However, “Detroit Electric was revived five years ago by Albert Lam, a former Lotus Cars and Apple Inc. executive” and has set up offices in Michigan where it intends to build its cars. The company plans to offer first off the two-seat, $135,000 SP: 01 which “has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, the same as BMW’s high-performance M5 sedan. Detroit Electric says it will be the world’s fastest pure electric production car.” The company plans on making 999 SP: 01s which will be available worldwide in August.

The Detroit News (4/4, Henkel) reports, “The rear-wheel drive car is composed of an aluminum chassis, based on the platform of the Lotus Elise, and a carbon-composite body. The lightweight materials mean the two-seat sports car weighs a trim 2,403 pounds.” The car “has a four-speed manual transmission, with an optional twin-speed automatic gearbox, offering rapid acceleration and maximum speed. But there is no need to use the clutch when accelerating from a stop – only when swapping gears – and no need to depress it when coming to a stop because the motor stops on its own.”

The Detroit Free Press (4/4, Snavely) notes that the company faces challenges. “Consumers have grown comfortable with paying $3.50 to $4 per gallon, and a variety of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars much less expensive than the SP: 01 are not selling well. In addition, the cost of battery technology is not dropping significantly.” Moreover, “a newcomer such as Detroit Electric will face questions about quality and affordability as more established electric vehicle startups have discovered.”

The Wall Street Journal (4/4, White) also reports the story.

OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2)

OSHA’s injury and illness prevention program rule (known as I2P2) has been the agency’s top regulatory priority. It has been under development for almost three years. The next step would be for OSHA to begin the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process, in which the agency would solicit input from affected small business entities. This is key step in developing OSHA regulations.

An I2P2 is a program whereby employers take the initiative to “look for and address” workplace safety and health hazards. Most I2P2 programs have some form of the following elements: Management Leadership; Employee Participation; Risk Identification and Prioritization; Hazard Control; Education and Training; and, Evaluation and Continuous Improvement. There is significant concern in the business community that no matter how often the employer trained employees, even if safeguards were put in place; it would not be enough if an accident happened. Some are calling it a 20/20 hindsight standard.

With respect to the I2P2, we anticipate OSHA will be engaging in a formal rule making process to implement an I2P2 standard for all businesses. The first step in this process is to convene a small business representative panel to review a draft proposed rule and then to comment on that draft. This process usually takes approximately 60-90 days. Based on the regulatory agenda from 2011, this process was to have taken place last year at this time, but OSHA did not convene the panel. We anticipate the panel to convene anytime and for the process to start back up again, but we are still waiting. For now, everything remains the same.

OSHA has guidance on its website about injury and illness prevention programs in general and you can find that at the link below. We will certainly keep you posted as things develop.

Please click here to read more.

Innovative Die Castings Wanted! Submit Your Casting for the International Die Casting Design Competition Today

To be a winner in today’s economy, you must meet and even exceed expectations. In a competitive global market, customers take notice of the best. NADCA knows that competition improves the competitor. With its annual Die Casting Competition, it recognizes and rewards the outstanding casting designs of the year.

Entering and winning is one of the best ways to gain visibility with leading decision-makers. The competition is open to aluminum, magnesium, zinc die castings and other alloy families. Any number of castings may be entered. However, a separate entry form is required for each casting or assembly of castings. In addition, the metal surface cannot be improved or concealed by tumbling, shot blasting, coating or other surface treatments.

Judging is conducted by an independent panel of experts from the die casting industry, with no ties to eligible companies. The four equally weighed criteria are ingenuity of casting/product design; overall quality; cost savings; and market-expanding potential. Winning castings will be displayed during the 2013 Die Casting Congress and Tabletop in Louisville, KY and winners will be honored during the Die Casting Design Luncheon. NADCA’s Die Casting Engineer Magazine, NADCA’s Website and the NADCA Design Website will also feature the winning castings.

This competition helps promote increased use of die castings by recognizing and publicizing outstanding designs. For more information on the 2013 International Die Casting Design Competition please visit, www.diecastingdesign.org/castings/competition/or email Dan Twarog at twarog@diecasting.org. The deadline to submit your casting is June 17, 2013. Don’t hesitate!

Manufacturing sector energy use and energy intensity down since 2002

Total energy consumption in the manufacturing sector decreased by 17 percent from 2002 to 2010, according to data released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Manufacturing gross output decreased by only 3 percent over the same period. Taken together, these data indicate a significant decline in the amount of energy used per unit of gross manufacturing output. The significant decline in energy intensity reflects both improvements in energy efficiency and changes in the manufacturing output mix. Consumption of every fuel used for manufacturing declined over this period.

To view the rest of this article, click here.

OSHA Injury and Illness Prevention Program (I2P2)

OSHA’s injury and illness prevention program rule (known as I2P2) has been the agency’s top regulatory priority. It has been under development for almost three years. The next step would be for OSHA to begin the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) process, in which the agency would solicit input from affected small business entities. This is key step in developing OSHA regulations.

An I2P2 is a program whereby employers take the initiative to “look for and address” workplace safety and health hazards. Most I2P2 programs have some form of the following elements: Management Leadership; Employee Participation; Risk Identification and Prioritization; Hazard Control; Education and Training; and, Evaluation and Continuous Improvement. There is significant concern in the business community that no matter how often the employer trained employees, even if safeguards were put in place; it would not be enough if an accident happened. Some are calling it a 20/20 hindsight standard.

With respect to the I2P2, we anticipate OSHA will be engaging in a formal rule making process to implement an I2P2 standard for all businesses. The first step in this process is to convene a small business representative panel to review a draft proposed rule and then to comment on that draft. This process usually takes approximately 60-90 days. Based on the regulatory agenda from 2011, this process was to have taken place last year at this time, but OSHA did not convene the panel. We anticipate the panel to convene anytime and for the process to start back up again, but we are still waiting. For now, everything remains the same.

OSHA has guidance on its website about injury and illness prevention programs in general and you can find that at the link below. We will certainly keep you posted as things develop.

Please click here to read more.

Innovative Die Castings Wanted! Submit Your Casting for the International Die Casting Design Competition Today

To be a winner in today’s economy, you must meet and even exceed expectations. In a competitive global market, customers take notice of the best. NADCA knows that competition improves the competitor. With its annual Die Casting Competition, it recognizes and rewards the outstanding casting designs of the year.

Entering and winning is one of the best ways to gain visibility with leading decision-makers. The competition is open to aluminum, magnesium, zinc die castings and other alloy families. Any number of castings may be entered. However, a separate entry form is required for each casting or assembly of castings. In addition, the metal surface cannot be improved or concealed by tumbling, shot blasting, coating or other surface treatments.

Judging is conducted by an independent panel of experts from the die casting industry, with no ties to eligible companies. The four equally weighed criteria are ingenuity of casting/product design; overall quality; cost savings; and market-expanding potential. Winning castings will be displayed during the 2013 Die Casting Congress and Tabletop in Louisville, KY and winners will be honored during the Die Casting Design Luncheon. NADCA’s Die Casting Engineer Magazine, NADCA’s Website and the NADCA Design Website will also feature the winning castings.

This competition helps promote increased use of die castings by recognizing and publicizing outstanding designs. For more information on the 2013 International Die Casting Design Competition please visit, www.diecastingdesign.org/castings/competition/or email Dan Twarog at twarog@diecasting.org. The deadline to submit your casting is June 17, 2013. Don’t hesitate!

Ford’s Material Strategy Risky

Arguments over which automotive material is best usually are confined to engineers and racing enthusiasts, but the benefits of aluminum vs. steel likely will spill onto both Main Street and Wall Street next year.

That’s when the highest-volume vehicle sold in the U.S., the Ford F-150 pickup, is expected to debut with an all-new aluminum-intensive body. It will compete directly with the second-best selling vehicle in America, the Chevy Silverado pickup, and other popular trucks such as the GMC Sierra, Chrysler’s Ram and others with traditional steel bodies and cargo boxes. Given the ultra-competitive, testosterone-soaked nature of the pickup marketplace, the technical discussions could become a lot more entertaining as truck loyalists and Wall Street analysts debate the relative benefits of aluminum vs. steel.

To view the rest of this article, click here.

Complete the Die Casting Designer Value Survey by March 15 for Your Chance to Win a Kindle Fire

NADCA is interested in what resources you use to design die castings! This short survey will ask you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of die castings in your company. Participants of this survey will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet (16GB).

Click here and take a few minutes to complete this survey, which will help us serve you better! To be eligible for the drawing you must complete the survey by March 15, 2013.

Innovative Die Castings Wanted! Submit Your Casting for the International Die Casting Design Competition Today

To be a winner in today’s economy, you must meet and even exceed expectations. In a competitive global market, customers take notice of the best. NADCA knows that competition improves the competitor. With its annual Die Casting Competition, it recognizes and rewards the outstanding casting designs of the year.

Entering and winning is one of the best ways to gain visibility with leading decision-makers. The competition is open to aluminum, magnesium, zinc die castings and other alloy families. Any number of castings may be entered. However, a separate entry form is required for each casting or assembly of castings. In addition, the metal surface cannot be improved or concealed by tumbling, shot blasting, coating or other surface treatments.

Judging is conducted by an independent panel of experts from the die casting industry, with no ties to eligible companies. The four equally weighed criteria are ingenuity of casting/product design; overall quality; cost savings; and market-expanding potential. Winning castings will be displayed during the 2013 Die Casting Congress and Tabletop in Louisville, KY and winners will be honored during the Die Casting Design Luncheon. NADCA’s Die Casting Engineer Magazine, NADCA’s Website and the NADCA Design Website will also feature the winning castings.

This competition helps promote increased use of die castings by recognizing and publicizing outstanding designs. For more information on the 2013 International Die Casting Design Competition please visit, www.diecastingdesign.org/castings/competition/or email Dan Twarog at twarog@diecasting.org. The deadline to submit your casting is June 17, 2013. Don’t hesitate!

DOE, Treasury Announce Tax Credits For Energy Efficient Manufacturing

The Houston Business Journal (2/8, Daugherty, Subscription Publication) reports, “Federal agencies are offering $150 million in tax credits for energy efficient manufacturing projects.” The US Treasury and the Department of Energy “have announced $150 million in energy manufacturing tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects in the US.” The Business Journal notes, “The Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit was first established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase investment in domestic, clean energy and efficient manufacturing facilities.”

Participate in the Die Casting Designer Value Survey for Your Chance to Win a Kindle Fire

NADCA is interested in what resources you use to design die castings! This short survey will ask you to assess the strengths and weaknesses of die castings in your company. Participants of this survey will be entered into a drawing to win a Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ Tablet (16GB).

Click here and take a few minutes to complete this survey, which will help us serve you better! To be eligible for the drawing you must complete the survey by March 15, 2013.

NADCA Safety Award Program Open for Applications

NADCA’s acclaimed annual Safety Award Program is now accepting applications. Awards are given for Perfect and Outstanding Safety Records for die casting companies and suppliers to the industry. Only NADCA Corporate Members are eligible for this program. Applications are accepted through the end of the month, and companies will be notified of their award status in March. Winning companies are recognized in print, via Die Casting Engineer magazine and LINKS magazine. The Safety Awards will be presented during NADCA’s Die Casting Congress & Tabletop, September 16-18, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KY.

To learn more about the Safety Award criteria and entry form, please visit: http://www.diecasting.org/safety/award/.

Start Your Year Off with a Comprehensive Look at Aluminum Alloys for Die Casting

Prof. D. Apelian and Prof. M. M. Makhlouf of the Advanced Casting Research Center at WPI, Worcester, MA, will be presenting a webinar series will be presenting a webinar series on Aluminum alloys specifically targeted for die casting operations. This series is made up of three modules each of them covering a certain aspect of the topic.

Part 1
Die Casting Alloys – This webinar will review the total landscape of Aluminum alloys and discuss and learn major applications for each alloy type. Selection criteria will be presented and discussed.
Date: January 16, 2013
Cost: Corporate Members $39
Non-Corporate Members $89

Part 2
Performance of Die Casting AL Alloys – During this webinar attendees will study in depth the effects of alloying elements, and more importantly how various alloying elements affect mechanical properties.
Date: January 23, 2013
Cost: Corporate Members $39
Non-Corporate Members $89

Part 3
Enabling Tools for Alloy Development (Case Studies) – This webinar will present the tools available to the die caster to customize for specific applications and also to use existing tools that have been developed by NADCA. These will be complemented by successful case studies.
Date: January 30, 2013
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.

Purchasing the three part series together is only $97 for Corporate Members and $247 for Non-Corporate Members! 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 or series of webinars please visit: www.diecasting.org/webinar

ADDITIONAL UPCOMING WEBINARS:
Reduce Die Soldering in Die Casting – January 10, 2013

North American Production to Get Boost From Import Replacements in 2014

Overseas-based manufacturers will continue to shift more sourcing to North American factories, according to WardsAuto’s latest North American Light Vehicle Production Forecast.

The volume from the import replacement added to this month’s revision increases the outlook for 2014 by 123,000 units, lifting the year to 16.2 million.

To view the rest of this article, click here.

NADCA Safety Award Program Open for Applications

NADCA’s acclaimed annual Safety Award Program is now accepting applications. Awards are given for Perfect and Outstanding Safety Records for die casting companies and suppliers to the industry. Only NADCA Corporate Members are eligible for this program. Applications are accepted through the end of the month, and companies will be notified of their award status in March. Winning companies are recognized in print, via Die Casting Engineer magazine and LINKS magazine. The Safety Awards will be presented during NADCA’s Die Casting Congress & Tabletop, September 16-18, 2013, at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, KY.

To learn more about the Safety Award criteria and entry form, please visit: http://www.diecasting.org/safety/award/.

Want to Learn More About Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys? Check Out NADCA’s Newest Publication!

Semi-solid metal processing has been known for many years to have several benefits that could change the way the industry produces metal parts. The focus of the exploitation of the technology in the early years has been on forming semi-solid metals by the thixocasting route. In the last decade, however, the focus has been shifted to a more cost effective and less complex forming route, called rheocasting. During the attempts to commercialize a rheocasting process in the die casting industry, it has been found that the needs to modify the current processes, machines, and dies have prevented prompt interests and collaborations from the industry.

A new forming approach called semi-solid slurry forming has been applied. This process involves producing semi-solid slurries at a low solid fraction so that they can simply be poured into a shot sleeve.

NADCA’s new publication, Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys by Jessada Wannasin, covers a historical introduction to the subject and then moves to the formation of the slurry, its fundamentals and its practice. In addition forming processes are addressed as well as characteristics and benefits of the cast products. This publication also provides insight into the intimate relationship among processing, structure and properties, and also shows how relative processing costs influence processing route to be chosen.

Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys is now available for purchase at the price of $40 for Corporate Members, $60 for Individual Members and $80 for Non Members. To purchase this publication please visit www.diecasting.org/publications; publication #217.

Please contact the NADCA publications department at publications@diecasting.org if you have any questions.

New Zinc Die Casting Alloy Reduces Part Cost

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) has sponsored the research to create a new zinc alloy for thin wall applications. The alloy was developed by the International Lead and Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO). This alloy, also known as the HF alloy (HF for high fluidity), has 40% higher fluidity than Zamak 7 – the previous commercially available zinc die casting alloy of highest fluidity.

The cell phone company HTC saw an opportunity to decrease machining time and cost for producing the case of their HTC One V Windows based cell phone. The two-piece set (front and back) of the case was being machined from forged 6000 series aluminum blanks. The time to machine the forged aluminum set was 20 minutes. With the dimensional capability of the HF alloy, the machining time was estimated to be 2 minutes which provided a huge incentive to convert to die cast HF zinc alloy.

The front and back components (figure 1 & 2) of the case were designed as die castings utilizing the HF zinc alloy. This alloy has higher yield strength and ultimate strength than the 6000 series forged aluminum alloy as well as the ability to be cast to the desired wall thickness of 0.4 mm (slightly less than 0.016 inch). Dies for the two castings were designed for a 4-slide zinc die casting machine to accommodate undercuts and other details of the configurations not achievable with current aluminum and magnesium die casting alloys. Based on computer simulation which showed acceptable flow and fill analysis, die sets were fabricated.

Converting the HTC cell phone case front and back to die cast zinc alloy HF from machined aluminum forgings provides large cost and energy savings. Based on a production level of one million cell phones per month, the cost savings for machining is $720,000 per year.

Information on this alloy (Tables below) has been transferred to the industry through the NADCA Product Specification Standards for Die Castings document. Additionally, ILZRO is providing design assistance to companies for proper implementation. The benefits of technology include:

  • Casting of thinner walls
  • Fill of more complex geometries
  • Minimization of scrap due to lack of fill
  • Shorter cycle times
  • Higher productivity
  • Enhanced energy efficiency

To view the article in its entirety, click here.

General Motors Sales In China Reach New Record

The Los Angeles Times (12/6, Hirsch) reports, “Imagine a world where Buick outsells Chevrolet. It’s called China. Buick is the top seller for General Motors’ Shanghai GM venture. November sales in China for the Buick brand reached 70,172 vehicles, a 17% gain from the same month a year earlier. The Regal sold 9,204 units, almost 10 times the volume it sold in the US last month.”

The Detroit News (12/6, Burden) reports, “GM said it has sold 2.59 million vehicles in China through the first 11 months of the year. Last year, the company sold nearly 2.55 million vehicles in the country. The automaker said sales in China by GM and joint ventures are up 10.4 percent through the first 11 months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.”

Bloomberg News (12/6) reports, “GM had said it plans to invest as much as $7 billion in the five years to 2015 in China. GM China President Bob Socia said Nov. 30 the company’s priority next year is to boost Cadillac sales. The automaker’s Cadillac deliveries rose 8.4 percent last month to 3,260 units, led by the SRX sport utility vehicle at 2,082 units.”

Michigan Becomes the 24th Right-to-Work State

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder yesterday signed two bills enacted by the Michigan Legislature which makes it unlawful for employees to be required, as a condition of continued employment, to become union members or pay any fees or dues to a union. Senate Bill 116 applies right-to-work (“RTW”) provisions to private sector workers. HB 4003 precludes compelled union membership or the payment of any fees or dues by public sector employees to a union as a condition of employment, with the exception of police or fire department employees subject to interest arbitration under Act 312, and State Troopers.

To view the rest of this article, click here. This article has been published with permission from Butzel Long. To contact Butzel Long, please visit www.butzel.com.

Want to Learn More About Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys? Check Out NADCA’s Newest Publication!

Semi-solid metal processing has been known for many years to have several benefits that could change the way the industry produces metal parts. The focus of the exploitation of the technology in the early years has been on forming semi-solid metals by the thixocasting route. In the last decade, however, the focus has been shifted to a more cost effective and less complex forming route, called rheocasting. During the attempts to commercialize a rheocasting process in the die casting industry, it has been found that the needs to modify the current processes, machines, and dies have prevented prompt interests and collaborations from the industry.

A new forming approach called semi-solid slurry forming has been applied. This process involves producing semi-solid slurries at a low solid fraction so that they can simply be poured into a shot sleeve.

NADCA’s new publication, Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys by Jessada Wannasin, covers a historical introduction to the subject and then moves to the formation of the slurry, its fundamentals and its practice. In addition forming processes are addressed as well as characteristics and benefits of the cast products. This publication also provides insight into the intimate relationship among processing, structure and properties, and also shows how relative processing costs influence processing route to be chosen.

Semi-Solid Slurry Forming of Alloys is now available for purchase at the price of $40 for Corporate Members, $60 for Individual Members and $80 for Non Members. To purchase this publication please visit www.diecasting.org/publications; publication #217.

Please contact the NADCA publications department at publications@diecasting.org if you have any questions.

Do You Care About Your Company’s Profitability? Learn More About Die Care and Maintenance

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.”

Japanese Auto Supplier Tokai Rika Pleads Guilty To Price Fixing

The AP (10/31) reports, “Japanese auto supplier Tokai Rika Co. Ltd. has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $17.7 million fine for price-fixing, the US Department of Justice said Tuesday.” The “company fixed the prices of heater control units that were sold to Toyota Motor Corp. in the US between 2003 and 2010,” according to the government. “Executives used code names and attempted to cover up the conspiracy by destroying documents when they learned the government was investigating.”

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.”

CBO: Unemployment Rate Will Rise Above Nine Percent If Fiscal Cliff Not Avoided

McClatchy notes that on Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office warned that “failing to act on the fiscal-cliff components could shave half a percentage point off of growth in the first half of 2013, raising the jobless rate to 9.1 percent and probably would trigger another recession. The CBO also said that addressing the components of the fiscal cliff results in a 3 or 4 percentage point swing between contraction and growth.”

According to the AP, “The new study estimates that the nation’s gross domestic product would grow by 2.2 percent next year if the Bush-era tax rates were extended and would expand by almost 3 percent if Obama’s 2 percentage point payroll tax cut and current jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed are extended.”

Politico says Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus “asked for the report and said the findings are another reminder of the need to find an alternative to the tax increases and spending cuts that make up the fiscal cliff. ‘The consequences of inaction will deliver a dramatic, short-term blow to the economy,’ Baucus said in a statement.”

Tax Policy Uncertainty Linked To US Stocks’ Two-Day Slide Under the headline “US Stocks Decline Amid Greece, Fiscal Cliff Concerns,” Bloomberg News reports that the S&P 500 “had the biggest two-day decline in a year as investors speculated Greece’s bailout will be delayed” and that the re-election of the President “endangers tax breaks for investors.” The S&P 500 “declined 1.2 percent to 1,377.51…dropping 3.6 percent in two days,” while the DJIA “decreased 121.41 points, or 0.9 percent, to 12,811.32.”

Reuters ties the major US stock indices’ two days of post-election declines to worries about the fiscal cliff. The Wall Street Journal also attributes this week’s selloff to fiscal cliff uncertainty, as well as concerns about Europe’s persistent debt crisis.

Complimentary Webinar Series on Product Design for Die Castings

Are you interested in learning more about product design for die castings?

Die casting is a high production rate reproducible method of creating complex metal components. However, the die casting is only as good as the initial design. To make the best die castings one has to create a design that matches the process. NADCA Engineering Project Manager, Alex Monroe, will be presenting a FREE three part webinar which focuses on design concepts to aid designers in crafting their design to take advantage of the die casting process. This series, sponsored by Prestige Casting, Inc, Deco Products Co and Twin City Die Casting will also address common die castings defects and design pitfalls.

Part 1 – Die Casting Process: What is the die casting process?
Aired Live: November 15, 2012
Recording available for download

To design die castings the designer should understand the basic process. The steps in the high pressure die casting process will be explained. In addition some aspects of the process design will be covered. This will address selection of the machine size, location of runners, and the filling pattern. Finally, high performance modifications of the die casting process will be covered. These processes include semi solid and squeeze casting.

Part 2 – Die Castings Defects: Where do they come from?
November 19, 2012 11 AM CST
Sometimes die castings contain features that keep the casting from meeting the designers requirements. When this happens we call these features defects. This section will cover many common defects such as porosity, hot tears, and leakers. The causes of these casting features and their remedies will be presented.

Part 3 – Design for Die Casting: What features can and should be die cast?
November 29, 2012 11 AM CST
This section will focus on the design of die casting components. Geometry optimization will be discussed at length. Die casting features such as draft, fillets, parting lines, bosses, and more will be discussed with examples. Conversion from assemblies to die castings will also be shown. The machining characteristics will be covered, and the wide variety of surface finishes as well.

This webinar series is FREE to join! These 60-minute presentations will not only address important information on the topic but also provide adequate time for questions, answers, and discussion.

Can’t join the webinar during the scheduled time? That’s ok! Just sign up and you will receive a copy of the webinar to download once it’s complete!

To register visit: http://www.diecastingdesign.org/webinar/.

ISM: Manufacturing Expands In September

Bloomberg News (10/2, Jamrisko) reports, “Manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in September after three months of contraction, reflecting stronger orders that ease concern the US economy will slow further. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said” Monday.

The AP (10/2, Rugaber) reports, “The reading ‘will boost hopes that some of the recent slowdown in economic growth was just a summer phenomenon,’ Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. In the manufacturing survey, a measure of new orders jumped to 52.3, the highest reading since May. That suggests production will increase in the coming months. And a gauge of employment rose, a sign that manufacturers may report a gain in jobs when September’s employment report is released Friday.”

AFP (10/2) reports, “Surveyed businesses expressed ‘a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment,’ ISM said.”

IndustryWeek (10/2, Minter) reports, “Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in September. Expanding sectors in order included Textile Mills; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The six industries reporting contraction in September, listed in order, are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.”

Also covering the story are MarketWatch (10/2, Bartash), BBC News (10/2), the UK’s Financial Times (10/1, Raval, Subscription Publication) and other media sources.

RCM Industries, Inc. To Be Featured Nationally on Manufacturing Marvels- Thursday, November 8th at 8:30 pm CST on the Fox Business Network

On November 8th, 2012, RCM Industries, Inc. will be featured on Manufacturing Marvels ™, an award winning production narrated by John Criswell. Manufacturing Marvels ™ will air nationally between 8:25 and 8:35pm CST Thursday, November 8th, 2012 during The Neil Cavuto program, which airs between 8:00-9:00pm CST on the Fox Business Network.

To find the channel in your area, go to: http://www.foxbusiness.com/interactive/about/channel-finder/index.html. Manufacturing Marvels ™ spotlights leading American manufacturers, their products, and their manufacturing and quality processes.

If you are unable to see the actual broadcast, you will be able to view the entire video on www.rcmindustries.com after the broadcast date.

Audubon Metals named 2012 Industry of the Year

Many Hendersonians are unaware that an industry called Audubon Metals LLC operates here at all.

If they do happen to catch a glimpse of its plant located just off U.S. 60-West, they might see it only as a big building with “little mountains of scrap metal,” according to Steve Rapagnani.

Kickoff Fall with NADCA Education Classes!

The NADCA fall semester is just about to kick off! These courses will run through October & November at NADCA headquarters in Wheeling, IL. From October 29 – November 1 NADCA will be offering the following courses:

strong>EC-205 Quick Die Change – October 29 – A one-day course, providing students with the basics of the various aspects of zinc and mini-zinc die casting. Information specific to zinc and mini-zinc casting is presented and, where applicable, the differences between aluminum and magnesium die casting are identified.
Pricing: Corporate Member $300, Individual Member $345 and Non-member $405.

EC-202 Zinc Die Casting – October 30 – A one-day course providing students with the basics of the various aspects of zinc and mini-zinc die casting. Information specific to zinc and mini-zinc casting is presented and, where applicable, the differences between aluminum and magnesium die casting are identified.
Pricing: Corporate Member $300, Individual Member $345 and Non-member $405.

EC-305 Metallurgy Of Die Casting Alloys – October 31 – A one-day workshop dedicated to understanding the properties of aluminum alloys, the significance of constituents and impurities, and the importance of metallurgical structures. The behavior of alloys and solid solutions during and after solidification is examined assuring a practical focus on real-life, everyday metallurgical problems.
Pricing: Corporate Member $300, Individual Member $345 and Non-member $405.

EC-211 Dimensional Repeatability – November 1 – A one-day program devoted to identifying and understanding the significant variables in the die casting process that cause dimensional variation between castings. This course demonstrates the use of mathematical cause and effect relationships to predict specific results.
Pricing: Corporate Member $300, Individual Member $345 and Non-member $405.

Do not miss out on your chance to gain valuable knowledge about die casting parts and processes! For more information on the fall semester course schedule please visit: www.diecasting.org/education/schedule.htm. Interested in registering for classes? You can do so online at www.diecasting.org/education/registration/.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Melisa Ryzner at mryzner@diecasting.org.

ISM: Manufacturing Expands In September

Bloomberg News (10/2, Jamrisko) reports, “Manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in September after three months of contraction, reflecting stronger orders that ease concern the US economy will slow further. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said” Monday.

The AP (10/2, Rugaber) reports, “The reading ‘will boost hopes that some of the recent slowdown in economic growth was just a summer phenomenon,’ Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said in a note to clients. In the manufacturing survey, a measure of new orders jumped to 52.3, the highest reading since May. That suggests production will increase in the coming months. And a gauge of employment rose, a sign that manufacturers may report a gain in jobs when September’s employment report is released Friday.”

AFP (10/2) reports, “Surveyed businesses expressed ‘a mix of optimism over new orders beginning to pick up, and continued concern over soft global business conditions and an unsettled political environment,’ ISM said.”

IndustryWeek (10/2, Minter) reports, “Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 11 reported growth in September. Expanding sectors in order included Textile Mills; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Printing & Related Support Activities; Wood Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Petroleum & Coal Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Furniture & Related Products; and Miscellaneous Manufacturing. The six industries reporting contraction in September, listed in order, are: Nonmetallic Mineral Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Transportation Equipment; Machinery; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products.”

Also covering the story are MarketWatch (10/2, Bartash), BBC News (10/2), the UK’s Financial Times (10/1, Raval, Subscription Publication) and other media sources.

Kickoff Fall with NADCA Education Classes!

NADCA’s education division is excited to announce the release of its 2012 Fall Education Schedule! This fall NADCA will be offering the following courses:

  • EC-205 Quick Die Change – October 29, 2012
  • EC-202 Zinc Die Casting – October 30, 2012
  • EC-305 Metallurgy Of Die Casting Alloys – October 31, 2012
  • EC-211 Dimensional Repeatability – November 1, 2012
  • EC-515 Die Casting Defects – November 5, 2012
  • EC-514 Gating Design – November 6, 2012 – November 7, 2012
  • EC-700 PQ² – November 8, 2012
  • EC-606 Product Design – November 12, 2012
  • EC-506 Engineering Die Casting Dies – November 13, 2012 – November 14, 2012

Do not miss out on your chance to gain valuable knowledge about die casting parts and processes! For more information on the spring semester course schedule please visit: www.diecasting.org/education/schedule.htm. To register for a course or courses visit: www.diecasting.org/education/registration.

If you would like to learn about other education services NADCA offers please visit: www.diecasting.org/education or contact Melisa Ryzner at (847) 808-3161.

Ford Posts Record September Sales In China

The Detroit News (10/11, Henkel) reports, “Ford Motor Co. said September was its best month ever in China thanks to strong passenger car sales, particularly sales of the Focus compact car. Ford China and its partners registered 59,570 sales in September, up 35 percent compared to last September.” The automaker “has now sold 428,083 vehicles through the first nine months of the year, an 11 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago.”

The Detroit Free Press (10/11, Priddle) reports, “The figures include strong demand for the Focus which is now built in Chongqing.” The automaker “continues aggressive growth plans in China with five manufacturing facilities under construction and moves to introduce 15 new vehicles by 2015. Among them are three utility vehicles to be available in showrooms next year: the Explorer, Kuga (Escape) and EcoSport in addition to the Edge that is already on sale. The Lincoln brand will be added to the mix in 2014.” The company “is doubling production capacity in the world’s largest market, adding dealerships and doubling the number of salaried workers in China to support the expansion.”

CNNMoney (10/11, O’Toole) notes, “The gains coincided with the sharp declines in China sales reported by Japanese automakers amid a dispute between Beijing and Tokyo over a set of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.”

Study: Federal Regulations On Manufacturers May Reduce Output By As Much As $500 Billion This Year

Bloomberg News (8/22, Wingfield) reports, “Regulations on US manufacturing may reduce output by as much as $500 billion this year, according to an industry-sponsored study that cast doubts on President Barack Obama’s efforts to trim red tape in the federal government. The Obama administration has established an average of 72 regulations on manufacturers annually, an increase from the 45 per year imposed under President George W. Bush, according to the study”conducted by NERA Economic Consulting. “With job creation a central theme in the US presidential race, the health of manufacturing companies is of importance to both Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.” The National Association of Manufacturers and other industry groups “have said federal regulations hinder economic growth.”

IndustryWeek (8/22, Minter) reports, “In ‘Macroeconomic Impacts of Federal Regulation of the Manufacturing Sector,’ NERA looked at the cumulative impact of federal regulations issued since 1981 that affect the general economy and the manufacturing sector in particular. The study found 2,183 regulations affecting manufacturing, of which 235 are considered ‘major’ regulations with compliance costs of $100 million or more. The NERA study estimates that these regulations cost the economy from $265 billion to $726 billion a year in direct compliance costs.”