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/.



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