Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Ukraine. How much does it weigh in the e-motor world?

3d rendering roll of steel sheets in factory

The United States financial analyst Blake Griffin, expert in automation systems, industrial digitalization, and off highway-electrification, has published his remarks about the disruptive impact within Motors & Drives.
«The war in Ukraine has rocked global commodity markets. While oil & gas supply disruption and the resulting increase in price continue to dominate headlines, there are a number of other key materials exported by Russia and Ukraine which have been equally disrupted. The disruption of many of these materials will have both direct and indirect impacts on costs associated with producing a motor or drive».
These are the words by the expert, who underlines how aluminium and copper wire supply will be directly disrupted and reports this datum: Russia is responsible for approximately 6% of the global aluminium supply according to CNBC.
«The impact on the supply of key materials is two-fold. First, the economic sanctions placed on Russia will impact its ability to sell various products to its historically largest customers. Second, the physical devastation experienced in Ukraine will impact its ability to produce and ship its key exports. As it pertains the production of motor and drives, the most direct impact stems from the disruption of aluminium and copper supply chains».
Nearly 7% of the world’s supply of copper wire, the same used in induction motors, comes from Russia. This will have an immediate and significant impact on the cost and availability of copper wire used in induction motors.
The motor market had already experienced significant price increases during 2021 as a result of increasing raw material costs. It would appear that price increases are likely to continue into 2022.
The Final Thoughts? «As this war unfolds, we will continue to cover its impact on the markets we cover. Aluminium, copper, and neon are just three areas where this war will impact the production of motors & drives. There are undoubtedly impacts we have not touched on here including increased freight costs on the back of higher diesel prices, steel supply disruption, and the impact on end markets such as mining and oil & gas which are extremely large sectors within Russia and Ukraine. The impacts of this war are far reaching and we have only just begun to bear the consequences of Putin’s ill-intended actions».

Scholarships for electric female engineers, but not only

University life. Happy asian girl holding books and smiling, resting between classes

To innovate in the electrical engineering world, we also need young thinking minds, fresh from studies and full of enthusiasm. Concerning this, good news come from Milan Polytechnics, where 15 scholarships worth 24,000 Euros are available for young female students.
In addition to the University, 9 companies have joined the project Girls@Polimi-Scholarships for future female engineers that provides for 15 scholarships, worth 24,000 Euros each (8,000 yearly) to overcome the gender gap in STEM disciplines, addressing girls who will attend courses with low female presence: aerospace, automation, electric, electronic, information, mechanical and industrial production engineering.
The Girls@Polimi initiative addresses those female students who are still attending the fourth and fifth year of higher schools and are still thinking about their orientation; therefore, an opportunity for the aspiring female engineers, who have time until July 20th 2022 for the submission of the demand for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Electric boating mass production?

The goal is making a bang. We are speaking of C-8 electric motorboat, the latest new-born by the Swedish start-up Candela, strongly inspired by Tesla’s philosophy.
The CEO of Candela, Gustav Hasselskog presented C-8 as the model that will start the industrial production: «It is our first mass-produced product that will pave the way to a wider market than the current one for electric boating. The cost is equal or inferior to the one of many conventional motorboats in the 30-foot range. However, once bought, it needs minimum maintenance and, due to the efficient system of foils, the driving cost is by 95% lower compared to the boats with combustion engine».
The question arises spontaneously: how much does it cost? It seems that the amount reaches about 290,000 Euros, taxes excluded.
Let us go anyway into technical details: C-Pod motor is located under the keel and it seems it can be used for 3,000 hours in all maintenance-free. The boat is also equipped with a fly-by-wire with automated pilot functions for an almost autonomous guide on long distances.
C-8 has a length of 8.5 metres and a width of 2.5 metres, with a cruise speed of 20/22 knots and maximum speed of 30 knots. The capacity of the lithium-ion battery is equal to 44 kWh for an autonomy of 50 nautical miles.

Additive manufacturing, windings in DC motors

3d rendering 3d printer with injector nozzle

Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle LLC for the US Department of Energy, has recently released the news of its research into applying additive manufacturing to replace windings in DC motors.
The basic question is: “Can we 3D print an electric motor”?
The answer that comes from Tennessee in the United States is “Maybe yes for one vital component of it: the rotor”. That possibility holds important promise for better motor performance. Amiee Jackson, researcher with Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility has spoken of producing rotors via laser powder bed fusion. The engineer explained that rotors are usually made by winding a conductive alloy; changing the alloy composition to improve motor performance impedes manufacturing, because that change reduces the ductility that is important for winding. So, by offering a way to print the rotor with no winding involved, additive manufacturing potentially solves this problem.

Gigafactory towards a broader electric offer

Paolo Scudieri, ANFIA president

ANFIA president Paolo Scudieri has recently expressed his satisfaction in receiving the news about the green light for the construction of a giga-factory intended for the production of cells and battery modules for the automotive sector.
Behind all that there is the Memorandum of Understanding among the Ministry of the Economic Development, Molise Region, National Agency for Investment Attraction and Business Development (Invitalia) and Automotive Cells Company SE (ACC) for the implementation of the investments proposed by ACC, by Termoli factory (Campobasso), owned by Fca Italy (Stellantis Group).
ACC, established by Stellantis and TotalEnergies/Saft with the support of French, German and European authorities as innovative European player of batteries for electric vehicles. This reality has recently announced an agreement with Mercedes-Benz precisely to design in Italy this third battery factory in Europe after the French one at BillyBerclau/Douvrin and the German one at Kaiserslautern. «The confirmation of this investment represents a very important element for the future of the automotive manufacturing chain in Italy, a fundamental step forward in the electrification transition, which ensures new competences and employment in the electric vehicle’s value chain to our territory. However, the game to play is just at the beginning and there is still a lot to do. We are going to work with the Government to implement in Italy at least a part of the manufacturing chain that is upstream giga factories, where is positioned 60-70% of the added value of batteries’ value chain, whose development would allow compensating the engagement losses deriving from the shift from ICE to electric motors». Scudieri wishes also extraordinary industrial policy instruments to accompany the automotive component enterprises in the reconversion, supporting them in investments and in the labour force reskilling.

The electric scooter that did not exist

The design of To-Move is very particular indeed, the new all-Italian folding electric scooter made of bamboo. It is a great novelty for the sector of the green mobility, developed by Reinova, new excellence pole that takes care of the development and of the validation of components for the electric and hybrid powertrain. The To-Move project is an innovative start-up of Turin Polytechnics with the mission of designing and implementing last-mile sustainable vehicles that can assure movement freedom and flexibility.
The scooter is made with natural materials and can be folded, so resulting very handy for transport, like a trolley. The modular development of the scooter will allow users to choose among different speeds and accelerations, depending on use destinations and autonomy requirements.
Giuseppe Corcione, Chief Executive Officer of Reinova and President of To-Move stated: «I have decided creating this start up falling in love with the ideas, the passion and the creativity of 3 boys. I feel the need of supporting the new mobility development in Italy and of creating completely new vehicle platforms, driven by futuristics ideas in compliance with the circular economy. To-Move is just the first example of how Reinova can contribute in creating and converting industrial realities, not raising the question of what is lost but focusing on what it is possible to build, seizing the opportunities generated by this impressive industrial revolution. Connectivity, sharing, sustainability and modularity are the pillars of this ambitious project, combined with the Italian creativity and the enhancement of the Made in Italy».

Sipro completes its competences portfolio in the field of electric motors

With the entry into the group Cravanzola & Veglio, Sipro competences regarding the automatic lines for the production of electric motors have been increased.
Sipro is able to manufacture complete turn-key plants, consisting of line for stator production, rotor preparation line, assembly and test lines, focused mainly on brushless motors.
The stator architectures that can be obtained with Sipro equipments are of different nature: from single poles to unique stator stack, with all insulation solutions actually used on the market.
Sipro is manufacturing its systems with the competences acquired during 40 years winding experience, counting on systems with rotating spindle, flyer or needle winding, all single or parallel multi wires.
To this we must add the experiences gained in the last twenty years in the construction of core insulation systems, with automatic application of plastic components, handling molded elements or forming and applying insulation films, pre-glued, glued at the moment or simply applied and held by the motor’s heads.
Downstream of the winding there are several applications developed for forming and closing the stator stack, dedicated to its insertion in the motor body as well with hot and cold solutions.
Also in this case the competences have been developed at 360 degrees, going from the plasma welding systems to the laser ones.
With reference to the contacting system, also in this case, the various requested solutions have been studied and constructed both with servo manual cabling and crimping activities and with robotized systems with welding or soldering of the winding pins on connectors or on PCBs directly.
The revolution mainly connected to the entry into the group Cravanzola & Veglio is the automation to produce the stator with permanent magnets. In fact, the competences acquired by the group in the preparation and fixing of the magnets, their magnetization and application on the rotor as well as all the phases linked to the shafts assembly, bearings etc have enriched and expanded the opportunities portfolio that can be offered by Sipro.
Quality, control and reliability are the guidelines of the plants manufactured by Sipro, associated to the employment of new technologies, the research of continuously new solutions that allow Customer an energy save, increasing the efficiency and the possibility to monitor and govern the processes at each time with full knowledge.

ID. Buzz: from the concept to the product in 5 years

The world preview of ID. Buzz local zero-emission vehicle is imminent. The iconic vehicle casts into the future seven decades of tradition of Bulli. Currently, the pre-series fleet of the five-seater ID. Buzz and of ID. Buzz Cargo is travelling in all Europe, also thanks to the smart recharge: from now onwards, Plug & Charge will make recharge cards superfluous in manifold electric recharge stations.
Let us take a step back: the world preview of ID. Buzz concept occurred at Detroit Auto Show 2017, causing a great media hype worldwide. The positive feedback allowed only one decision: the study had to be transferred to the mass production. Five years of hard work followed and now the time has come: ID. Buzz is ready.

Autonomous guided shuttles, the road test begins

04in Turin, the experimentation of autonomous guided shuttles begins. It happens in Italy for the first time and due to the project Sperimentazione Italia (Italy experimentation), the regulatory sandbox that allows start-ups, enterprises, universities and research centres to experiment innovative projects through a temporary derogation from the regulations in force.
The authorization was obtained by Gruppo Torinese Trasporti (GTT) and takes place inside the SHOW project, funded by Horizon2020 European Programme, which aims at supporting the transition towards an efficacious and sustainable autonomous guide urban transport.
The experimentation provides for two phases: the first “pre-demo”, March and April 2022, establishes that autonomous guided shuttles circulate without passengers on board.
This first phase will be fundamental to test the vehicle in the real traffic, besides providing for training activities of operators on board.
The second step will start in May 2022 and will last 5 months, when the experimentation phase will be fully entered: shuttles will circulate with passengers on board.
The experimentation will be carried out with two autonomous-guided shuttles, along a course of about 5 km in the area of the hospitals of the City of Health and Science and citizens will have the possibility of booking the free transport service through an app.

In Canada the innovation of wind turbine engine

renewable sources

Research and development in the field of renewable sources is unceasing and, among the others, there are some initiatives that shine with particular virtue. Enedym, technological start-up stemmed in McMaster University and headquartered in the Canadian McMaster Innovation Park in Hamilton, develops state-of-the-art switched reluctance motors, electric propulsion systems and electrified kinematic chains; it has received a non-repayable grant worth 2.4 million dollars by Sustainable Development Technology Canada -SDTC. The goal is developing and marketing its own technology of the pitch motor for Ventium wind turbines.
Ventium technology increases the reliability and the efficiency of wind turbines and therefore implies an energy production increase.
«The technology by Enedym promises transforming wind turbines into an even more efficacious source of electric sustainable energy. SDTC is proud of supporting Canadian entrepreneurs, such as Enedym, which are in the forefront in the global efforts aimed at the development of solutions and at the promotion of innovation that will lead us towards a greener and more prosperous future», declared Leah Lawrence, President and CEO of SDTC.
Doctor Ali Emadi, Founder, President and CEO of Enedym instead affirmed: «We wish to thank SDTC for their constant support to the development and marketing of our state-of-the-art pitch motor for wind turbines, Ventium. Wind power is one of the most steeply rising technologies for renewable energy today, and Enedym believes it is a crucial tool for the creation of a sustainable future for all. Our Ventium plant makes wind turbines more efficient and cheaper, and can bring a relevant contribution to the problems caused by the climatic change».
Enedym consortium collaborates with many of the primary owners and players of wind farms in the world and it is composed by several partners, such as Smartricity Inc.
Michael Sonsogno, CEO of Smartricity, ended: «Pitching systems are one of the main problems for reliability in a wind turbine owing to the frequent failures of both the electric motor and the traditional DC converter. Smartricity is very pleased of joining its resources with Enedym to release Ventium on the market, as this motor directly faces all weak points of current pitching plants and solves them thanks to the advanced SRM technology by Enedym».