Monday, May 25, 2020

E-mobility and professionals, here is the research

The report “The e-mobility seen by professionals” was drawn up after a research in collaboration with Audi, on the base on an interview with an audience of 2450 professionals about their business travel habits and how they perceive electric mobility. In the opinion of the interviewed professionals, the car of the future is battery-powered and will allow improving the home-office displacement (56%) and e-cars “would provide real consumption/cost advantages, to the extent that 48% are willing to buy one. A choice certainly made not superficially if we think that one third (30%) of interviewees state they travel from 5 to 15 km a day to go to work and that in one case out of two (48%) the chosen vehicle is precisely four-wheeled.
Therefore, how do tomorrow’s workers imagine mobility? For professionals, a vast majority of them self-employed workers (52%), the e-mobility horizon is getting closer, even if gradually: over 53% estimate that it will take 15 to 20 years to have at least half of the circulating cars rechargeable.

Electric development in Italy, resources worth 136 milions

Car ride on road in sunny weather, motion blur

The Italian Minister for the Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, has given the green light to the decree for the Development Agreement among Mise, Basilicata and Piedmont regions, Invitalia and the companies Fiat Chrysler (Fca) Melfi, Fca Italy and CRF (Fiat Research Centre) for a programme of research, development and production of electric and hybrid vehicles in the factories in Melfi, Orbassano and Torino Mirafiori.
It is a plan worth 136 milions that will be financed within 2022. In particular, 98.7 million Euros will be used to increase the production in the Melfi factory of Jeep Compass in the hybrid plug-in version.
Other 37.9 million Euros are instead allocated for the project Recharge – Sustainable solutions with high modularity and configurability for mass-market vehicles with 100% electric propulsion, with the aim of developing pure electric vehicles at accessible prices, in Melfi, Orbassano and Torino Mirafiori plants.
This programme will have a positive employment impact that will allow the gradual reintegration of the staff in solidarity contract and the creation of further 100 workplaces at Melfi factory.

Smart Mobility Report: opportunities and challenges

Arrows point the way inside of a city parking structure.

More than yesterday, less than tomorrow. The market of electric vehicles has been put under the magnifying glass by the Smart Mobility Report 2019 that has outlined opportunities and rising challenges for the supply chain on an Italian and European scale.

It is becoming a reference point for the world of electric vehicles, an analysis that highlights the main macro-trends of a sector that is greatly evolving towards a smarter and smarter concept. The issue is the Smart Mobility Report 2019 by the Energy&Strategy Group of the School of Management of Milan Polytechnics, run by the Director Vittorio Chiesa, where are detailed the data concerning the electric car’s environmental impact, the diffusion of electric vehicles and recharge structures on an Italian, European and world scale and the potential developments of the market in Italy.

EV percentage out of overall registrations in each single Country
The Report shows the percentage of electric vehicles in 2018 in the new registration on a European scale. Source: Energy&Strategy Group

Before analysing the Report content thoroughly, it is advisable to specify what we precisely mean with “Smart Mobility”, concept driven by the three main macro-trends of electrification, autonomous drive and sharing mobility. «As Smart Mobility we indicate the evolution of the mobility world towards a more sustainable model in the various assets, therefore environmental – through the reduction of transports’ impact, social – with an improvement of the life quality, and also economic, in relation to a decrease of transports’ cost » – stated the Professor Vittorio Chiesa.

Vittorio Chiesa, Director of the Energy&Strategy Group of the School of Management of Milan Polytechnics that has published the Smart Mobility Report 2019

As Smart Mobility we indicate the evolution of the mobility world towards a more sustainable model in the various assets, therefore environmental – through the reduction of transports’ impact, social – with an improvement of the life quality, and also economic, in relation to a decrease of transports’ cost.

World overview

In 2018, about 2.1 million electric vehicles were registered in the world, including passenger cars and Light Duty Vehicle (both BEV and PHEV), a datum rising by 78% compared to the previous year, with a total stock that, on a global level, has reached 5.4 million vehicles. This constant growth results in the expectation of exceeding the threshold of 3 million electric vehicles registered in 2019 and in a stronger shift from PHEV, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles characterized by both electric and internal combustion propulsion, towards BEV, Battery Electric Vehicle, therefore vehicles without internal combustion engines but just equipped with an electric propeller that exploits the energy stored in the traction battery.
With about 1.2 million electric vehicles registered, China is the biggest world market, followed by the United States with over 400,000 registered units (34% more than in 2017) while Japan ranks third, with 53,000 vehicles.

In 2018, about 2.1 million electric vehicles were registered in the world, including passenger cars and Light Duty Vehicle (both BEV and PHEV), a datum rising by 78% compared to the previous year, with a total stock that, on a global level, has reached 5.4 million vehicles. Source: Energy&Strategy Group

In 2018, in Europe the registration of electric cars grew by 33% versus 2017, with a number amounting to 384,000 units. The gold medal is won once more by the virtuous Norway, third Country on a world scale after China and United States, with over 72,000 electric cars registered, 49% out of the total of cars inside the nation. Germany confirms to be the second European market, with over 67,000 electric cars registered, followed by Great Britain and France, respectively with almost 60,000 and more than 45,000 electric cars.
Italy, still a little behind in the global ranking, in 2018 weighed by 2.5% of the European market of electric cars, versus 12% of total registrations.

With about 1.2 million electric vehicles registered, China is the biggest world market, followed by the United States with over 400,000 registered units (34% more than in 2017) while Japan ranks third, with 53,000 vehicles. Source: Energy&Strategy Group
In Italy, we are still waiting for the real take off of the electric car, at present it is in fact a niche, although in big constant growth. In 2018, 9,567 electric cars were registered, of which 5,010 BEV and 4,569 PHEV, corresponding to 0.5 % of total registrations, rising the overall number of circulating electric cars to about 22,000. In the first seven months of 2019, instead, 6,000 electric cars in all were sold, one thousand more compared to the entire 2018, with the 113% growth. Therefore, there are certainly positive signs, also due to the autonomy of the electric cars currently available on the Italian market, which ranges from 150 to 560 km: even in the most limited case, it is an autonomy that allows the effective use of the electric car for shopping, entertainment and the free time. Key factor for the increment after the third quarter of 2019 is the coming into force of the Ecobonus, whose demand online has been enabled since last April 8th. The analysis carried out within the Report highlights that the incentive to the national purchase in favour of the electric vehicle allows using 5 years “to equalize” the cost of a petrol car, resulting in a saving of 7,000 Euros in 10 years. Besides, in Italy, the integration level between electric cars and the availability of columns is decisively encreased with an upcoming average of a 1:5 ratio. The study carried out by the Energy&Strategy Group of the School of Management of Milan Polytechnics has hypothesized three future scenarios for Italy: the basic one, with a growth trend in 2030 that goes from 2.5 to 7 million electric vehicles in Italy, a moderate development scenario where in 2025 we will reach 23% and 55% in 2030, for a total of 5.4 million electric cars and, finally, a scenario of accelerated development with 7 million electric vehicles circulating in 2030 and 65% of new electric registrations in the year.  For the development of the electric mobility, in Italy we hope in a regulation on the retrofit, the allocation of 3.7 billion Euros intended for the renewal of the bus fleet, the simplification of the bureaucracy for the installation of private columns and the development of side sectors, like the self-consumption and energy communities.

The influence of incentives in Europe

If we analyse each Country of the Old Continent, the subdivision of electric cars’ registrations in 2018, both BEV and PHEV, results in a highly variegated mix that leads to 3 different “clusters”: BEV-oriented that includes Holland, France and Norway; PHEV-oriented, of which Sweden, United Kingdom and Belgium are part, and the group of Balanced that includes Switzerland, Germany, Spain and Italy. Such scenario has been influenced by incentive and tax schemes along the time.

The analysis highlighted by the Report shows the emissions of carbon dioxide along the life cycle of the vehicle are lower for electric vehicles than for vehicles with internal combustion engine. For both vehicle typologies, we identify as worst case the scenario in which the battery production and the vehicle assembly take place in China. The best case is instead associated to the 100% Italian manufacturing chain, where all components of the vehicle are produced and assembled in Italy, with a saving of emissions in the order of 30% for BEV and of 15% for ICEV. The impact of the use phase is higher for the vehicles with internal combustion engine: from 75% to 88% of the total of CO2 emissions in the lifecycle. Concerning BEV, instead, this share ranges from 40% to 65% and strongly influences the energy source with which the energy that supllies the electric vehicle is produced. The battery component has a very important weight in terms of emissions for electric vehicles: the emissions associated to its production constitute about 35- 55% of the total inherent to the vehicle implementation phases.

Germany, for instance, offers a direct incentive of 4,000 Euros and the road tax exemption for 10 years for the purchase of BEV cars and of over 3,000 Euros for PHEV; similar situation for Spain that provides for an incentive of 1,300 Euros for cars with purchase price under 32,000 Euros and of 5,500 for cars with autonomy exceeding 71 km. In France, the State allocate up to 6,000 Euros for the purchase of cars that release less than 20 grams of CO2/km and there is a disincentive to the purchase of diesel and petrol cars based on the “polluter pays” principle. Among the best practices, stands out the one of Norway, which has introduced incentives already since 1990, both direct and indirect, like the absence of tolls and the free access to parks, like in Holland.

Data about registrations of electric vehicles in Europe in 2018. The gold medal is won once more by the virtuous Norway, with over 72,000 electric cars registered, 49% out of the total of cars inside the nation. Germany, Great Britain and France follow. Source: Energy&Strategy Group
This constant growth results in a stronger shift from purchases of PHEV, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles characterized by both electric and internal combustion propulsion, towards BEV, Battery Electric Vehicle. Source: Energy&Strategy Group

Since October 2018, the United Kingdom has introduced incentives amounting to 35% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of 3,500 pounds, Belgium supports with imports that decrease hand in hand with the increase of the purchase cost while Sweden has an articulated system that reaches 5,600 Euros for BEV vehicles.

Recharge trends and evolution of infrastructures

The direction of the recharge infrastructure for electric cars is strictly connected with the main requirements, today not sufficiently satisfied. The need of decreasing recharge times is leading to an increment of the power supplied by columns and to a “Battery Swap” service, then the substitution of the low battery of a vehicle with a charged one, instead of recharging.

Registrations of pure electric cars (BEV) in Italy. The key factor for the increment after the third quarter of 2019 is the coming into force of the Ecobonus, whose demand online has been enabled since last April 8th

The need of an extremely user-friendly operation is leading to the development of Plug&Charge columns, of wireless recharges and of services like the emergency recharge. Finally, the demand for the integration of recharge systems in the urban context is resulting is different solutions such as the mobile recharge. In this context, it is worth underlining the big trend of the Vehicle Grid Integration, the direction that corresponds to the electric vehicle’s possibility of providing services in grid. The V2G declination, the so-called Veichle-to-Grid will be stronger and stronger, providing that the supply of grid services occurs through bi-directional flows of energy, therefore from the grid to the vehicle and vice versa. Nowadays, its diffusion is still quite limited and circumscribed to pilot projects; soon the revision of the regulatory framework is expected to make room for experimentations in this ambit.

The first Chinese factory fully dedicated to the e-mobility is starting

Purposely built for the production of fully electric vehicles based on the MEB modular platform, the new factory of the joint venture Saic Volkswagen and Antig is completed and the pre-production has started. The line has in fact produced a purely electric Volkswagen ID model, specific for China, and the mass production start is scheduled by October 2020.
MEB is a unique platform specifically ideated for the production of high volumes of electric vehicles, which allows a longer pitch and more spacious interiors. Besides, the models produced on this base will be equipped with state-of-the-art infotainment systems and connectivity functions seamlessly integrated into daily life.
«Volkswagen Group provides for a total volume of 22 million purely electric vehicles on a global scale within 2028, of which over 50% coming from China. The Country – stated Herbert Diess, President of the Board of Directors of Volkswagen Group – plays a fundamental role in our electrification strategy, which will help the Group to reach the target of becoming neutral in terms of CO2 within 2050. With the production start on MEB base, we will introduce also in China the Volkswagen ID family, a brand-new generation of purely electric and connected vehicles».
Smart and digitalized, Anting plant becomes a new example of smart sustainable factory for Volkswagen Group China and for the entire Chinese automotive industry.

Cooperation between BMW and Jaguar Land Rover

As it develops its plans for the mobility of the future, the BMW Group is increasingly focusing on co-operations to help make next-level electrification technology more widely available to customers by the start of the coming decade.
The BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover confirmed they are joining forces to develop next generation electric drive units in a move that supports the advancement of electrification technologies necessary to transition to an ACES future.
The BMW Group brings long experience of developing and producing several generations of electric drive units in-house since it launched the pioneering BMW i3 in 2013. Jaguar Land Rover has demonstrated its capability with this technology through the launch of the Jaguar I-Pace and its plug-in hybrid models.
The BMW Group’s most sophisticated electrified technology to date features an electric motor, transmission and power electronics in one housing. This electric motor does not require rare earths, enabling the BMW Group to reduce its dependence on their availability as it continues to systematically broaden its range of electrified models.
Starting next year, the BMW Group will introduce this electric drive unit, the fifth generation (“Gen 5”) of its eDrive technology, with the BMW iX3 Sports Activity Vehicle. The Gen 5 electric drive unit will be the propulsion system upon which subsequent evolutions launched together with Jaguar Land Rover will be based.
“The automotive industry is undergoing a steep transformation. We see collaboration as a key for success, also in the field of electrification. With Jaguar Land Rover, we found a partner whose requirements for the future generation of electric drive units significantly match ours. Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.

A global electric motor market overview

The “Global electric motor market” report, a recent research by Allied Market Research, has revealed that the global electric motor market size was $96,967.9 million in 2017, and is projected to reach $136,496.1 million in 2025, growing at a CAGR of 4.5%.
The rise in demand for superior machine control in automotive industry, owing to the high efficiency of AC synchronous motors fuels the electric motor market growth.
The regulations such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), drives the growth of energy efficient electric motors market across the world.
The material handling systems serve as the key consumers of fractional horsepower (FHP) motors, thus boosting their demand across the globe. Moreover, the adoption of motors ranging 21-60 V in HVAC sectors, owing to the heat dissipation, are anticipated to exhibit high demand for these motors in the coming years.
However, the industrial motors with high power rating generate substantial vibration, strain, and heating during their performance, which could potentially have profound influence over electronic components, and result in their malfunction. In addition, lack of awareness of benefits associated with smart motors among small and medium enterprise owners for various applications is expected to hinder the growth of the electric motor market during the forecast period.
The global electric motors have widespread demand in North America, followed by Asia-Pacific, and Europe. The highest share of the North America market is attributed to the increase in demand in AC motors in automotive sectors.
The global electric motor market is also witnessing considerable growth in the emerging markets such as India, China, and others. This growth is attributable to the development of the automotive, machinery, and fan & ventilation industries and high demand for better energy-efficient electric pumps.
Increase in demand for medium to large voltage motors, particularly in emerging wind power markets, is further expected to fuel the market growth. However, rise in use of other energy-efficient motors as an alternative to conventional motors is anticipated to hinder the market growth. North America is witnessing the highest demand for AC synchronous motors, followed by Asia-Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA. The highest share of the North America market is attributable to increase in demand for conveyers in the industrial machinery segment.
The “Global electric motor market” report by Allied Market Research, provides an extensive analysis of the current and emerging market trends and dynamics in the global electric motor market.
In-depth electric motor market analysis is conducted by constructing market estimations for the key market segments between 2017 and 2025 and by following key product positioning and monitoring of the top competitors within the market framework.
A comprehensive analysis of all regions is provided to determine the prevailing opportunities.
The global electric motor market forecast analysis from 2018 to 2025 is included in the report.
The global electric motor market is segmented into motor type, output power, voltage range, application, speed, and region.Based on motor type, the global market is divided into AC, DC, and hermetic motors. AC motors has two subsegments, which includes synchronous AC motors, and induction AC motor. Similarly, DC motor is further classified as brushed DC motor and brushless DC motor. In 2017, the AC motor segment held the largest share, due to increase in demand for energy-efficient conveyor systems in manufacturing and automotive industries.Based on output power, it is classified into integral horsepower (IHP) output, and fractional horsepower (FHP) output. By voltage range, the market is categorized into 9 V & below, 10-20 V, 21-60 V, and 60 V & above. In 2017, the 60 V & above motor segments held the largest share, due to its increase in demand in heavy industrial machinery industry for energy-efficient conveyor systems in manufacturing and automotive industries.
Based on application, the global electric motor market is classified into industrial machinery, motor vehicles, heating, ventilating, and cooling equipment (HVAC), aerospace & transportation, household appliances, and other commercial applications. In 2017, the industrial machinery segment held the largest share, due to increase in demand for compressors systems in manufacturing and automotive industries. Based on speed (rpm), it is classified into low-speed electric motors (less than 1,000 rpm), medium-speed electric motors (1,001-25,000 rpm), high-speed electric motors (25,001-75,000 rpm), and ultrahigh-speed electric motors (greater than 75,001 RPM).Region wise, the electric motor market is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA. In 2017, North America accounted for the highest share, and is anticipated to secure the leading position during the forecast period. This is attributed to industrial growth and expansion of aerospace industry. U.S. is a pioneer in the electric motor market. Therefore, the electric motor market share is highest among the North American countries.

Get more information on this report>>>

A joint work on electric vehicles

Nissan LEAF

Cruise and General Motors announced that they have joined forces with Honda to pursue the shared goal of transforming mobility through the large-scale deployment of autonomous vehicle technology.
Honda will work jointly with Cruise and General Motors to fund and develop a purpose-built autonomous vehicle for Cruise that can serve a wide variety of use cases and be manufactured at high volume for global deployment. In addition, Cruise and General Motors and Honda will explore global opportunities for commercial deployment of the Cruise network.

Honda will contribute approximately $2 billion over 12 years to these initiatives, which, together with a $750 million equity investment in #cruise, brings its total commitment to the project to $2.75 billion.
“This is the logical next step in General Motors and Honda’s relationship, given our joint work on electric vehicles, and our close integration with Cruise,” said General Motors Chairman and Ceo Mary Barra. “Together, we can provide Cruise  with the world’s best design, engineering and manufacturing expertise, and global reach to establish them as the leader in autonomous vehicle technology – while they move to deploy self-driving vehicles at scale.”

Focus: future scenarios and technological trends – Part 3

After outlining the product and support proposal for the electric motor world in automotive and/or appliance ambit, we have asked interviewed companies their point of view on possible future scenarios/technological trends.

“The most felt requirements in the sheet metal forming market, especially for the automotive sector– highlights Michele Archenti, Sales and Marketing Manager AIDA Europe – are, and will increasingly be, more control and more automation of manufacturing processes. The revolution called Industry 4.0, aimed at boosting innovation in industrial field, mainly focuses on the theme of the integration and the connection of industrial machines to the corporate net. Concerning this, the most important novelty at which we are working, concerns the use of Machine Learning algorithms to offer advanced preventive maintenance solutions able to help us in preserving the most important good of each customer: manufacturing continuity”.

Precisely according to this vision, AIDA group has already developed and implemented its complete solution for the data processing (through cloud computing): AiCARE (AIDA Information Care System). It can provide advanced information about the production and maintenance state of each single press, such as, just to make an example, manufacturing data, data on energy consumptions, on the oil quality or the operational temperature, or data regarding the use degree of each single element that composes the press.
“The AiCARE system– adds Archenti – has been conceived to be integrated on all of our press typologies but, at the same time, it can be seen as an external device to be implemented on already installed presses”.
Therefore, it is a solution “that can be retrofitted” on the machine fleet already installed. Not only AIDA presses are concerned but the installation is possible also on other manufacturers’ presses.

Concerning possible future trends and scenarios, Bluergo thinks that the electric motor evolution as traction, in automotive ambit, will have its course, with times a bit delayed compared to what imaginable just some years ago. Owing to different reasons, as Andrea Cusinato, Sales Department Bluergo, specified: “Without prejudice to the environmental and performance benefits, there are some criticalities and difficulties not completely solved, I think. I am referring, for instance, to an infrastructure and to a grid energy not ready to transpose “big numbers”. Likewise, the vehicle cost for end-users, even if constantly adapted, unfortunately does not seem affordable for today’s users of small subcompacts, yet. In other words, times are not mature for a mass diffusion, yet. From our point of view, we believe instead the petrol/methane, diesel/methane conversion technology is more within reach”.

In the last biennium, the company has been very active and committed to the latter context, with the supply of tailored electromagnetic components.
“If, instead, with electric motor – specifies Cusinato – we mean not only the traction, it is indisputable it is in constant evolution. Especially if we refer to brushless motors, which nowadays represent the almost totality of motions and drives equipping a car”.

Bluergo has been committed to this ambit for years and it is investing huge resources in it. A strongly growing market that, today, absorbs a significant percentage of the corporate production.
“Referring to the Home Appliance sector – adds Cusinato – it is following the same evolutionary course, with the replacement of standard single-phase motors with brushless technology. However, also in this case the cost aspect hinders its mass diffusion”.

Cagnoni confirms the electric motor world is living a constant growth in the automotive and appliance sectors.
“Nevertheless – specifies the managing director Giordano Sorci – the brushless motor is rapidly spreading, widening applicative opportunities. Today, also for this reason, our customers, I would say about 10% of them, are diversifying productions by introducing the brushless technology, too. However, not all sectors can avail themselves of these typologies, therefore I believe the conventional brushed motor still has several decades of career in front”.

Automation is increasingly shifting towards motors produced in smaller yearly quantities. This is the point of view of Dema that, by voice of the owner Mr Cesare Librici, confirms how such datum influences the technological requisites demanded for its plants.

“If previously – states the engineer Librici – typically one of our automated machines was required by one of our customers that had productions of 500,000, one million of parts yearly, today we have dropped by one order of magnitude. This means the demand for the part of our competence is oriented towards a fully automatic process. And no longer semi-automatic or even manual. This interpretation concerns both the automotive and the industrial world. More complex is instead interpreting trends and scenarios for the appliance industry that, still according to our point of view, does not seem to show particular interest in investments in new products today”.

Clear and precise also the vision of Demak about possible future scenarios/technological trends where the electric motor will be the protagonist.

“Certainly electrification – states the Technical Sales Manager, Massimiliano Balboni – already in course for some years, will become a “vital” and decisive step for all OEMs and for the whole chain. Especially, however, for companies that will mandatorily need to integrate into their manufacturing cycle technologies with zero or minimal impact on the environment. Therefore, it is undoubted that companies themselves, besides investing in R&D activities for the development of electric traction with more autonomy, will be also requested to provide for investing in “Eco-Friendly” technologies, which can grant, at the same time, excellent-level performances of the electric motor and of other components”.

The future of automotive is electric. Sergio Iori, president of EuroGroup, has no doubt.

“The automotive industry– he affirms – is getting ready for the increment of the demand for electric vehicles. We cannot establish with certain responses, yet, whether and when the car with thermal motor will end, whether and how much the hybrid traction will still develop. However, it is certain the activity that today concerns the productive developments of electric vehicles is, according to many, a real Tsunami and, anyway, an epochal turning point”.

Christian Grob, Supervisory Board Chairman of GROB-WERKE, underlines how it is important to remind the e-mobility is still a relatively new concept for the automotive field.

“All market players– he declares – must adapt their approach. Working in strict collaboration with primary sector brands, it was immediately clear that there was a big need of mass production installations in the automotive industry, with particular attention to key components, that is to say the electric motor and battery components. Currently, designs are created and developed only through a strict consulting with the automotive industry. Even if markets are reacting to this with different speeds, Grob sales have already suited new technologies worldwide”.

Wide, efficacious and detailed is the reflection expressed by Inarca on possible future scenarios/technological trends, implemented in automotive and appliance ambit.

“In automotive ambit – highlights the sale manager Alessandro Rocchi – the increasingly extended demand for components managed by electronics makes the need of connecting mechanical parts to boards or circuits more and more frequent. This will lead to an ever-rising diffusion of the mechanical cold junction, much more efficient than welding, due to both the minor problems in junction phase and the possibility of replacing parts quickly. Consequently, the market trend is favourable for us, since we have invested for years in Crimp and IDC technologies, where today we can say we are technological leaders. Moreover, the more and more diffused presence of aluminium, instead of copper, as material used for electric motors’ windings works for us, as we have developed for years more and more efficient solutions for applications of this kind”.

Referring to the appliance world, Rocchi points out that the technological evolution of the household appliance sector determines an increasingly massive presence of electronics, which exponentially increases the number of connections for each single device and produces more and more complex geometries.

“The successive step – he adds – will be the massive diffusion of iOt, internet of things, which will further boost this phenomenon».

In this context, Inarca proposes itself as technological reference partner: for years, in fact, it has developed a line of specific solutions for the mechanical cold junction (both Crimp and IDC), which allow utmost efficiency in application phase.

In the opinion of Enzo Montani from Piciesse, certainly last years’ data highlight a strong growth of the innovative mobility and motion: “Beyond the mobility in the strict sense – he adds– the sector dedicated to the terrestrial motion and to the introduction and refinement of more and more technological and attentive means is increasingly protagonist. We are referring to trains for electrified lines, to hybrid/electric cars, to e-bikes, to electric scooters, to segways and to hoverboards. Besides, aware of facing a more and more diffused electric production, probably the need of developing smart flexible grids, able to manage peaks and to distribute energy safely, will rise. This will highlight the importance of the so-called smart grids and will gradually require efficient and complete management and communication systems of grids themselves”.

More and more refined technology for more efficient and safer systems. This is the synthesis by Rodolfo Risatti, owner of Risatti Instruments: “We believe – he affirms – in the future, technology can nothing but refine and reach specialized levels that will grant more efficient and safer systems. According to this perspective, we daresay the technologized automated drive will be used on all transport means”.

The point of view of Samac reveals how the next evolution, already partly in course, will reside in the shift from electrification to electronification. A step that, for the company, will make the critical components of complex systems – like for instance the motor in a car but also an electric axis in machines – become independent in the management of their operation and maintenance parameters.

TE Connectivity estimates that trends and possible scenarios for the future are oriented towards an increased usage of aluminum wires.

Ugo Aime, Product Manager, explains and concludes: “Where there are no particular problems with the space for the components, more competitive solutions which are cheaper and lighter will be available”.

Concerning future trends and scenarios, Zoppas Industries Heating Element Technologies highlights a first big discriminant among hybrid, plug-in and full-electric vehicles. Moreover, car typologies will be subdivided by autonomy range and by market target, luxury and performances, too. The company’s hypothesis envisages a more and more fragmented market, to meet the manifold requirements that, in combination with the new trends of Megacities and of connectivity, will be defined by end-users. Concerning heating, the macro-typologies that Zoppas Industries Heating Element Technologies glimpses in the next future are the following: air heating for small cars for city-urban use; heating through fluid circuit loops for the cars of the average range; heating by heat pump for “premium” cars; heating through radiant surfaces as possible long-term evolution in the car interior.

Focus: products and technologies at the service of the electric motor – Part 2

What proposal of products and technological support for the electric motor world in automotive and/or appliance ambit?

World reference reality in the production of high-speed presses, automations and complete systems for the sheet metal forming, AIDA, for several time now, has already invested part of its research capability in the development of specific solutions for the production of electric motors. Today the fruit of this activity allows the company to offer two product lines fully dedicated to rolling: AIDA HMX Series and AIDA MSP Series.

Michele Archenti,
Sales and Marketing Manager AIDA Europe

“They are products– confirms Michele Archenti, Sales and Marketing Manager AIDA Europe – the market already highly appreciates. To the extent that we can boast hundreds of installations in leader players’ production plants”.
AIDA MSP presses (Multi-Suspension Points Presses) allow producing high precision and high efficiency motors such as EV motors, HEV motors and energy-efficient home appliances motors.

Executions that are highly suitable for the production of parts characterized by thicknesses under 0.2 mm.
“Such presses – adds Archenti – stand out for notable dynamic precision, due to both the compact design, to the architecture consisting in in-line multi-suspension points, to the native Aim function (i.e. Adjust In Motion) and finally to the balance reached between the high stiffness and the wide plan surface. Indispensable prerogative, the latter, to house tools with the number of stages needed for the production of high-efficiency motors”.

Specialized in the design and in the production of electromagnetic and electronic components, Bluergo implements smart technologies for the development of innovative solutions customized according to single requirements. A range of products that go from stator coils to laminated and electronic transformers, from solenoid valves to tachometer coils, from motor injectors to electromagnets for servomechanisms, from antennas to ferrite wound components.

“Productions – specifies Andrea Cusinato, Sales Department – intended for the sector of the Home Appliance, of white and brown goods, as well as for the automotive industry. We can supply complete packages for the latter, in particular, perfectly suiting our customers’ requisites. Concerning this, we can offer an all-round service that goes from the technical feasibility analysis to the co-design and virtual prototyping activity, from the fast-sampling to the design and implementation of mass-production equipment”.

Paolo Caviggioli, project manager of BTSR International

BTSR International operates in the design and manufacturing of electronic sensors for the quality control in the manufacturing chains of clothing-textile, mechano-textile and technical textile, besides operating for years also with solutions for the testing of metal wires (copper and precious metals).

“Ambit, the latter – confirms the project manager, Paolo Caviggioli – that has allowed further increasing our presence in the automotive market. With high-tech solutions, which include electronic sensors and smart systems, aimed at satisfying the most different requirements in the monitoring of wire sliding, of feeding tension control and of all major quality parameters of all kinds of wires: traditional wires, elastomers, glass fibers and carbon fibers”.

Among them, stands out the new patented CWF 2000, specific high-tech system, that is to say an innovative solution that redefines the state-of-the-art in the wire feeding technology, likely to have a significant impact in the sector of metal coil winding. Available in two versions (CWF2000 to work on machines with double-winding and coil and CWF2000 HCL for needle machines and needle winding machines), if finds applications in several sectors, such as producers of ignition coils for automotive, of solenoids, of transformers, of relays, of stator and rotor windings for household appliance motors.

Giordano Sorci, managing director of Cagnoni Srl

The activity of Cagnoni Srl includes three different manufacturing ambits, among which the production of electric commutators and the cold blanking of metal sheets. The latter results in the production of high-precision components made of iron, stainless steel, copper, brass aluminum and bronze, which find applications in industrial sectors, like the prevailing automotive and household appliances.

«Our product, that is the electric commutator – explains the managing director Giordano Sorci, at the head of the company together with his brother Ignazio – has always been focused on the requirements of the automotive and appliance world. Our process has been calibrated to meet the more and more severe requirements of these two sectors. Our customers’ trend is oriented to the reduction of the footprints and weights of the electric motor. Therefore, our range, which is focused on small high-performance commutators, perfectly matches this need».

Moreover, the company’s structure and organization avail themselves of engineers who interface with customers’ research and development teams and, together, they study alternative solutions to optimize more and more both costs and performances of the finished product. An unceasing research of technological solutions, materials and automations, which then allow Cagnoni to keep pace with times constantly and to deal with markets’ severe requirements.

Dema is specialized in the design and production of tailor-made automated lines intended for the manufacturing of rotors and stators for electric motors. Highly performing and reliable technologies to carry out sorting, packing, inspection and assembling processes. A context where it holds a protagonist role, side by side with leader manufacturers in the development of more and more challenging projects.

“Today more than in the past – states the owner, the engineer Cesare Librici – we are focusing our attention on the development of solutions dedicated to inspectioning, i.e. the complete geometrical, dimensional and optical-visual control of rotor and stator stacks produced, before they are used in other phases of the manufacturing process. This to satisfy more and more preponderant requirements in the production ambit of electric Powertrain, with total traceability of processed components. As if often happens, the automotive sector is pioneer, like in this case of process innovation. However, by technological transposition and transfer, the same can find applications also in other fields, like for instance appliances”.

In this context, the know-how and the deep competences gained in various operational ambits allow the company to study and to develop tailored, performing and reliable manufacturing lines and machines.

Demak produces plants for the degassing, meter-mixing and dispensing of epoxy, polyurethane, silicon resins, and several other types of resins. Moreover, the company can supply customers with the suitable resins for their processes and productions, through the sister company S.E. Special Engines Srl, formulating and producing chemical company.

Massimiliano Balboni, Technical Sales Manager of Demak Group

“Demak Group – underlines Massimiliano Balboni, Technical Sales Manager of Demak Group – approaches then the automotive EV/HEV market as supplier of plants and resins for the encapsulation of electric traction motors and other electric-electronic components. Every day the protection and the rise of performances of the electric motor becomes more important and here the use of the vacuum encapsulation technology becomes fundamental. In fact, with the choice of a suitable resin, it is possible to grant an important heat dissipation of the motor and higher resistance to collisions, vibrations, chemical agents, water, dust, and other external agents”.

EuroGroup Laminations is Holding of the Italian engineering group, world reference reality in the production of magnetic blanked laminations for stators and rotors of electric motors and generators. A Group today composed by 7 manufacturing units in Italy and other 5 in Mexico, United States, Tunisia, Russia and China. The Group is at the service of several sectors, like automotive, which provides the major boost of developments oriented to an epochal turning point towards the electrical car.

“In this survey– states Sergio Iori, president of EuroGroup – our Group plays an important role, offering more and more efficient stators/rotors for electric motors to the market. Efficiency that, in the specific case of electric vehicles, results in more autonomy of car driving distance”.

Sergio Iori,
President of EuroGroup

In the stator/rotor, this needs not only a use of steels with increasingly high magnetic and permeability features but also thicknesses that from standard 0.5-0.65 mm decrease to 0.30-0.20 mm (and someone already uses 0.10 mm), besides stricter geometrical tolerances owing to heat and noise reduction reasons.

“Our response/offer to the market– adds Iori – provides for several solutions: progressive blanking dies able to process these new materials, assuring the final characteristics demanded; assembling systems of single stator/rotor laminations; accessory operations on the motor, like magnet and shaft insertion and successive machining and balancing”.

In particular, the assembling systems of single stator/rotor laminations provide for various solutions: gluing (Glue Fastec); packing (Corpack/Zip) during the blanking with compensation by rotation of laminations, even with 0.20 mm thickness (granting a stacking-factor in line with the motor requirements); welding of stator/ rotor through laser/Tig/Mig technology.

“In line with the requisites of Industry 4.0 – adds Iori – we can assure the total traceability of our whole production. All that in compliance with quality procedures established by IATF regulations”.

This industrial approach is adopted by EuroGroup also for stators/rotors for the Home Appliances sector, to the end of a constant technical improvement, aimed at increasing the efficiencies of the electric motor for this type of applications.

GROB-WERKE is a family-run enterprise operating on international scale and headquartered in the Swabian-Bavarian town of Mindelheim, with a product catalogue that ranges from the universal machining centre to the complex manufacturing system provided with automation, from assembling units in the stock removal machining up to fully automated assembling plants.

Christian Grob, Supervisory Board Chairman of GROB-WERKE

“Our company – specifies Christian Grob, Supervisory Board Chairman of GROB-WERKE – is one of the few machine tool manufacturers in the world fully oriented to electro-mobility requirements. Our range of machines can accomplish the entire production process of an electric motor, from the various phases of wire winding and shaping to the assembling and contact. One of the main processes in the production of an electric motor is the phase of copper wire winding inside the stator. In this ambit, Grob can make available all known technologies, including the wave winding, the hairpin winding process and the fan-coil technology. Grob Italy S.r.l. can also put at disposal winding/insertion solutions, as well as the needle technology”.

In short, this means that Grob provides the market with all available manufacturing processes for the electric motors demanded by the automotive industry.

Alessandro Rocchi,
sales manager of Inarca

Inarca is a company that makes research its main asset, then applied to the design and production of terminals, connectors, technologies and machines for electric connections.

“Reading it – comments the sales manager Alessandro Rocchi – it seems a stock phrase but the innovation that derives from intense research activities is actually the main competitive edge that has allowed us, along the years, an almost constant growth. Besides, it is also the primary factor that permits us to compete on apparently difficult markets, since characterized by much lower pure labour costs”.

After the recent celebrations of the 25th anniversary of activity, Piciesse starts the new year with a heritage of experience and internationalism in the world of printed circuit boards. Almost 50% of its turnover comes from the automotive industry, inside of which stand out the apt qualitative policies for constant improvement and updating, in certification ambit, too (see VDA 6.3), and for promoting the constant technological upgrade.

Enzo Montani, partner and member of Piciesse Board of Directors

“Power circuits – specifies Enzo Montani, partner and member of the Board of Directors, together with Claudia Marinelli and Gian Marco Baldini– can represent a valid proposal by Piciesse to the electric motor world. Such market is increasingly connected with this typology of circuits, whose materials, granting the heat dissipation, reach high copper thicknesses, i.e. from 105 to 400 µm, and they often allow connections to further heatsinks. The result? An increased and better heat management. Currently, the means prevailingly equipped with this typology of PCB are machines for handling, warehouse management or displacements of goods, such as forklifts, tow hooks, cranes and so on. They are defined power circuits because they can withstand and manage a bigger passage of electric current, with a higher voltage/current product able to create, precisely, more power”.

Risatti Instruments produces systems for the trial and testing of electric equipment.
“The company – explains the owner Rodolfo Risatti – has operated in the specific market for over seventy years and every year it goes on investing in research and development to grant innovative forefront testing systems, in conformity with Industry 4.0 law, too”.

Rodolfo Risatti, owner of Risatti Instruments

Precisely due to this characteristic, the company goes on operating worldwide. Specialized also in the automotive sector, today it can meet customers’ single requirements, supporting them in each phase of the testing process (which encompasses also scooters and electric bicycles) like for instance: control of magnetic losses of both stator and rotor iron, of already assembled stacks; complete stator testing, including the measurement of partial discharges and the ohmic resistance, in alternate, at various frequencies; testing of the die-casting of both aluminium and copper rotor.

“They concern – adds Risatti – also systems and solutions for the testing of the finished motor, both as only motor and provided with reduction gear and differential gear, both in production and in laboratory, with detection of all characteristics of torque, revolutions and efficiency. Last but not least, also the instruments for lab tests and the systems for testing the service life of batteries, with setup of programmed charge and discharge cycles”.

Samac, since 1975 specialized in the engineering and manufacturing of machines and plants for the automation of assembling and testing processes, for some years has been focusing its investments on R&D and marketing, in market ambits concerning electrified components and under electrification. This action has aroused the interest in the company by the major world players of the automotive industry, and not only. Electric brushless motors for steering systems (EPS) and for car fans, including stators and rotors, brushed electric motors for the motion of car seats and roof, tubular motors for the shutter movement are only some of the products assembled and tested on Samac plants in the last 5 years. The company has applied for years important Industry 4.0 concepts on the manufactured plants, such as predictive maintenance, interconnection with managerial systems and other machines, self-adaptivity of operational units, use of augmented reality for maintenance and assistance, plant control from remote, with the use of cloud technology, too.

TE Connectivity is a technology company that designs and manufactures connectivity and sensor products for harsh environments in a variety of industries, including automotive, appliances, data and devices’ industrial, energy and medical.

Ugo Aime, Product Manager Appliances in TE

“We also offer a wide choice of products – specifies Ugo Aime, Product Manager in TE Connectivity – for applications in electric motors, transformers, inductors, electromagnets, coils and other devices with enameled wire windings. A high value derives from offering “full package” solutions such as terminal + plastic cavity + assembly, to ensure a significant cost reduction, together with higher efficiency and reliability”.
The ‘Insulation Displacement Connection’ (IDC) / Crimp technology is a valid alternative to the welding process for enameled wire termination; this process is still used by majority of the market for electric motor connections.

“Connections with IDC/Crimp technology – Aime emphasizes – offer several advantages, including, for example, the absence of chemicals and high temperatures/power. Oxides and possible contamination risks are eliminated, providing a clean contact surface and a stable, gas-tight electrical connection. Another strength is the increased flexibility, since it is possible to terminate not only copper wires, but also aluminum and combinations of copper and aluminum wires”.

TE Connectivity is also offering different termination machines, that provide high reliability with minimal wire preparation. Additionally, many TE Connectivity machines have an automatic precision adjustment functionality, i.e. ‘Crimp Quality Monitor’CQM), to ensure maximum quality during the production process.

Zoppas Industries Heating Element Technologies, operating in over 200 markets in heating systems, considers the evolution of the automotive market in electric vehicles as a strategic opportunity to offer its “know-how”, gained in over 55 years of experience, in the thermal management of both batteries and of the entire car interior. At the state-of-the-art, the company is developing solutions of heating and maintenance of the correct operation temperature of batteries through both “direct heating”, then the applications of heating sheets directly in contact with cells, and with “indirect” proposals, like the introduction of conditioning circuits for fluid solutions and heat exchangers. Referring to the car interior, both “booster” solutions for heat pumps and air heating systems are available.

This is Part 2 of a three-part article
Read Part 1: Focus: electric motor, current and future scenarios
Read Part 3: Future scenarios and technological trends

Focus: electric motor, current and future scenarios – Part 1

The language of the future is increasingly “electric-oriented”, not only in automotive but also in appliance ambit and in the most different applicative sectors. Ferment that involves the entire manufacturing chain, with companies committed to providing innovation that keeps pace with a more and more challenging and competitive market. What is their product and service proposal, and their point of view on possible evolutions?

Increasingly spread in all application types, electric motors find all-round use due to their well-known peculiarities and operational technical specifications. In this context, undoubted protagonists and big users are, among the others, the automotive and the household appliance industry. Sectors that benefit from a complex manufacturing chain that must keep pace with technological innovation to be able to provide solutions in a more and more complex and competitive market. Manufacturing companies that, according to their specialization, supply components, machining lines and plants, besides support and consulting of absolute technical level. We have interviewed some of them. A representative panel (without the presumption of being exhaustive on the topic) to highlight their proposal of competences and solutions, besides trying to outline the possible future scenarios and trends.

This is Part 1 of a three-part article