Monday, March 4, 2024

BMW has ended the manufacturing plant for state-of-the-art electric motors

We are in Austria, in the Steyr factory, with about 60,000 square meters of BMW manufacturing space. Here they have completed the building for the future manufacturing of electric powertrains. In the next months, they will implement around 300 plants and equipment, many of which will be customized, and ready for the launch of the pre-series production.
 Â«The construction and the installation of this production plant for electric Neue Klasse drive proceeds as planned. Now the next important stage is coming and it is not less ambitious than the building of halls themselves», stated Helmut Hochsteiner, electric drive manager at Steyr factory of BMW Group.
 Â«We are overall investing more than 500 million Euros in plants and equipment for Steyr, offering further confirmation of BMW Group’s commitment to the site. The start of the mass production of electric powertrains for Neue Klasse is scheduled in Autumn 2025», affirmed Klaus von Moltke, vice president of the motor manufacturing of BMW AG.
More in general, by 2030 BMW Group will invest around 1 billion Euros in all in the production of e-drives by its Steyr plant. The factory will produce over 600,000 electric units yearly together with diesel and petrol units.

GM made a millionaire deal for Canadian Graphite

General Motors has signed a supply agreement with Canadian natural resources company, Nouveau Monde Graphite to produce active anode material in Quebec, projected to be the first natural graphite mine in Canada entering the battery electric vehicle supply chain.
NMG and GM have agreed to sign a multiyear supply agreement for 18,000 tonnes per annum of active anode material, covering a significant portion of NMG’s expected Phase-2 integrated production, from graphite ore to battery materials.
GM commits to a US$150 million investment in two tranches, subject to certain closing conditions, to support the advancement and ultimately construction of NMG’s Phase-2 operations.
This agreement marks another milestone in GM’s commitment to build an entirely new industry in Quebec, Canada, and develop an integrated EV supply chain in North America. With the addition of the Ultium Cathode Active Material (CAM) processing facility in Bécancour, QC, we’re expanding the role Canada plays in GM’s all-electric future.
Eric Desaulniers, Founder, President, and CEO of NMG, reacted:  «From neighbors in Bécancour to now business partners, GM and NMG align on a vision for a striving and local integrated supply chain, from ore to EVs. North America is rich in resources, manufacturing capacity, talents, and innovation. We are leveraging these ingredients to drive a zero-emission future. Today marks a momentous milestone for NMG, highlighting the progress made towards our Phase 2 and the Company’s sound business plan of becoming North America’s largest fully integrated natural graphite active anode material producer to serve the booming Western battery and EV market».

7.5 million raised for the Sealence project

Sealence Spa SB is the startup that has invented the first fully electric jet for naval propulsion, DeepSpeed. The last funding round, completed last December 15th, ended with 7.556.386,25 due to 175 investors, through equity instruments and debit grants. Resources are mainly intended for the support of experimental research and industrial development activities and it is just another growth step. «The total fundraising since the start of the industrial plan activities overall reaches about 16.5 million Euros, whereas the investments made in industrial research and experimental development activities reach about 9 million Euros».
The target is to be sought in the super-deepspeed motor at the service of more efficient and performing electric boating. To date, the fleet of boats that test electric Sealence motors consists of four boats from 6 to 15 meters. Moreover, it seems that Sealance is designing the building of a gigafactory of batteries.

Specific motor combination for intralogistics

Nord Drivesystems has specifically developed the DuoDrive motor combination for intralogistics. A highly efficient IE5+ synchronous motor by NORD is integrated into a helical reducer, achieving an extremely high efficiency.

DuoDrive grants constant torque on a broad range of speeds and therefore it allows decreasing significantly the number of necessary drive variants to implement a complete system. This results in a reduction of administration costs and a simplification of service and maintenance processes. Moreover, Nordac On decentralized frequency converters have been optimized to meet the requirements of the horizontal transport technology. Due to their compact structure, user-friendly maintenance, and full connectability, they are particularly suitable for implementing large intralogistic systems with different drive units. In the Nordac On+ version, they have been purposely designed for uses in combination with the IE5+ motor.

The mass-produced sailing boat with an electric motor is incoming

Cantiere Del Pardo has launched its first mass-produced sailing boat with an electric motor: Grand Soleil Blue. It is a 33-feet daysailer with zero impact, 11.00-metre long and 3.70 wide, with a sail area of 62 square metres, the fruit of a project co-funded by Emilia-Romagna Region. It is equipped with photovoltaic panels and the range of the electric motor is 30 miles at the speed of 5 knots, which can become 60 with the additional battery pack. A hydrogeneration system installed on board will allow, in navigation, recharging batteries to exploit the water flow generated by the speed that is discharged on the propeller.

There is more in terms of sustainability: Grand Soleil Blue is fully recyclable at its life end due to the use of thermoplastic resin. “The use of a composite made of fibers and thermoplastic eco-sustainable resins enables the breakdown of the material at the end of its service life (Design For Disassembly), according to what already developed by Northern Light Composites company. To grant the full recyclability of the boat, also the materials and the assembly techniques of interiors and onboard furniture will be studied”, the company explained. The boat will make its debut in water in September on the occasion of Cannes Yachting Festival.

Tender for the electrification of agricultural machines

The upgrading of agricultural machines and equipment, which includes the race to their higher sustainability, is the issue of a tender in the RRNP’s ambit, which involves 15 regions of Italy, Lombardy included. For the latter, 26 million Euros have been made available for local companies and applications can be forwarded by March 29th, 2024. The tender addresses agro-mechanical companies, agricultural micro and SMEs, and their cooperatives and associations. The subsidy provides for a capital contribution up to 65% of the expenses deemed eligible and, in the case of young farmers, the subsidy is increased to 80%.
The various items also include replacing off-road vehicles, such as tractors, for agriculture and livestock that satisfy the requirement of being equipped with an electric or biomethane engine.

3D printing of components for electric motors: the turnover of the iron-silicon powder

Thanks to Soma (Lightweight Solutions for e-Mobility by AM for Soft Magnetic Alloys) project, funded by the European Union and supported by EIT Raw Materials, Elkem, a manufacturer of silicon-based materials, has developed an iron-silicon powder intended for the 3D printing of components for electric motors.
The developed iron-silicon powder is characterized by its exceptional soft magnetic properties, which makes it ideal for application in electric motors: user-friendly magnetization and demagnetization are fundamental for the efficient operation of these motors.
The powder, manufactured in small batches using an atomiser by Future Materials, the Norwegian Catapult Center at Kristiansand, has already been used successfully to print 3D components intended for electric motors, and quality estimates and prototype manufacturing followed the process.
The powder, a key product of this initiative, is now on the market thanks to Elkem, which is assessing its potential for production on a commercial scale. Currently, it is available in small quantities for test purposes.

The made in Apulia electric satellite is in orbit

Manufactured by Sitael at Mola di Bari, part of Angel Holding, MicroHETSat is a full electric satellite. Manufactured on behalf of the European Space Agency, MicroHETsat weighs 75 kg and it is equipped with a plasma motor, a sort of low-consumption space lift. The mission has been enabled by the investment of the Italian Space Agency through a contract with the European Space Agency – ESA. Through specific measures of support to innovative enterprises like Siatel, the Apulia Region has allowed the implementation of some prototypes of the satellite subsystems and part of the factory where MicroHETSat was born.
«All key elements of the satellite, from the on-board computer to the control system, from solar panels to power supplies and electric thrusters have been implemented by our engineers and technicians – commented Marco Molina, Managing Director Sales and Products of SITAEL -. Satellite operations are now in full swing and successfully go on from the operational room in SITAEL headquarters in Forlì».

EuroGroup Laminations inaugurates a new plant

EuroGroup Laminations strengthens its international ranking by inaugurating a new manufacturing plant for the EV market in Mexico, at Querétaro, with an investment to be made worth about 50 million Euros. The new plant adds around 10,000 sq.m. to the Group’s production park in the Country (21,000 sq.m. already existing) to more than double the manufacturing capacity for the EV & Automotive segment in the next two years.
The new site at Querétaro enriches the manufacturing park of EuroGroup Laminations on a global scale, as it is now composed of 13 factories, seven of them in Italy and six abroad – two in Mexico and two in China, one in the United States and one in Tunisia – and it will be central in the execution of the Group’s order book for the EV & Automotive segment, which in October 2023 reached the record amount of 6.4 billion Euros.

The Group has undertaken an additional site development programme: they are about 10,000 sq.m. for the EV & Automotive segment that joins the already existing 21,000 sq.m., with a 43% enlargement of the covered surface. The new plants have been built in compliance with the highest standards of innovation and sustainability, with a particular highlight on decarbonization, circular economy, and education, reaping the fruits of the Group’s consolidated expertise as a market leader.

The expansion of the production site in Mexico marks a new fundamental step in the growth course of EuroGroup Laminations with the foreseen doubling of the manufacturing capacity installed for the EV segment, further consolidating the market leadership.
“We are proud of inaugurating the new Mexican plant at Queretaro and of so strengthening our production capacity for the North American EV market for a fast growth at the service of already received job orders worth over 3 billion and a half Euros to be delivered from 2024 to 2028”, commented Marco Arduini, CEO of EuroGroup Laminations. “We work based on a growth plan that will allow us to increase production while shortening manufacturing times. Moreover, we invest in new forefront processes and technologies to grant unique solutions and the highest qualitative standards.”

Carpanelli presents the self-braking motors with rectifier

Recently, the manufacturer Carpanelli has informed us that all series of its electric motors are available in self-braking versions, too. “The brake can be in both alternate and direct current. The DC brake can be used as a standard brake or as a holding brake. The braking group can be associated with Carpanelli electric single-phase, three-phase, or double-polarity motors”, the manufacturer explained in detail.

In the press release, we can read that in the industrial field, or automation systems, it is common to find mechanical braking systems coupled on the axis of asynchronous motors. “These brakes are generally operated by an electromagnet, with power supply derived from the same power supply line of the motor. When the power supply is cut, the brake closes due to the springs installed in the brake unit, creating a constant braking torque. This type of electromagnetic brake is generally of disc type: coupled to an asynchronous motor, it creates a single system called a self-braking motor, including a three-phase or single-phase asynchronous motor. The electromagnetic-type brake may have its coil powered by direct current or alternating current, depending on the typology. If the electromagnetic brake coil must be powered in direct current, a suitably sized rectifier bridge is used”.

Speaking instead of a rectifier, it can generally be housed inside the motor terminal box, or outside the box, screwed like a cable gland. “This type of rectifier shows some peculiarities: it satisfies the task of rectifying alternating voltage into direct voltage and it incorporates protection devices against overvoltages. Rectifiers can have 4 or 6 terminals, or PG with wires, through which the connections to the electromagnetic brake coil are carried out”, Carpanelli specifies. “Self-braking motors assure utmost safety, precision, and reliability. They provide a control in locking phases and are mainly used to: reduce machining times by lowering machine slowdown times; carry out parking; satisfy the requirements connected with safety regulations”.