Auburn Hills, Michigan – A sheet-molded compound (SMC) engine shroud on the 2020 Ford Explorer SUV should cut engine noise and improve the vehicle’s noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) performance. Officials with supplier Continental Structure Plastics (CSP) say the part shows the potential for plastics in heat-sensitive locations near vehicle engines.

Developed in collaboration with Ford using the tools in Ford’s new NVH lab, the composite engine shroud creates an air gap between the engine compartment and the steel front bulkhead by wrapping around the back of the engine and meeting the strut towers on each side of the engine bay.

Similar all-steel components are common on luxury SUVs where noise performance is more important, and weight savings is less critical. Using the composite kept the Ford shroud to 12 lb, significantly less weight than the steel shrouds used for luxury SUVs.

Acoustically, the composite improves the sound barrier, and because it is made from composites, it offers the moldability and design flexibility needed to support a complex, under- hood packaging environment.

“Composites are a great choice for a number of under-the-hood applications,” said Bryan Ludwig, business development director at CSP. “Because our glass fiber composite is a thermoset, it actually offers better thermal properties than a metal, and can be molded thin enough to fit in the tight spaces found in the engine compartment.”

CSP CEO Steve Rooney added, “Because of the superior dampening qualities offered by a composite, Ford was able to achieve a level of cabin quietness that will enhance the driving experience for Explorer and Aviator owners.”

The dual wall dash is being manufactured at the Continental Structural Plastics facility in Conneaut, Ohio, a 190,000ft2 facility that employs 260 people.

Janesville Fiber Solutions makes panel inserts to address noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) challenges.

Holland, Michigan – Motus Integrated Technologies, a Tier 1 and Tier 2 supplier of automotive interior products, plans to buy Janesville Fiber Solutions, a division of Jason Industries Inc. Motus expects to close the transaction late in the third quarter.

Janesville produces high-performance engineered acoustical and thermal fiber solutions for a variety of automotive applications. It has more than 1,000 associates in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Mexico.

“With this acquisition, Motus’ portfolio of innovative interior offerings and advanced manufacturing facilities continues to expand and benefit our customers,” said Shannon White, president and CEO of Motus. “Janesville's expertise in materials, strong customer relationships, and complementary footprint will enable us to offer our customers more innovative, lightweight product solutions that meet increasing demands for interior quality and design innovation.”

Motus provides headliners, automotive interior door, and console armrests to the world's leading automakers and Tier 1s. Motus operates a global manufacturing platform with more than 2,000 associates operating from its five current facilities. The company recently announced the construction of a new $15 million plant in Gadsden, Alabama, which is expected to begin operations in mid-2020.

Motus plans to work closely with Janesville and Jason to seamlessly transition the business. Upon closing, leaders and key members of the Janesville organization will join the Motus Leadership Team, ensuring reliability and consistency during the transition process.

To thrive in the Cy-Phy environment requires the foundational elements of a security strategy including speed, integration, collaboration, and automation.

Phil Quade, a 34-year veteran of the National Security Association (NSA) and chief information security officer at Fortinet, provider of cybersecurity infrastructure solutions, will deliver the keynote address at Hannover Fairs USA and Deutsche Messe’s inaugural Digital Industry USA on September 11. Quade plans to offer an in-depth look at the evolving cybersecurity landscape and will focus his discussion on the evolution of Cy-Phy, the convergence of cyber things with our physical spaces.

Known as Industry 4.0 and digital transformation in the manufacturing space, Cy-Phy is being driven by the implementation and convergence of technologies, including operational technology (OT) networks, Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT (IIoT), 5G, edge computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). “All of these, combined with rapidly developing new technologies on the horizon, are fundamentally changing the industrial automation landscape,” Quade says. “But for these changes to achieve their transformational potential, their security implications need to be understood and planned for long before their impact is felt in the plant. Manufacturing operations, engineering and security professionals will inevitably be drawn into the Cy-Phy revolution.”

Quade will also discuss how this revolution can enable the securitization of industrial automation for those manufacturers who recognize its significance and who are ready to implement the foundational elements of a security strategy that will allow them to thrive in this rapidly emerging Cy-Phy environment. Critical to thriving in the new Cy-Phy environment is the adoption of the foundational elements of a security strategy that includes speed, integration, collaboration, and automation.

“As the convergence of OT and IT accelerates, the likelihood of digital attacks will surface,” Quade says. “Manufacturing equipment and operational technology networks will be exposed to attacks from the plant’s IT networks.”

To that end, Quade’s keynote also will highlight best practices that industrial automation facilities need to implement to future proof their organizations, discussing how to increase network visibility, segment networks, analyze traffic for threats, enforce identity and access management, as well as how to secure wired and wireless access to secure your facility’s IT and OT networks.

During Digital Industry USA, Fortinet and its partners will showcase the company’s latest security solutions, including Fortinet’s Security Fabric platform that provides integration and automation across the plant’s security infrastructure, delivering protection and visibility to every network segment, device, and appliance, whether virtual, in the cloud, or on-premises. Additionally, Fortinet will demonstrate via a host of devices exactly what a cyberattack looks like and what its cybersecurity platform can do to allow organizations to control access to their networks and to prevent future attacks.

The Brose Group partners with IPG Photonics to develop seam-tracking technologies to cut validation times.

Auburn Hills, Michigan – Technology that validates laser welds as they join parts could increase efficiency, streamline quality checks, and minimize waste in automotive seat production. Seat structures producer Brose Group and fiber laser producer IPG Photonics are partnering to develop inline coherent imaging (ICI) technology to achieve that.

“Projects like this with leading technology providers allow Brose to incorporate the most advanced production processes, such as direct weld measurement, and help us continue advancing new breakthroughs in seat structures,” said Stefan Krug, chief operating officer, Brose North America.

ICI increases manufacturing efficiency through simplified validation by tracking weld seams to detect surface irregularities. It replaces an indirect measurement approach that requires a one-hour validation process that pauses production.

“Our patented, in-line welding monitoring tools provide the most comprehensive and direct measurement of key manufacturing characteristics including weld depth, part fit-up, and seam position,” said Trevor Ness, IPG Photonics senior vice president of sales and marketing.

After piloting the technology in its London, Ontario, facility, Brose plans to integrate weld cells into several manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Europe, with production set to begin early 2020.

Brose plans to invest more than $6 million by 2022 to develop the technology. As part of this project, Brose and IPG Photonics will study and analyze ICI generated performance data including penetration measurements, surface irregularities, seam tracking, and the technical availability of the equipment.

Charlotte, North Carolina – An expert from machine tool builder and manufacturing technology company Okuma America Corp. explains the basics of how to apply in-process gaging in modern shops and some of the benefits that users can expect from quality data.

Acoustic Ceiling Panel

Matt Roux, Okuma’s applications engineering supervisor – lathes, explains factors to consider to ensure successful launches of measurement strategies.

“There’s a perception that in-process gaging adds to cycle time,” Roux says. “However, when done properly, this functionality will likely save time and resources by reducing scrap and eliminating operator error.”

Click here to download Okuma’s gaging white paper. https://www.okuma.com/wp-maximize-todays-in-process-gaging-technologies.

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