Monday, October 9, 2017

Interesting News in Engineering, IoT, PLM, Industry 4.0, and Telecom - Vol 5

These 25 news stories caught my attention last week. These stories are across automotive, aerospace, industrial equipment, software, telecom, 3D printing, and IoT, and PLM.

EV push continues. Mitsubishi Motors plans to roll out small sports utility vehicle-based electric vehicles in Japan, the U.S., Europe and other markets in the early 2020s. Mini EVs will also become available in Japan in 2019. (Read here).  General Motors is working toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future. That starts with two new, fully electric models next year—then at least 18 more by 2023. (Read here). Ford to cut $14 billion in cost for EV push and is looking for partnerships to spread risk. (Read here).

Ford has some bigger troubles also. As Ford pushes into electric vehicles, U.S. union aims to save jobs. Ford is touting a 30 percent reduction in “hours per unit” to build electric vehicles.  Fewer hours mean fewer workers. (Read here). JLR brings agreement for the supply of engines from Ford to an end. (Read here).

There is activating in EV space in India. Chinese bus maker edges out Tata Motors & Ashok Leyland, wins plum EV contracts. BYD Auto will supply 25 fully built electric buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation as well as six buses to the state-owned transport service BEST in Mumbai. Secunderabad-based, Goldstone Infratech, a leading manufacturer of rubber polymer composite insulators, has partnered BYD to manufacture these buses in India. (Read here). A week after awarding a Rs 1,120-crore order for electric cars to Tata Motors, state-run Energy Efficiency Services has offered to give 40% of the order for 10,000 e-vehicles to Mahindra & Mahindra provided it matches the former's bid. (Read here).

Even Hummer can be electrified. Hummer 4x4s, which are known for their humungous power, performance, and off-road capabilities, are also seen as fossil fuel guzzlers. The H1 model consumes around 24 liters of fuel to travel 100 kilometers and emits up to 470g CO2 per kilometer. Now, there is an eco-friendly option at hand. Austrian start-up Kriesel Electric has developed the world’s first prototype electric powertrain for an existing Hummer H1 model, enabling the butch behemoth to go all electric. (Read here).

Interesting activity in automotive space in South East Asia. Here comes Vietnam's first domestic automotive OEM. Vietnamese real estate conglomerate Vingroup JSC has appointed a former executive of U.S.-based auto giant General Motors as the CEO of its new car-manufacturing subsidiary VINFAST. Vietnam is a country with great potential in the field of auto manufacturing where the demand of the domestic market is expected to be approximately 450,000 - 500,000 vehicles by 2020 and increase to 800,000 - 900,000 vehicles by 2025. (Read here). In Malaysia, a new CEO appointed by Chinese automaker Geely to head Malaysia's Proton presented a 10-year plan to make Proton among Southeast Asia's top vehicle brands. (Read here).

Vehicle recalls are making news again. Fiat Chrysler recalls nearly 710,000 Jeep and Dodge SUVs in North America because an improperly installed brake shield could let water leak in and limit braking ability. (Read here). Nissan recalls 1.2 million vehicles in Japan that were produced between October 2014 and September this year to re-inspect them because they had not gone through the proper final checks. (Read here).

Rolls-Royce has signed a deal with  Google in a move intended to help the British engineering company to develop autonomous ships.   Rolls-Royce has some 4,000 marine customers worldwide, including 70 navies. The agreement, which the companies claim is the first of its kind in the marine sector is significant as it signals Google aspires to be a major technology player in autonomous vehicles space and not necessarily compete in final product segment. (Read here).


The U.S. Commerce Department has heaped another big tariff on Bombardier's new C Series jet -- a win for Boeing. The total tariff is now 300%. (Read here). The one good news for Bombardier this week is that it is nearing a deal to sell at least 14 of the CS300 planes to Air Baltic in an order with a list value of about $1.25 billion. (Read here).

While Air Baltic is expanding, a couple of other short-haul European airlines are going bankrupt. Monarch Airlines went burst last week leaving 100,000+ passengers stranded. (Read here). Earlier Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy after Etihad pulled the plug. (Read here).

Flying taxis are getting the attention of Boeing and Airbus. Boeing plans to acquire Aurora, a maker of aerial drones and pilotless flying systems in a move the company said could pave the way for fleets of small flying taxis. Uber selected the Aurora eVTOL to explore potential flying taxis, with 50 due to be delivered by 2020. (Read here). Airbus and HAX create an accelerator program for flying taxi tech in Shenzhen, China. ( Read here).

Pratt & Whitney has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation that Indian climatic conditions are primarily responsible for snags encountered in its engines fitted in Airbus A320 new engine option planes. (Read here).

3D Printing

Materialise announced the acquisition of ACTech, a Germany-based leader in producing limited runs of highly complex cast metal parts. (Read here).

Industrial Equipment

Otis to manufacture escalators in India from next year. The Indian elevator industry is the second largest market after China, with an estimated 49,000 units in a year, growing at 6-7 percent annually. (Read here).

Software/ High-Tech/ Telecom

Google’s 2017 launch event introduced a whole slew of new products — but that one that’s undoubtedly making the most waves is the Google Pixel Buds headphones, which is capable of translating 40 different languages directly into your earholes. (Read here).


Accenture is helping Airbus in developing wearable technology solutions to improve productivity and worker experience in cabin interiors. (Read here).

FPT Software and Siemens join forces to push forward the expansion of Siemens PLM and MindSphere IoT platform. (Read here).