Ford is delaying its planned restart of certain North America plants to help protect its workers
In collaboration with GE Healthcare, Ford still is planning to produce an FDA-cleared ventilator at its Rawsonville Components Plant beginning the week of April 20, supported by paid volunteer UAW workers
Ford and autoworkers’ unions – especially the UAW – are working closely on initiatives to keep the workforce safe, including upgrading social distancing guidelines, requiring the workers to self-certify daily that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms – and more
in Ford, 31-03-2020
Ford is delaying the restart of production at its NorthAmerica plants to help protect its workers. The company had been aiming to restart production April 6 at Hermosillo Assembly Plant and April 14 at several key U.S. plants – and now has further postponed startup dates, which will be announced later.
“The health and safety of our workforce, dealers, customers, partners and communities remains our highest priority,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president, North America. “We are working very closely with union leaders – especially at the UAW – to develop additional health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep our workforce safe and healthy.”
Rawsonville Components Plant will restart the week of April 20 to produce the Model A-E ventilator, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, supported by paid volunteer UAW workers. The Model A-E ventilator is a basic, cost-efficient design that addresses the needs of most COVID19 patients. Production will quickly scale up to produce 50,000 ventilators by July 4 – helping to meet the growing demand in the U.S. Approximately 500 paid volunteer UAW workers will be building these ventilators. At this time, ventilator production will be the only work being done at
the Rawsonville plant.
“Today’s decision by Ford is the right decision for our members, their families and our nation,” said UAW International President Rory Gamble. “Under Vice President Gerald Kariem, the UAW Ford Department continues to work closely with our local unions and Ford to make sure that as we return to production all members are safe, and our communities are protected from this spreading pandemic.”
When Rawsonville Components Plant begins production of ventilators, the workforce will notice additional health measures in place. Workers will have to self-certify online every day that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. If they are, they will not be allowed to work.
Work stations will be spaced at least six feet apart to maintain proper social distancing. Shifts will be separated so there is no contact between workers in the different shifts.
This interactive map shows the employment impact of the coronavirus / COVID-19 crisis on the European auto industry for each of the 27 EU member states plus the United Kingdom.
in ACEA, 30-03-2020
Employment impact, by country
Status on: 30/03/2020
The jobs of at least 1,110,107 Europeans working in automotive manufacturing are affected by factory shutdowns as a result of the current crisis.
That is out of a total of 2.6 million direct manufacturing jobs in the EU auto sector.
This figure only refers to those people directly employed by car, truck, van and bus manufacturers, the impact on the wider automotive supply chain is even more critical.
These are conservative estimates based on data currently available.
The actual number of people affacted is much higher, as there is a delay in data reporting and (complete) figures for various countries and/or production plants are not available yet.
Overall impact, by country
This is by far the most comprehensive EU-wide overview currently available, combining all known information and available sources.
The data is aggregated by ACEA and updated on a weekly basis using multiple sources, including IHS Markit, MarkLines, national automobile manufacturers’ associations and (public) announcements by manufacturers.
Nevertheless, it is important to stress that ACEA fully acknowledges that this overview is non-exhaustive, it merely serves as a tool to show the EU-wide impact of the crisis.
La pandemia del coronavirus ha provocado el cierre de las 12 plantas españolas que fabrican automóviles desde el pasado lunes 16 de marzo (algunas desde el viernes 13 de marzo). Este parón va a provocar que durante el mes de marzo se dejen de fabricar en España 157.000 vehículos, lo que supondrá una caída de entre el 50% y el 60%, según las previsiones de la patronal de fabricantes de automóviles española, Anfac.
in La Tribuna de Automoción, 26-03-2020
Por eso Anfac continúa exigiendo al Gobierno un plan de choque “específico” para la automoción que “permita relanzar y recuperar la producción a los nivele de principios de año”.
Sobre todo porque la producción en España durante los dos primeros meses, enero y febrero, previos a la crisis del coronavirus fueron positivos. Durante el segundo mes se ha registrado un aumento del 2,9% de la producción, con 262.449 vehículos fabricados, que acumulan 502.484 unidades producidas en los dos primeros meses, un 1,4% más que en el mismo periodo del año anterior.
Un dato positivo además si se tiene en cuenta que el mercado de la Unión Europea, principal destino de la producción española de vehículos, cayó un 7,4% en esos dos primeros meses hasta 1.913.931 unidades. Alemania registró la caída más significativa en las matriculaciones de febrero, con una rebaja del 10,8% así como Italia, con un 8,8% menos de entregas.
Para Anfac, “los vehículos españoles, en un entorno de menores ventas, tienen una buena aceptación en los mercados europeos”.
En cuanto a las exportaciones, en febrero salieron de España 216.649 vehículos, un 6,8% más que el mismo periodo del año anterior. En el acumulado anual se exportaron 400.159 vehículos, un 1,8% más, principalmente motivado por la buena aceptación en los mercados extranjeros de los modelos de producción asignados a las fábricas españolas.
En España, ha afectado a 60.000 personas y ha supuesto hasta ahora una pérdida de la producción valorada en 237.806 vehículos.
in La Tribuna de Automoción / Europa Press, 30-03-2020
El cierre de las fábricas acometido por los principales fabricantes de vehículos de todo el mundo, como consecuencia de la crisis del coronavirus, ha afectado en Europa a un total de 1,087 millones de trabajadores, que se han quedado temporalmente sin actividad.
Así se desprende de las cifras publicadas este lunes por la Asociación de Constructores Europeos de Automóviles (ACEA), que recogen también una reducción de la producción que afecta a 1,198 millones de vehículos a motor.
El impacto en el empleo hace alusión a los 27 Estados miembro de la Unión Europea, así como al Reino Unido, de un total de 2,6 millones de trabajadores que emplea la industria en el continente, lo que supone una afectación superior al 40% del total.
En el caso de España, el número de trabajadores afectados asciende a 60.000 personas y a una pérdida de la producción valorada en 237.806 vehículos. Alemania, por su parte, es el principal país afectado, con más de 568.000 trabajadores afectados y un volumen de producción de 359.287 unidades.
La cifra total de la pérdida en la fabricación de vehículos incluye turismos, camiones, furgonetas, autobuses y autocares, con una paralización de la actividad que está teniendo una duración media de 15 días, aunque estas cifras son provisionales, ya que la prolongación de las limitaciones aprobadas por los gobiernos continuarán afectando a la producción europea de vehículos.
ACEA ha obtenido estas cifras a través de una actualización semanal de múltiples datos, incluyendo IHS Markit, MarkLines, y a partir de asociaciones nacionales de fabricantes de automóviles y anuncios al mercado realizados por las compañías.
Universo de empresas com sede na Marinha Grande liderado por Joaquim Menezes está a trabalhar com profissionais da saúde
in Jornal de Leiria, 29-03-2020
O desafio chegou ao Grupo Iberomoldes pela voz de médicos portugueses que procuram um produto mais sólido para responder às necessidades sentidas nos hospitais à medida que alastra o número de casos de Covid-19. O universo de empresas com sede na Marinha Grande liderado por Joaquim Menezes está a trabalhar com profissionais de saúde e vai começar a produzir viseiras de protecção contra o contágio pelo novo coronavírus. Este é um projecto desenvolvido de raiz e totalmente suportado em competências internas do Grupo Iberomoldes, que fornece os maiores construtores internacionais de automóveis e também está ligado à indústria aeronáutica.
Nos últimos dias, numa lógica de cooperação, os médicos ajudaram os engenheiros do Grupo Iberomoldes a desenvolver um modelo novo de viseira que pretender ser o mais adequado e duradouro possível na missão de proteger os milhares de profissionais – não só na saúde, mas também nas polícias, protecção civil e serviço social, entre outros exemplos – que continuam a trabalhar na primeira linha de luta contra a doença. E que se encontram mais expostos ao risco de contágio pelo novo coronavírus.
O projecto do Grupo Iberomoldes já tem protótipos e está agora na fase de desenvolvimento de moldes, a que vai seguir-se a injecção dos componentes em plástico, ou seja, o produto final, numa abordagem que segue todas as etapas típicas de um processo de industrialização.
A MCG – Manuel da Conceição Graça, Lda completa hoje 70 anos de existência!
in MCG mind for metal, 30-03-2020
Foi a 30 de Março de 1950 que Manuel da Conceição Graça registou oficialmente o início da sua atividade, dando origem à empresa que ao longo destas sete décadas soube tornar-se uma referência na indústria.
A visão do fundador Manuel da Conceição Graça, o seu sentido empreendedor e a sua força de trabalho lançaram a MCG num caminho de sucesso! Neste percurso que se prolonga até hoje, foi crucial a liderança de mais de 30 anos de José Medeiros, bem como o apoio incondicional da sua família.
Merece particular destaque, no entanto, o papel fundamental de todos os homens e mulheres que fizeram parte da MCG durante estes anos e que conseguiram imprimir neste longo caminho a perseverança, o trabalho, a dedicação, a persistência. Esta herança ficou no ADN dos atuais Colaboradores da MCG, que tão bem a têm conseguido honrar!
Hoje não nos é possível comemorar esta data como gostaríamos, mas podemos assinalar este dia congratulando todos os Colaboradores da MCG, recordando este caminho construído em conjunto e fazendo votos felizes para o futuro.
A “viagem” vai continuar e saberemos todos juntos responder aos desafios que a empresa tem e terá pela frente. O maior deles, agora, será ultrapassar o momento que aflige atualmente toda a sociedade mundial. Temos de ser fortes e resilientes, mas juntos vamos conseguir!
No dia do seu 70º Aniversário, a MCG deseja saúde a todos!
Renault said production at all its plants across the world has been halted due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis, apart from its plants in China and South Korea.
in Automotive News Europe, by Sudip Kar-Gupta | Reuters, 30-03-2020
“The Group plans to restart production activities in the countries concerned as soon as conditions permit and will implement appropriate measures to respond effectively to commercial demand,” Renault said on Monday.
Renault has shut down its industrial sites in France, its factory in Slovenia, its two car plants in Morocco, its plant in Turkey and a powertrain factory in Cacia, Portugal.
With factories and dealerships closed by the coronavirus crisis, European auto sales could fall by up to 20 percent this year, representing millions of vehicles, industry analysts and financial ratings services say.
in Automotive News Europe, by Peter Sigal, 30-03-2020
“The global auto industry is expected to witness an unprecedented and almost instant stalling of demand in 2020,” said IHS Markit, whose forecasts are used by many automakers and suppliers as a basis for strategic decisions.
IHS said it had downgraded its forecasts across “virtually all regions.” The firm called the coronavirus pandemic “the single biggest risk factor facing the auto industry for many years.”
Global sales will fall by more than 12 percent this year to 78.8 million units, IHS forecasts, a downgrade of 10 million units from the company’s January forecast. In comparison, the two-year “peak to trough” decline during the global recession in 2008-2009 was 8 percent.
Near-term global sales are forecast to fall sharply, followed by a slow recovery.
The company has downgraded its 2020 forecast for Europe (western and central Europe) by 1.9 million units, to 15.6 million, a decline of 14 percent over earlier forecasts.
The region “faces months of rolling disruption as the conjoined health and economic crises play out across economies,” IHS said.
U.S. auto sales are forecast to be 14.4 million this year, a 15 percent decline, and 2.4 million units fewer than prior forecasts.
Another forecaster, LMC Automotive, expects 2020 global light vehicle sales to fall below 77 million, a decline of nearly 14 million, or 15 percent below the 2019 level. “The environment remains extremely dynamic,” LMC said.
In the worst case, LMC said global sales could fall to 69 million. LMC said it had removed about 3 million units each from sales forecasts for China, North America and western Europe.
In January, LMC had forecast global sales to be flat from 2019, at 90.1 million units.
“A global market, with some growth headwinds from a slowing economy and trade still a risk in the background, quickly changed to a global market in chaos, a situation that is likely to remain for some time,” LMC said.
Morgan Stanley said European auto sales in 2020 will be around 12.5 million units compared with 13.7 million in its earlier prediction. In percentage terms, it now expects the market to fall by 13 percent compared with an earlier prediction of a 4 percent drop.
Global sales will fall by 8 million in the first half, Morgan Stanley said, representing a nearly 20 percent drop. It added that a previous forecast that 50 percent of that loss could be recovered in the second half “now seems unlikely.”
Chinese sales will fall by an additional 3 million units, or a 15 percent decline, and the U.S. market will fall by an additional 1 million units, Morgan Stanley said.
Europe 20% drop
Scope Ratings, a credit-rating service based in Germany, was the most pessimistic of the forecasters.
It said western Europe sales would fall about 20 percent for the year — representing some 3 million units — a decline worsened by a push to move higher-polluting models at the end of 2019 ahead of new EU emissions targets. That push artificially inflated sales last year, Scope said.
Scope also forecast that in economies dependent on crude oil and natural gas, such as Russia, demand could fall by more than 50 percent this year. Prices for those commodities have fallen sharply during the coronavirus crisis.
Portuguese toolmaker, EPALFER, uses AutoForm software to help it deliver optimised tool designs for robust stamping processes.
in International Sheet Metal Review, Abril, 2020
By Dr. Jasmina Jovicevic, AutoForm Group
Car production and the current automotive market pose challenges to toolmakers as every single part of a new car requires a unique tool. Once the design of a new part is finalised by the product design department, it is released to the feasibility and tooling departments, where an appropriate tool to produce the part is designed. With so many new auto plants and new vehicle designs being launched faster than ever before, companies which make these tools must find effective ways to meet these demands.
EPALFER, a modern Portuguese toolmaker, attributes its success to AutoForm software. Eduardo Oliveira, CEO at EPALFER, stated: “With AutoForm software, we are able to successfully deal with complex part geometries, modern materials, tight deadline requirements and high quality demands.”
The tooling equation
EPALFER was founded as a small independent toolmaker company in 2002 in Águeda, Portugal. With the successful completion of several initial projects and a growing customer list, the company currently employs over 70 staff members.
EPALFER develops, produces and tests tools for stamping. These tools are used for progressive die and transfer die stamping. Advanced technology and equipment, combined with experienced staff, have driven the company´s continuous growth and consolidated its presence in the global marketplace for automotive tooling. It has been honoured with several prestigious awards, such as PME excêlencia in 2015, Parceiro de Excêlencia in 2016, Parabéns líder in 2017 and Associado in 2018, for its achievements in Portugal.
Eduardo Oliveira, CEO of EPALFER, added: “AutoForm software is an integral part of our daily business processes and supports us throughout almost all of our departments and in every new project. When our company was being formed, we looked for software which could address and solve the problems which we faced daily, such as simulation based process engineering, springback compensation, trim line optimisation as well as robust manufacturing.
“Five years ago, after consulting for possible suppliers, we came across the announcement of AutoForm’s event in Aveiro and decided to attend. At the event, we received our first insights into AutoForm software and functionalities. We also met AutoForm´s experts and software users and heard about their experiences. After this event, we decided to incorporate AutoForm software in our engineering department. Continuous investment in technology, software, the latest equipment and continuous staff development are of the highest priority to us. AutoForm has proved to be the right partner for us to achieve these goals,” he added.
Efficient tool production
In a competitive toolmaking market, toolmakers must find efficient ways to reduce overall lead time and costs whilst ensuring high tool and part quality. To do this, the number of press tryouts and optimisation loops, as well as the total lead time in the tooling process, must be reduced. Therefore, tooling engineers look for the best solutions to quickly and efficiently set up the entire tooling process, make process modifications and evaluate different process layouts to select the best one. The rapid verification of multiple new concepts for quality and cost improvements, as well as the identification of complex forming problems during the early phase of tool development, are very important. The main goal is to increase the reliability of stamping tools to achieve efficient and reliable production or, in other words, to find the best optimised tool designs for a robust stamping process.
When EPALFER receives a customer’s stamped part with the request to build a tool which can ensure smooth, reliable production, several departments are called to action. Each of these departments deals with the customer´s needs at different stages of tool production. The engineering department, supported with AutoForm´s software, ensures the engineering of manufacturable parts. In the production department, milling and eroding processes are carried out by experienced EPALFER staff with modern equipment. In the assembly department, experienced and qualified toolmakers assemble single components to create high-quality tools. Although these tools are very often complex, the toolmakers are able to assemble several tools at the same time.
In the tryout department, all tools are tested in mechanical presses under the working conditions to which they would be exposed during serial production. EPALFER experts examine critical areas on the part as well as the measures to resolve these effectively and the consequences on other areas of a part, as a result. In general, during tryout, the tool undergoes extensive fine tuning which is a cost- and time-intensive step on the path to the successful production of a quality tool.
“AutoForm´s software allows us to carry out simulation-based tryout. Should a problem arise in tryout, we can identify the cause on the computer and quickly ascertain which measures have a positive influence on the forming result. In addition, AutoForm software allows us to address stamping robustness issues. With AutoForm-Sigma, we can develop the best part and tool designs for a robust stamping process,” explained Eduardo Oliveira.
“During tryout, correctional work and modifications are inevitable and every correction loop that can be avoided offers an immediate advantage in terms of time and cost savings. This is where AutoForm plays a decisive role. In practice, one correction loop, depending upon the tooling die and its dimension, generally costs between 10,000 and 15,000 euros. So, imagine how much we can save every time we eliminate a correction loop. With AutoForm software, we are able to reach a new level of competitiveness and better serve our customers.”
After the tool is finished and stamping begins, the first parts must be checked before further stamping continues. EPALFER´s metrology department is equipped with a modern contact CMM and laser scan systems.
Eduardo Oliveira added: “We check the part and test the capability and stability of the process with AutoForm software. After the part has been checked and the tool is ready, we send it to the customer. One of our recent projects has been the creation of a virtual show room through which our existing customers will have access to our 3D designs.
“In general, our customers are OEMs as well as tooling and stamping companies primarily in Europe, the USA and South America. We are proud to be a reliable partner to Gestamp; Kirchhoff Automotive; Kemmerich Metal Engineering; Flex-N-Gate; Grupo Segura; Muhr Metalltechnik; Silencor and Bosch, among others, and we look forward to extending our customer base further in the future.”
He concluded: “By using AutoForm software, we are faster and more accurate than ever before. At the same time, we are able to save time and cost, which is of great value for us as well as for our customers. Ultimately, we provide our customers with the tools they need for immediate use in their serial production. With AutoForm software, we can solve potential stamping problems earlier in the tool development cycle, saving more time and resources, which results in faster time-to-market for new car models, with obvious advantages.”