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Automotive Congress Presents Vehicle Lightweighting Strategies – Interview with Craig Renneker, Ford

Global Automotive Lightweighting Vehicles Detroit

The 3rd Annual Global Automotive Lightweight Materials Detroit (GALM) congress will be held on August 20-21 in Detroit, Michigan. As OEMs seek to develop vehicle lightweighting strategies that will allow them to cost-effectively meet fuel economy targets, they are increasingly shifting their focus to incorporating mixed-material solutions at mass produced scales. The highly anticipated Ford F150 heralds the integration of lightweighting technologies into the vehicle with the highest volume of sales in North America for the last 36 years and is representative of an overall industry trend towards mass produced lightweight vehicles.

However, applying lightweight materials to mass produced vehicles comes with a fresh set of challenges. OEMs need to select the optimal combination of materials including aluminum, high-strength steel, composites, and magnesium, source them in the volumes and specifications required for high volume production, and then determine the optimal joining and casting techniques for mixed material manufacturing at scale.

To address these challenges, leading vehicle OEMs will be gathering in Detroit for the GALM congress to the share the latest advances in materials and manufacturing techniques that are having the biggest impact on reducing the cost of mass produced lightweight vehicles. Highlights Include: a Focus on Mass Production, Aluminum & Mixed Material Joining, Material Selection & Optimization, Corrosion Prevention, Vehicle Repair & Crash Performance, and Casting.

Interview with congress speaker, Craig Renneker, Ford

Craig Renneker, FordCraig Renneker, chief engineer – Component & Pre-Program, Transmission & Driveline Engineering at Ford, is one of the OEM speakers who will present at the Global Automotive Lightweight Materials congress. In his current role, he is responsible for the development of all new automatic and hybrid transmission programs within Ford, as well as all component engineering activities.

What are the main challenges you are currently facing at Ford in relation to lightweighting?

Delivering lightweight technologies to our customers at a good value. There are many great technologies out there that are simply too expensive for our market.

Read More…

Global Lightweight Vehicle Manufacturing Congress to Feature Multi-Material Joining Technology


The Global Lightweight Vehicle Manufacturing (GALM) Congress 2014 will take place in Detroit, Michigan on May 28-29, 2014. Driven by the need to improve fuel economy and reduce carbon emissions, automotive OEMs are reducing vehicle weights by using advanced materials, such as high-strength aluminum and steel, as well as magnesium alloys. With new lightweight developments creating challenges in vehicle assembly and driving continual changes to plant infrastructure, manufacturing OEMs are rapidly trying to learn how to cost-effectively weld, rivet, form, and cast lightweight vehicles on a global platform. For the first time, the GALM series has now created a congress specially designed for experts who are actively pioneering key technologies, deciding on joining methods, and implementing welding, bonding, and riveting technologies to economically, rapidly and consistently join aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber composites.

Topics to Be Discussed Include

  • Comparison of costs, integrity, and applications of the latest welding technologies, including: Laser Welding, Resistance Spot Welding, Collision Welding, Impulse Manufacturing, Friction Stir Welding, and Ultrasonic Welding.
  • Unique per material, per application analysis for joining — taking a deep dive into practically overcoming manufacturing challenges to join mixed material lightweight vehicles, using processes such as:Self-Piercing Rivets,Structural Adhesives, Hybrid Bonding, and Clinch Joints.
  • A look at not only how OEMs can implement manufacturing and joining technologies, but also why each technology was chosen, so delegates can attain insight into the economics as well as the application of each joining technology.
  • Evaluation assembly plans for joining of multi-material vehicles to estimate the required measures to achieve efficient cost effective high volume production.
  • Joining steel to aluminum — identifying the optimal joining technologies for cost effectively overcoming the incompatibilities of aluminum and steel using welding, riveting and adhesive bonding

Value for Aluminum Companies

  1. Discover OEM future plans for joining lightweight, multi-material vehicles and how material suppliers plan to meet their needs.
  2. Justify the business case for new technology: This is the first automotive conference to focus on the business case for which joining technologies are right for integrating lightweight materials and how to apply them to enable high volume production both regionally and globally.
  3. Network with leading OEMs, including General Motors, Audi, Honda, Volkswagen USA, Fiat, Nissan, Chrysler, Lotus, Tesla, Local Motors, and Toyota.
  4. Participate actively in extended panel discussions and designated Q&A after each presentation to compare and contrast new advancements and promote active discussion and constructive debate.

For general inquiries, email or call 1-800-721-3915.

More information can also be found on the conference website.


Innovation Celebrated with the 2014 European Aluminium Awards — Entries Open

ALUAWARD_logo2012The 2014 European Aluminium Awards — which recognizes products and projects — is now open for entries. The awards are hosted by Aluminium Centrum (Netherlands) in cooperation with the EAA European Aluminium Association, GDA (German Confederation of the Aluminium Industry), as well as ALUMINIUM 2014 world trade fair in Duesseldorf, Germany, to be held October 7-9.

Awards are offered for innovative industrial and consumer products that fit into one of six categories:

  • Design & Lifestyle
  • Lighting & Interior
  • Building & Architecture
  • Aerospace & Automotive
  • Marine & Offshore
  • Production Techniques and Tools & Machinery

In addition to these categories, the jury will present an Overall Jury Award to the most pioneering innovation under the heading “Aluminium for Future Generations,” selected from all the entries.

Special Prize for Young Designers and Engineers — Students and designers below the age of 30 may apply for the “Young Designers Prize,” which honors students and graduates below the age of 30 for their creative ideas and solutions in the fields of science, technology, technique, and mathematics.

Audience Award in the “Design & Lifestyle” Category — The independent international jury composed of experts from science, design and the media decides upon the nominees and award-winners. As an extra bonus one of the nominees in the “Design & Lifestyle” category will receive the audience Prize on the basis of an online vote open to the public.

Deadline for Entries: June 14, 2014

The nominated products and projects will be on display at the ALUMINIUM 2014 show, with an award ceremony held on October 7 as part of the trade fair. Both companies and individuals are eligible for application. For further information, as well as the application documents, go to

ITA Issues Call for Papers for 30th Anniversary Meeting

Titanium 2014, the 30th Anniversary Conference, will be held September 21-24, 2014 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago, IL. The gathering offers a full spectrum of information on the latest business, technology, and market trends and developments in the global titanium industry and is designed to suit the needs of titanium industry professionals, suppliers, customers, and stakeholders. It provides an excellent forum for expert discussions, continuing education, networking opportunities, and more.

Conference attendees typically hold executive positions in areas such as management, sales and marketing, product development, procurement, engineering and design, purchasing and quality control. The 2013 event drew a record attendance of 1,180 guests from 28 countries.

Call for Papers

International Titanium Association (ITA) invites ITA members, non-members, and acedemia to  submit abstracts by e-mail to for consideration by the conference organizing committee. Only abstracts written in English will be considered.

Sufficient detail for fair evaluation of the proposed paper and presentation should be included along with an indication which of the following session(s) the presenter would prefer to participate in: Raw Materials; Alternative Energy; Commercial Aerospace; Military/Defense; Automotive; Medical; Industrial Markets; Economy/Finance; Energy Exploration and Production; Manufacturing Technology; New Materials; Consumer Markets; Architectural; Welding & Joining; Medical Applications.

Call for Papers Deadline is June 16, 2014.

Instructions for proper submissions can be found in the Industry Events section of the ITA website at

Questions may be directed to the ITA at 1-303-404-2221 or by email at

“Power of Aluminium” Design Competition Seeks Entries

The Power of Aluminium is an initiative to raise the awareness and understanding of designers regarding the benefits and possibilities of design using extruded aluminum sections.  The competition is sponsored by the Aluminium Extruders Association and managed by the Aluminium Federation (ALFED).

All U.K. universities are encouraged to participate in the Power of Aluminium program. In addition to a design competition, the program offers industrial visits, guest lectures, and a technical helpline, allowing students to develop a detailed understanding of aluminum and its properties. The program attracts students from the automotive, architectural, and product design fields.

The Power of Aluminium Extrusion in Design competition looks for any new design or product in which the use of aluminum extrusions forms an integral part. The versatility and key characteristics of aluminum offer plenty of scope for the students. In recent years the winners have designed a modular track shelving system (see photo) and novel LED lighting.

Entry Criteria

The Extrusion in Design competition is open to students or recent graduates whose design was initiated as a student. For designs from a project team, entries are welcome from any member of the project team, provided they have the support of the majority of the team and can show ownership of the work submitted. The individual that submits the entry will be the organiser’s point of contact, and, if successful, will receive the award.

The main criteria to be taken into account in the assessment of entries are:

  • Novel design based on use of extrusion
  • Elegance or simplicity in re-designing a product by incorporating extrusions
  • Technical viability
  • Commercial viability

Closing Date for entries April 21, 2014.

For more information, visit the Power of Aluminium website.

Tom Brittain, won the 2011-2012 Extrusion in Design competition for his modular track shelving system.

Tom Brittain, won the 2011-2012 Extrusion in Design competition for his modular track shelving system.

Global Standard for Sustainability in Aluminum Industry Open for Public Consultation

Photo by Rick Kimpel (Creative Commons)

Photo by Rick Kimpel (Creative Commons)

The Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), led by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and key aluminum industry representatives, is working to set forth a global standard for sustainable aluminum production.

The ASI Standard will define environmental and social criteria that can be applied to all stages of aluminum production and transformation. Among other things, it will propose thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions for the industry and best practice for treating aluminum residue. Other critical issues to the industry that are addressed included energy, biodiversity and land management, pollution, resource efficiency, recycling, labour rights, indigenous rights, and transparency.  The ASI Standard will be supported by a Chain of Custody system, which will aim to assure the provenance of aluminum.

“The ASI provides a full supply chain approach to resolving some of the sustainability issues facing producers and users of aluminum,” says Pippa Howard of Fauna & Flora International, co-chair of the standard-setting process. “As part of the non-industry group, Fauna & Flora International supports the development of a standard that commits to the integration of a broad set of issues into the sourcing and production of aluminum.”

70 criteria were proposed by representatives from 14 companies that are part of the initiative and were reviewed by delegates from 13 civil society organizations with expertise in issues relevant to the aluminum industry. The criteria are now open for public consultation.

“Bringing together so many different perspectives is an incredibly enriching experience,” said Giulia Carbone, deputy director of IUCN’s Global Business and Biodiversity Programme. “This first proposal clearly shows that despite different opinions, everybody agrees that there is the need to develop a common language to promote and further strengthen sustainability in the aluminum industry. We encourage everyone who has the relevant expertise to comment on the proposed criteria.”

The ASI is currently supported by 14 companies including aluminum primary producers and transformers (Aleris, Constellium, Hydro, Novelis and Rio Tinto Alcan), convertors (AMAG/Constantia Flexibles, AMCOR Flexibles, Ball Corporation, Rexam and Tetra Pak), and commercial and consumer goods suppliers (Audi, BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Nespresso). As the coordinating body for the ASI, IUCN is responsible for the design and implementation of the standard-setting process and for ensuring that the process is transparent, inclusive and effective.

The criteria will be open for consultation until March 29, 2014.

The Standard Setting Group which brings together the 14 ASI companies and the 13 civil society organizations will develop a new version of the Standard based on the comments received.

Interested parties may participate in the consultation process at:


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