All posts in "Heavy Manufacturing"

A Year Later, Still No Lucid Motors Factory


One year after an exciting announcement, there’s still no sign of the state’s first-ever car manufacturing assembly plant along Casa Grande’s industrial corridor.

Governor Doug Ducey enthusiastically made the announcement this time last year that Lucid Motors, a luxury electric car company aiming to compete with Tesla, was going to build a factory in Arizona and create an estimated 2,000 jobs.

The company’s initial plan was to start production in 2018, but the Lucid Motors hasn’t broken ground yet.


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Egypt Orders Border Security System From Gilbert



The United States Department of Defence (DoD) on 20 October announced that Advanced Technology Systems Co of McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $64 087 234 contract for Egyptian border security.

“This contract provides the Arab Republic of Egypt with a mobile surveillance sensor security system to support the Egyptian Border Guard mission to protect Egypt’s national borders.

Work will be performed at STARA Technologies Corp., Gilbert, Arizona, and is expected to be complete by August 20, 2019,” the DoD stated.


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Aerospace Manufacturer Inks 103 KSF Lease In Arizona



Modern Industries has signed a 103,487-square-foot lease at a new Class A industrial building in Tempe, Ariz., with building owner DCT Industrial. JLL facilitated the transaction.

Located at 2925 S. Roosevelt Ave., the new building features an extensive manufacturing infrastructure including 9,000 Amps of power, a 3,000-square-foot clean room, back-up generators and is fenced-yard capable. The company will utilize the space to accommodate growth within its local manufacturing operation.

“The existing infrastructure of this building was extremely appealing—fully air conditioned, clean room components in place, cranes running through and 9,000 amps of power, which is a lot of juice for a 100,000-square-foot building,” Steve Larsen, JLL’s senior vice president, told Commercial Property Executive. “That makes this asset very specialized for the aerospace industry.”

According to Larsen, the building was never going to sit empty, and the firm had multiple users vying for the building and ready to commit to a long-term tenancy.

“Demand for this sort of space is significant,” Larsen said. “We’re seeing quite a number of larger high-tech manufacturing or advanced manufacturing users in the market who, as we speak, are looking for anywhere from 30,000 to 200,000 square feet of space.”

The building is situated in close proximity to a number of other, existing manufacturers, and is also close to the airport, Interstate 10 and major freeways.

The property is one of four buildings that Modern Industries will call home in the Valley, with a local employment count of more than 400 industry experts. Move-in to the new building is scheduled for early next year.

Steve Sayre, JLL’s executive vice president, joined Larsen in brokering the lease transaction.

© 2017 – Commercial Property Executive




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MB Business Capital Announces $9MM Credit Facility For Triumph Manufacturing, LLC



MB Business Capital, a division of MB Financial Bank, N.A., announced it recently provided a new $9,050,000 senior credit facility to Tempe, Arizona-based Triumph Manufacturing, LLC. Founded in 1957, Triumph is an automotive parts manufacturer specializing in the production of turned and machined precision parts in high volume, utilizing a variety of machining processes. MB’s credit facility will be used to fund working capital needs.

“The MB Business Capital team used their expertise and experience in the automotive industry to provide a complete one-stop-shop solution for Triumph. We are very pleased to welcome Triumph to MB and we look forward to a successful relationship.” says Michael Sharkey, President of MB Business Capital.

“MB Business Capital was terrific to work with. They are a very professional team that understands manufacturing.” says Ben Davis, Chief Financial Officer, Triumph Manufacturing, LLC.




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Navajo Nation Exploring Manufacturing



The Navajo Nation is looking to improve its economy through advanced manufacturing.

The Southwestern Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) could play an important role in the future, according to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

Begaye addressed the SIPI staff on August 21, at the invitation of SIPI President Dr. Sherry Allison. SIPI, is located in Albuquerque. SIPI and similar institutions have the important task of developing a workforce of technical leaders for Native America, Begaye said.

“The Navajo Nation is exploring a new paradigm in developing advanced manufacturing,” he said. “We are looking to SIPI and other tribal colleges and universities to develop this workforce.”

Advancements in technology call for research and production of materials to assist in building satellites, cell phones and renewable forms of energy, Begaye said. The potential for the Navajo Nation to be a part of this technological boom could be furthered through education and specified training, he added.

“For this technology to come from the Navajo Nation is amazing,” Begaye said. “We need our education to evolve at a much higher level to train our students to be leaders in this developing industry.”

In addition to the instructors, Begaye tasked all Native American students with increasing their skill-set to position their tribes to be technological leaders in emerging fields.

Begaye said Navajo students are dreamers and innovative. “They’re looking to gain knowledge. With many emerging fields of technology, we need SIPI to continue to expand and to train our people,” he said.

By fostering technological paradigms within our students and workforce, the Navajo Nation can change its economic and technical landscape, Begaye said.

Begaye recently joined SIPI’s Board of Regents.


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LAI International And AddUp Announce Partnership To Advance Metal Additive Manufacturing Production In The USA



LAI International, Inc and AddUp have formed a partnership to advance industrial production of Metal AM components and materials, including Inconel, aluminum and titanium in the USA. The partnership will employ AddUp’s FormUp-350TM, Dual 500W Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion machine as the platform for the program, the first of its kind to be delivered in the USA. The FormUp-350TM will be installed at LAI International’s Tempe, Arizona facility, ready for full-rate, qualified production in January 2018. AddUp’s FormUp-350TM will complement LAI’s existing Electron Beam Melting (EBM) technology, providing a significant expansion of the capabilities and materials in LAI’s Metal AM portfolio.

Additionally, AddUp and LAI International are exploring co-locating an advanced additive customer technology center in Tempe, Arizona to provide expert local additive services and machine demonstrations for Metal AM customers and research institutions in the Southwestern United States.

ABOUT LAI INTERNATIONAL: LAI International is a leading contract manufacturer of precision-engineered finished parts, components and sub-assemblies for advanced industries, including Aerospace, Defense, Energy, Industrial and Medical. LAI is also a growth company with longstanding and entrenched relationships with a diversified customer base of leading OEMs. Innovative ideas, best-in-class people, optimized processes and leading-edge technology differentiate LAI from the traditional manufacturing and supply-chain model. As a true strategic partner, LAI is focused on solving tomorrow’s complex component manufacturing problems today. For more information, please visit

ABOUT ADDUP: AddUp, headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, is a joint venture of the global industrial groups Fives and Michelin. AddUp develops machines and industrial production lines using the metal additive process; complete industrial metal AM solutions include: machine development and design, part application and production assistance, and aftermarket services. The AddUp offer, already recognized for its additive manufacturing technologies through Fives and Michelin, sets itself apart with an industrial approach tailored to the customer’s needs. AddUp’s FormUp-350TM Laser-Powder-Bed-Fusion machine with inert powder management system is built for industrial applications that demand precision and repeatability in a series-production environment. AddUp’s offer includes the turnkey FlexCareTM system designed to manage the Health, Safety, and Environmental aspects of the Metal AM process with a fully configurable, modular approach. The AddUp product line is expanding to include the FormUp-700TM, available for the market in early 2018. For more information, please visit

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An Autonomous Vehicle Maker Slashes Supply Chain Costs With 3D Printing


3D printing is gaining wider use in the automotive sector. A new case study shows how Local Motors, an autonomous and open source vehicle manufacturer, is using 3D printing to save time and money.

The Phoenix, Arizona based company has a stated focus on low-volume manufacturing, and operates using micro-factories.

Producing vehicles on demand presents a number of unique challenges, including logistics issues such as handling inventory and supply chain management. Suitable solutions may not always be available off-the-shelf.

Local Motors and their “Olli” driverless shuttle project while no longer solely a prototype is not aiming for mass-production stage either. The case study produced by U.S. desktop 3D printer manufacturer, MakerBot, shows how 3D printing forms an essential part of Local Motors’ workflow – and specifically shows one of the key advantages of 3D printing.

The importance of 3D printing tooling

This case study produced by MakerBot clearly illustrates some of the primary advantages of using 3D printing in a production setting.

Firstly, tooling costs at Local Motors are down by a half as 3D printing is used to create to custom tooling for low volume production. Secondly, obtaining the necessary tools quickly can greatly reduce the production time. Thirdly, the tools that are 3D printed and used are optimised for their particular project improving both workflow and the durability of the tools.

Desktop 3D printing rival Ultimaker recently demonstrated a similar value proposition via a case study featuring Volkswagen Autoeuropa. In that case, by using 3D printing for tooling the automotive company saved $160k.

Addressing low volume production of vehicles

The Olli, powered by IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence platform, is an on-demand driverless shuttle taxi that can be hailed using a smartphone.

But its significance is not limited to either being 3D printed or to being controlled by AI. The Olli is one such example of a niche vehicle solution for a particular local area. By design, such vehicles will produced in small batches and according to niche demand.

One way in which a supply chain can be adjusted to account for local needs and the local impact of an area is through restricting as much of the production of the vehicle as possible to micro-factories.

This is the model that Local Motors has decided to approach. The Olli can be 3D printed in approximately 10 hours according to CEO John Rogers. Assembly takes an further hour.

The prototypes and templates are also 3D printed. MakerBot Print, an application for preparing 3D designs allows multiple build plates to be saved under the banner of a single project. Using MakerBot Tough PLA allows the testing how parts function by creating durable prototypes on demand to save costs on shipping, metal, cutting out out time and energy.

Finally, the end result is printed, and a 3D model can then be readily reproduced with the MakerBot Replicator+.

Frederik Tjonneland, a senior engineer at Local Motors, notes that “being able to print a part and have it in your hand in a couple of hours is not only cheaper, but also reduces lead times and allows us to iterate that much more quickly”.

Beyond the road

Aircraft company Boeing has also turned its attention to 3D printing for the sake of the supply chain. By removing the tools, dies and scrap associated with classical manufacturing and replacing these with 3D printed parts, the process is both sped up and has a more positive environmental impact.

For more on 3D printing and supply chain management, sign up to our newsletter, and like us on Facebook.

Featured image shows an Olli outside Local Motors/image via MakerBot.

Rushabh Haria is a writer at 3D Printing Industry. Hailing from South London, he has a degree in Classics. His interests include the application of 3D printing technology to art and its popularisation.

© Copyright 2017 | All Rights Reserved | 3D Printing Industry

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TPI and Senvion Sign Wind Blade Supply Agreement and Cooperate on RodPack Technology


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Aug. 14, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — TPI Composites, Inc., (TPI) (Nasdaq:TPIC), the only independent manufacturer of composite wind blades with a global footprint, announced today that it is providing additional details regarding the signing of a new supply agreement that it previously disclosed on August 8, 2017.

TPI has signed a multiyear supply agreement with Senvion S.A. to provide blades from two manufacturing lines for wind markets including Asia, Australia and South America. The blades will be produced at TPI’s facility in Taicang Port, Jiangsu province, China with production planned to commence in Q1 2018.

The blades will be manufactured using proprietary RodPack technology, a highly advanced material system that when used in the main girder, enables optimized blade design as well as faster and higher-quality blade production.  Senvion purchased the RodPack technology in 2015 and has designed it into several blade models.   As part of this agreement, TPI will establish high-volume, high-quality, low-cost supply of RodPack from its operations in China.

“We are pleased to add Senvion as a key customer and that Senvion has chosen TPI as its wind blade outsource and technology partner for the Asian, Australian and South American markets,” said Steve Lockard, President and CEO of TPI Composites.  “TPI will support Senvion’s technology advancements by producing RodPack material in a world-class manner.”

Christian Roth, COO of Senvion added, “We have chosen TPI due to its strong quality track-record, cost competitiveness, global footprint and ability to support Senvion’s drive for technology leadership.”

TPI has produced wind blades in Taicang Port, China since 2007. TPI currently produces wind blades and precision molding and assembly systems in four facilities in China.

About TPI Composites, Inc.

TPI Composites, Inc. is the only independent manufacturer of composite wind blades for the wind energy market with a global footprint. TPI delivers high-quality, cost-effective composite solutions through long term relationships with leading wind turbine manufacturers. TPI is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona and operates factories throughout the U.S., China, Mexico, and Turkey.

About Senvion S.A.

Senvion is a leading global manufacturer of onshore and offshore wind turbines. The company develops, produces and markets wind turbines for almost any location – with rated outputs of 2 MW to 6.15 MW and rotor diameters of 82 metres to 152 metres. Furthermore, the company offers its customers project specific solutions in the areas of turnkey, service and maintenance, transport and installation, as well as foundation planning and construction. The systems are designed at the Senvion TechCenter in Osterrönfeld and manufactured at its German plants in Husum (North Friesland), Trampe (Brandenburg) and Bremerhaven, as well as Portugal. With approximately 4,500 employees worldwide, the company makes use of the experience gained from the manufacture and installation of more than 6,600 wind turbines around the world. The company’s operational subsidiary Senvion GmbH is based in Hamburg and represented by distribution partners, subsidiaries and participations in European markets such as France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Sweden, and Poland as well as on a global level in the USA, China, Australia, Japan, India and Canada. Senvion S.A. is listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.





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UA Selected For Defense Department Photonics Project

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), a public-private partnership advancing the nation’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, has announced the University of Arizona as the winner of a proposal call for a new Defense Department Government Directed Project for photonic integrated circuit, or PIC, data links for cryogenic focal plane arrays, or FPAs.

The $1.2 million Department of Defense project, along with an additional $400,000 in matching funds from a team led by the University of Arizona, will support a consortium that includes Sandia National Labs, Raytheon and other aerospace firms engaged in FPA technology.

The project will encompass the design, fabrication and test of cryogenic PIC-based datalinks for FPA readout and has the potential to strongly advance imaging capabilities for national defense applications. Capitalizing on the national reach and capabilities of this unique consortium, the PICs at the heart of the project will be manufactured in the AIM Photonics silicon photonics fabrication facility at SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Albany, New York, and also could lead to fabrication opportunities at AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly and Packaging facility, which is being built in Rochester, New York.

“When you consider the rapid pace of growth in both the FPA size and the required data rates, conventional electronic readouts become limited because they are both a heat source and a communication bottleneck,” said Robert Norwood, a UA professor of optical sciences and principal investigator for the program.

The UA’s extensive experience in cryogenic FPAs and integrated photonics, working in concert with major contractors of the defense industrial base, will target a design and development methodology that provides a common PIC datalink solution across multiple system needs and environments.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Defense, the University of Arizona and our industrial members in the development of this critical technology,” said Michael Liehr, CEO of AIM Photonics. “The design and development infrastructure we have developed is state of the art — and a key benefit for the team as they create this next integrated photonics technology.”

Frank Jaworski, program manager for emerging technology at Raytheon Vision Systems, added: “Raytheon regards the integration of photonic integrated circuits with focal plane arrays as a critical path for the development of future Department of Defense imaging systems vital to the nation’s security. We look forward to the University of Arizona’s leadership of the consortium and utilizing their expertise in developing this key technology.”

Neil Supola, chief of the infrared focal plane array branch at the Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate and government program manager for AIM Photonics, said: “This program is a great opportunity for the Department of Defense to leverage advances in integrated photonics manufacturing being realized by the Manufacturing USA program together with its state, industrial and academic partners. The scope of industrial participation on this project highlights the relevance photonic integration has within the Department of Defense community, and this project’s inherent potential to make a large impact.”

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Lucid Motors To Raise Capital For Arizona Factory


Electric carmaker Lucid Motors Inc. is raising a new round of financing and is also considering an outright sale after holding early-stage takeover talks with Ford Motor Co., according to people familiar with the situation.

The Menlo Park, California-based firm has hired Morgan Stanley to help raise more money to pay for further development of its vehicle and a new manufacturing plant in Arizona, the people said. They asked not to be identified talking about private company matters.

Lucid approached the senior management of Ford about a possible sale, the people added. Ford is not looking for a deal at this time, one of the people said, as new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett is in the midst of a 100-day review of the company’s plans and priorities.

Founded in 2007, Lucid aims to start production of its all-electric luxury sedan in 2018. Staffed by many engineers from rival Tesla Inc., Lucid released a video in July showing its Air production model hitting speeds of 235 miles per hour. The vehicle will start at $60,000.

Lucid, which originally focused on making battery packs for electric buses in China, has raised more than $100 million from Asian investors, including Tsing Capital and Mitsui & Co. Silicon Valley venture capital firm Venrock is also a backer. Lucid is working on its fourth funding round, known as a Series D.

“We don’t have the money in place. That’s why we need to secure Series D,” Chief Technology Officer Peter Rawlinson said at the New York International Auto Show in April. “It would be irresponsible to start moving earth or start anything until we have a financial runway to execute that professionally and with absolute integrity.” The Arizona plant is expected to cost $700 million.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Rawlinson said Lucid is “thrilled with the response from investors.” He declined to comment on the scale of the fundraising, or the talks with Ford.

“We don’t comment on speculation,” Karen Hampton, a Ford spokeswoman, said in an email. A representative for Morgan Stanley didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In May, Ford’s board of directors ousted Mark Fields and installed Hackett, the former CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase Inc., who has ties to Silicon Valley and had most recently been running Ford’s foray into self-driving cars. The board was unhappy with the pace of change under Fields and the nearly 40 percent decline in the company’s share price on his watch.

Ford is not ruling out a deal down the road, according to one of the people. The automaker has big plans to bring out plug-in cars and hybrids. It is spending $4.5 billion to electrify 40 percent of its lineup by 2020. Rival General Motors already has a long-range electric vehicle on the market.

Ford also has promised to put autonomous cars on the road by 2021. They’re expected to be battery powered. In February, Ford said it was investing $1 billion in Argo AI, a startup run by former Google and Uber executives that is developing self-driving software.




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