Freudenberg strengthens its car floor mat business

Japan Vilene Company signs an agreement to acquire Hanns Glass Group in Germany


Freudenberg, the global technology company, is further expanding its car floor mat business. In Germany, the Japan Vilene Company, a Freudenberg Business Group, has signed an agreement to acquire Hanns Glass GmbH & Co. KG, Grafing, Germany. This company is a leading global automotive supplier of car floor mats, having a strong European presence with a portfolio complementary to VIAM, which is a core business of Japan Vilene Company. In 2016, the company generated about 31 million euros in sales and has some 260 employees. The transaction is conditional upon approval from the German Federal Cartel Office and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.

“With the acquisition of the Hanns Glass Group, the VIAM Group will gain access to the European automotive market and, in the future, will be able to supply European carmakers from local production sites,” says Freudenberg Group CEO, Dr. Mohsen Sohi.

The Hanns Glass Group is headquartered in Grafing, near Munich, and has production sites in Paderborn and Meuselwitz, Germany, and Cheb, Czech Republic. These sites will serve as the VIAM Group’s European base.

Source: Freudenberg

Continental introduces New Wheel Concept for electric vehicles

  • New division between wheel and axle: Continental presents the New Wheel Concept, which optimizes the braking system specifically of the electric vehicle (EV).
  • The design enables the use of a large aluminum brake disk and solves the problem of bad braking performance due to corroded brake disks.
  • The dual New Wheel Concept also reduces the weight of the wheel and brake and reduces service costs due to a lifetime brake disk and an easy brake pad change.

Frankfurt/Main, Germany. The technology company Continental has again expanded its solution portfolio for electric vehicles, developing the New Wheel Concept to meet the specific requirements of these vehicles. The wheel rim consists of two aluminum (Al) parts, the inner Al carrier star with the Al brake disk and the outer Al rim well with the tire. In contrast to conventional wheel brakes, the New Wheel Concept brake engages the Al disk from the inside. This allows it to have a particularly large diameter, which benefits the braking performance.

To increase the vehicle’s range, deceleration in the EV generates as much electricity as possible through recuperation (= braking using the electric motor), so the wheel brake is used less frequently. The corrosion-free Al brake disk also prevents the formation of rust (as is normal on cast-iron disks) which can impair the braking effect.

“Electromobility needs new solutions for braking technology too,” says Matthias Matic, Head of Continental’s Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit. “Using conventional brakes is not very effective in this case. The New Wheel Concept meets all the demands that electric driving places on the brake. We used our braking know-how to develop a solution that provides a consistently reliable braking effect in the electric vehicle.”

Thanks to the lightweight material, the New Wheel Concept reduces the weight of the wheel and brake, enabling lightweight construction in EVs. Advantages of the concept are much easier wheel and brake pad changes and that the disk is not subject to wear.

Rethinking the wheel

The New Wheel Concept is based on a new division between the wheel and the axle. Here the wheel consists of two parts, the aluminum carrier star, which remains permanently bolted to the wheel hub, and the rim well, which is bolted to the star. The wheel brake is fastened to the wheel carrier of the axle and engages from the inside with an annular aluminum brake disk, which in turn is bolted to the carrier star. The internal brake permits a wide brake disk friction radius, since the space available in the wheel is optimally utilized. During its development, the New Wheel Concept’s braking performance was initially designed for medium and compact class vehicles. In accordance with today’s requirements for this application, the brake is sturdy and fulfills all the established criteria – although it is used much less frequently in an EV.

Continental New-Wheel-Concept-Wheel
The dual New Wheel Concept also reduces the weight of the wheel and brake and reduces service costs due to a lifetime brake disk and an easy brake pad change.

“In EVs, it’s crucial that the driver expends as little energy as possible on the friction brake,” says Paul Linhoff, Head of Brake Pre-Development in the Chassis & Safety Business Unit at Continental. “During a deceleration, the momentum of the vehicle is converted into electricity in the generator to increase the vehicle’s range. That’s why the driver continues to operate the brake pedal – but it certainly doesn’t mean that the wheel brakes are active too.” The deceleration torque of the electric motor is only no longer sufficient by itself when the driver brakes more energetically, or braking also has to carried out with the non-driven axle for driving dynamics reasons. The wheel brake is needed in this situation – and it must be available. “Drivers want to be able to rely on a consistent braking effect – and too much rust on the brake disk in particular can really make this difficult,” Linhoff emphasizes. The reason behind the reduced performance is less friction between the brake pad and the brake disk. The automatic emergency braking function also has to fully rely on the availability of the friction brake effect.

In perfect harmony – material and design

The design of the New Wheel Concept uses the strengths of lightweight aluminum material for the brake. Thanks to the long leverage effect on the large brake disk, relatively low clamping forces are enough to provide a high level of braking efficiency – and since aluminum is a very good heat conductor, the heat generated in the disk during braking is quickly dissipated.

Continental New Wheel Concept
The design enables the use of a large aluminum brake disk and solves the problem of bad braking performance due to corroded brake disks.

Continental assumes, after the results of the initial practical tests, that the Al disk itself is not subject to wear, unlike cast-iron disks. With the New Wheel Concept, abrasion only takes place on the pads, and the design of the Concept makes replacing them – and the wheels – much easier. The New Wheel Concept has yet another positive: “Because the brake disk is fixed on the outside and the brake engages from the inside, the brake caliper can be designed particularly light and stiff. The force is transmitted largely symmetrically into the center of the axle, and this has a favorable effect on the noise behavior of the brake,” says Linhoff – and that’s a side effect which is particularly attractive in a quiet EV.

Continental will also demonstrate the New Wheel Concept during the International Motor Show, IAA in Frankfurt/Main (Hall 5.1. Booth A07 / A08).

Source: Continental AG

Volvo Cars celebrates 90 years at Techno Classica

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, celebrates its 90th anniversary at the world’s biggest show for classic vehicles, Techno Classica in Essen, Germany, 5 – 9 April.

On April 14, 1927, the first Volvo Car drove out of the factory gate in Gothenburg, Sweden.

However, the Volvo Cars stand at Techno Classica does not only showcase the company’s history. It also features the company’s latest product, the all-new XC60, launched at the Geneva Motor Show just last month. Techno Classica will be the first German car show for the new XC60.


The new car replaces Volvo’s highly-successful original XC60, which in the nine years since its launch became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe with nearly a million units sold globally. The XC60 today represents around 30 per cent of Volvo’s total global sales.

 “We have a strong heritage in designing stylish and dynamic SUVs that offer the latest in technology. The new XC60 will be no exception. It’s the perfect car for an active lifestyle, and it represents the next step in our transformation plan,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and Chief Executive, Volvo Car Group.

The 6 classic Volvo models exhibited at the Techno Classica will be:

1934 PV654

The Volvo PV600 series came in 1929, only two years after the little Swedish car company had started its operations. It had a distinct American inspired design and a powerful 3-litre straight six cylinder engine. A seven seater version was also made, mainly for taxi purposes.

Approximately 4,400 cars of the Volvo PV600-series were made during the model´s 8 year long life span.

1957 PV444

The PV444 was called “The Little Volvo” when it first was shown in Stockholm in 1944. However, due to material shortage after WWII, production didn´t start until 1947. For the first time, Volvo could offer a model that was within reach for customers with an ordinary income and the demand was much bigger than the supply.

The PV444 was the first Volvo model to be exported to the USA. The first car came to the port in Long Beach, California, in 1955 and only two years later Volvo was the Sunshine State´s second biggest import brand.

1800 S

The Volvo P1800 is probably the most iconic Volvo model of all time.

It became known worldwide as “The Saint´s car” in the 1960´s TV-show of the same name, starring Roger Moore as Simon Templar.

Manufactured from 1961 until 1973, the P1800 is today a highly sought-after classic among collectors.

1968 145 estate

At the end of November 1967, Volvo presented the third variant in what was now developing into a complete car family known as the 140 Series: the Volvo 145.

 The Volvo 145 was a 5-door estate with a rear section that had a virtually vertical tailgate. Everybody agreed that this was a safe, comfortable and extremely practical and spacious car. The cargo volume was more than two cubic metres and the floor of the cargo area was completely flat.

The Volvo 145 quickly became an extremely popular estate and played an increasingly important role within the 140 Series.

262 C

The Volvo 262C was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1977, as a part of Volvo´s 50th anniversary. It was the result of a cooperation between Volvo and Bertone, designed in Sweden but assembled in Turin, Italy.

This four seater coupe with the radical roofline that became the 262C´s trademark, was based on the two-door, six-cylinder 262 sedan. Custom stampings were done by Bertone and the Italian firm also provided the custom interiors in pleated leather, elm veneer and deep pile carpeting.

The 262C was powered by the PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel-injected B27F overhead-cam V6, producing 140 bhp. A total of 6,622 cars were built between 1977 and 1981.

850 R

The 850 R is the high performance version of the successful Volvo 850.  It was launched in 1996 and was the successor to the 850 T5-R.

The transversely mounted, 2.3 litre, inline 5-cylinder engine produced 250 hp, giving the car 7.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h. The intense red colour was unique to the 850 R, but it could be ordered also in five other colours, depending on market.

The 850 R was produced both as a sedan and an estate and is now a much sought after “youngtimer” classic.

Volvo Car Group in 2016

For the 2016 financial year, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 11,014 MSEK (6,620 MSEK in 2015). Revenue over the period amounted to 180,672 MSEK (164,043 MSEK). For the full year 2016, global sales reached a record 534,332 cars, an increase of 6.2 per cent versus 2015. The record sales and operating profit cleared the way for Volvo Car Group to continue investing in its global transformation plan.

About Volvo Car Group

Volvo has been in operation since 1927. Today, Volvo Cars is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world with sales of 534,332 cars in 2016 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding (Geely Holding) of China since 2010. It formed part of the Swedish Volvo Group until 1999, when the company was bought by Ford Motor Company of the US. In 2010, Volvo Cars was acquired by Geely Holding.

MAHLE sells its forging activities to Frauenthal Automotive

Stuttgart/Vienna, January 30, 2017 – The MAHLE Group is selling its forging activities—MAHLE Motorkomponenten GmbH—to the Austrian Frauenthal Group. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the volume of the transaction, which is still subject to approval by the antitrust authorities.

The agreement affects the Plettenberg (North Rhine-Westphalia) and Roßwein (Saxony) plants, with around 510 and 130 employees respectively. Their focus lies on the development and production of highly stressed steel-forged blanks for connecting rods and balancer shafts. Together, the two locations generated annual revenue of approximately EUR 125 million in 2016 and are technology leaders in their core business activities. The sale is taking place as part of a strategic portfolio decision by the MAHLE Group.

“The acquisition marks a significant step toward expanding our Automotive division to become a strategic player with attractive niche products. Through our expertise in production processes and market development, we expect further growth in sales and profits,” so Martin Sailer, member of the Frauenthal Holding AG Executive Board and in charge of the Frauenthal Automotive Division.

“We are convinced that the Frauenthal Group will fully utilize the additional potential and growth opportunities of both locations,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider, Chairman of the MAHLE Management Board and CEO.

Upon the change in ownership, the agreement concluded for safeguarding the employment of all MAHLE Group employees in Germany will also apply to the employees of Plettenberg and Roßwein. This rules out compulsory redundancies until the end of 2019.


MAHLE is a leading international development partner and supplier to the automotive industry. With its products for combustion engines and their peripherals as well as solutions for electric vehicles, the group addresses all the crucial issues related to the powertrain and air conditioning technology—from engine systems and components to filtration to thermal management. MAHLE products are fitted in at least every second vehicle worldwide. MAHLE components and systems are also used off the road—in stationary applications, for mobile machinery, rail transport, as well as aerospace and marine applications.

In 2015, the group generated sales of approximately EUR 11.5 billion with around 76,000 employees and is represented in 34 countries with over 170 production locations. At 15 major development locations in Germany, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Slovenia, the USA, Brazil, Japan, China, and India, about 6,000 development engineers and technicians are working on innovative solutions for the mobility of the future.

About the Frauenthal Group

The Frauenthal Group, which is listed on the Vienna stock exchange, is a conglomerate of the two divisions, Frauenthal Automotive and Frauenthal Trade. With nine locations in Europe and China, Frauenthal Automotive is market and technology leader as well as a development partner in the European commercial vehicle and passenger car industry for metal pressed and welded components (Gnotec), air tanks, and U-bolts. In 2015, the Frauenthal Group achieved a revenue of approximately EUR 791 million and employed an average of 3,121 staff.


Lohmar, Germany: GKN Driveline is helping to facilitate the introduction of emissions free parcel delivery in Germany through a partnership with StreetScooter, the electric vehicle company owned by Deutsche Post DHL Group.


GKN Driveline is supplying its innovative electric drive technology to StreetScooter. GKN’s Family 2 eTransmission system transmits torque from the eMotor to the wheels of a new StreetScooter zero-emission pure electric van.

“This is another example of GKN supporting electric vehicle innovation with essential driveline technologies,” said CEO of GKN Driveline’s all-wheel and electric drive division, Peter Moelgg. “GKN’s electric drives turn electric power into instant torque at the wheels and the versatile Family 2 eTransmission provides outstanding performance, refinement and efficiency in a compact package that is designed to make integration quick and simple.”

GKN’s system has an output torque of up to 2000Nm in a compact package with superior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics and efficiency. An ingenious interface concept enables the electric drive to pair easily with different electric motor designs to simplify integration and application engineering. Other applications for the system include the Fiat 500e city EV and the Citroën Berlingo Electric light commercial vehicle.

StreetScooter is a start-up formed by leading German technical university RWTH Aachen to develop more affordable electric commercial vehicles for urban operations. Following a successful trial, Deutsche Post DHL intends to deploy around 2,000 new StreetScooter vehicles in its urban delivery fleet by the end of the year as part of its ultimate objective of converting its entire delivery fleet to electric power.

A key objective of the programme was to reduce the development time and costs typically associated with commercial vehicles. GKN supported StreetScooter with effective application engineering to deliver the driveline, within the programme’s ambitious timeframe.

GKN Driveline Senior Vice President of Technology Dr Ray Kuczera said: “GKN technology and expertise is helping innovative vehicles like the StreetScooter to become a reality. We have been advancing the development of electrified vehicles since 2002 and more than 300,000 cars on the road today are now powered using GKN eDrive technologies. Our broad range of systems are designed to be flexible across a range of vehicle applications – the StreetScooter perfectly demonstrates the benefits of GKN’s strategy for vehicle developers.”

[Jobs] Current Openings at Car2Go, a Daimler AG subsidiary

Current Openings

Serial# Job Title Location Description & Apply link
1 Member Services Associate Austin, Texas Click Here
2 Digital Marketing Intern Austin, Texas Click Here
3 Financial Analyst Austin, Texas Click Here
4 Communications Coordinator Austin, Texas Click Here

About Car2Go

Car2Go is a car sharing service which gives you all the conveniences of owning a car without owning one. It takes away from you all the burdens of owning a car like refueling, servicing, cleaning and insuring etc. Car2Go vehicles are available all over the cities they serve, you have just hop into the car, drive to your desired destination and hop out. For further details about the company visit the website.


Car2Go is a subsidiary of Daimler AG (parent company of Mercedes-Benz) providing carsharing services in European and North American cities. The company offers exclusively Smart Fortwo and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and features one-way point-to-point rentals. Users are charged by the minute, with hourly and daily rates available.The service forgoes the typical centralized rental office, and cars are user-accessed wherever parked via a downloadable smartphone app. As of May 2015, Car2Go is the largest carsharing company in the world with over 1,000,000 members.


How BMW chose the right five-axis machine and CNC for processing fast bikes

BMW motorcycles are known for their reliability, quality, performance and safety. This is not achieved by chance, however. BMW’s motorcycle plant in Berlin, Germany, uses a variety of tools to create numerous key components on-site, from frames and valve shafts to connecting rods and cylinder heads.


Among the tools used are Grob’s horizontal five-axis G550 machining centers featuring Siemens’ Sinumerik 840D controllers, used to manufacture cylinder heads for flat and four-cylinder engines.

When BMW invests in new machining centers, it compares among various suppliers to ensure that the machining center will enable the company to manufacture components more cost-effectively than external contractors.

One of BMW’s primary reasons for choosing the G550 was because it was equipped with a Siemens CNC. Thanks to previous positive experience with Siemens, the manufacturing specialists in Berlin already employed the company’s CNCs for 90 percent of their controllers. This offered both operators and tool setters the flexibility to work on practically any of the machines in the plant. Other key machine spec requirements included adequate space for manufacturing all relevant components, high levels of precision and surface finish, compliance with predefined cycle times, and the ability to reuse all current tools and equipment.

Before committing to the new investment, BMW production engineers worked to investigate the effectiveness of the Grob machines in cylinder head production. Initially, it was the G550’s near-identical sibling, the G350, that was under consideration. However, the working space available was deemed too small to accommodate all the required processing tasks. The G550, on the other hand, satisfied that requirement. Among other factors, the horizontal design of the G550, which has both rotary axes in the work area, contributes significantly to its high rigidity. As a result, axial deviation remains under 10 micrometers. The level of precision that can be achieved is correspondingly high, even when processing hard materials such as those used for valve seat inserts. The machine also produces a high-quality surface finish, with roughness ranging to 2 micrometers.

According to Christian Heib, applications engineer at Grob, another benefit of the horizontal design was that “tool life can be increased by approximately 30 percent compared with that of vertical machining centers. The problem of jammed slivers is almost completely eliminated because they are not able to fall onto the workpiece in the first place, but instead fall right through to the ground.”


One of the G550’s strengths is its compact footprint of 3,800 × 6,300 mm. Despite its size, the machining center features a Z-axis stroke of 1,020 mm, meaning that tools as long as 500 mm can be retracted completely out of the work area and into the spindle tunnel. The swivel-mounted shuttle table is another feature that helps deliver high levels of productivity. While one workpiece is being processed, the next can be clamped and set, minimizing downtime.

Thanks to its usability and intuitive operation through various technology cycles, measurement cycles and setting functionality, G550 machines can be set up for new batches quicker than what BMW used before. According to Heib, setups that would have previously taken several hours can now be accomplished in a matter of minutes.

Along with the tools and equipment from the current machines, the German motorcycle manufacturer was able to reuse all its existing programs as well. It took a single employee only two days to upgrade these programs to be compatible with the latest software, which can be loaded onto the relevant machine as required either over the network or from a USB flash drive. The modern Windows Explorer-style program manager means that complex programs can be managed either on the Compact Flash (CF) card or directly on the CNC.

If problems arise while the machine is operational, BMW Production Engineer Taner and his colleagues use the network-based remote maintenance functionality provided by Grob. Although Ögretmen reports that it has rarely been required so far, the process has proved to be extremely smooth and efficient.

Grob can also perform minor optimizations together with Siemens using the teleservice. This is usually done automatically and without any disruption to ongoing production.

The Sinumerik-controlled Grob machines have met every expectation in full, which is why BMW has already ordered an additional four G550s.

Reblogged from Techspex

About Techspex                                                

Techspex provides metalworkers free research and analysis tools to help them find the right machine for their job. The website’s database contains detailed specs for over 600 machine tool brands and 7500 new models. It maintains the deepest up-to-date machine tool and model information.

Tata Motors to help Volkswagen develop an Economy Car for emerging markets

One might wonder why Volkswagen approaches Tata Motors to develop a car. Volkswagen has been working on a budget car project since years but failed to keep the costs under control and hence approached Tata Motors(known for developing the world’s cheapest car Nano) for help.

595The auto giant Volkswagen plans to restart its small car project Budget Car. VW management is in talks with with Tata Motors, Manager Magazin reported in its latest issue (release date: July 22).

The Indian automaker should develop the model completely or partially for VW, according to the Wolfsburg Volkswagen headquarters. VW has been working on the project own their own since years. The Budget Car is designed for entry level markets like China and India. For the restart it was internally renamed Economy Car.

The developed in the past model approaches were repeatedly stopped. The VW developers did not get especially the costs under control. The car will be offered cheaper than the previously smallest VW model. The responsibility for the current project lies with brand chief Herbert Diess. Discussions on the possible development contract to Tata would however will be looked after by corporate strategy chief Thomas Sedran.


The German carmaker has repeatedly tried its hand at the compact car segment including a partnership with Japan’s Suzuki Motor Corporation but failed to crack the intensely competitive market. Tata Motors on the other hand successfully developed and launched one of the world’s cheapest cars Nano, highlighting its expertise in low cost vehicle development.

via: Manager Magazin

Black box in cars! Germany plans a legislation making ‘black box’ mandatory for autonomous cars

The fatal crash of a Tesla Model S car in its autopilot mode has increased the pressure on industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology can be deployed safely.

Germany plans new legislation to require manufacturers of cars equipped with an autopilot function to install a black box to help determine responsibility in the event of an accident, transport ministry sources told Reuters on Monday.

Black box flight recorder for illustrative purpose

The fatal crash of a Tesla Model S car in its autopilot mode has increased the pressure on industry executives and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology can be deployed safely.

Under the proposal from Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, drivers will not have to pay attention to traffic or concentrate on steering, but must remain seated at the wheel so they can intervene in the event of an emergency.

Manufacturers will also be required to install a black box that records when the autopilot system was active, when the driver drove and when the system requested that the driver take over, according to the proposals.

The draft is due to be sent to other ministries for approval this summer, a transport ministry spokesman said.

Germany is home to some of the world’s largest car companies including Volkswagen Group, Daimler and BMW Group and the government wants the industry to become a global player in the market for self-driving vehicles.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said in April the industry should draw up a wish list for Berlin to help develop self-driving vehicles, ideally with a timetable.

Companies around the globe are working on prototypes for self-driving vehicles, but such cars are not expected to be available for the mass market before 2020.

via: ANE