MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation Selects Desktop Metal's X-Series Binder Jet 3D Printers for Advanced Nuclear Energy Solutions

Desktop Metal | March 16, 2022

Desktop Metal, Inc., a global leader in additive manufacturing technologies for mass production, announced that Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (USNC), a leading developer of Micro Modular Reactor (MMR®) systems for the production of safe, commercially competitive, clean, and reliable nuclear energy, has purchased two 3D printers from Desktop Metal's recently updated X-Series line of binder jetting systems, with two additional machines planned for this year.

The InnoventXTM, X25ProTM, and X160ProTM binder jet 3D printing systems for metal and ceramic powders from Desktop Metal can 3D print advanced materials such as silicon carbide (SiC), a technical ceramic with exceptional environmental stability that is frequently used in aerospace, armor, plasma shield, and high-temperature applications.

USNC converts very pure, crystalline, nuclear-grade SiC into shapes and forms capable of properly encasing a nuclear fuel particle, allowing the company's Fully Ceramic Micro-encapsulated (FCM®) fuel invention. The technique, which is described in full in a case study issued on March 9, is a critical component of USNC's novel fuel design for use in a new generation of advanced reactors.

“Binder jetting is a low-cost, high-yield, reliable process for our complex serial production, and an internationally recognized technology leader in nuclear fuels. He previously led multiple research and development efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He added, “The advanced material capability of the X-Series machines is fundamental to our innovative approach to fuel design.”

Dr. Kurt A. Terrani, executive vice president of USNC’s Core Division

With reproducible open parameters and performance across a range of machines, the X-Series line was designed to scale applications from research and development to large production. USNC has developed its next-generation nuclear fuel matrix on the small-format InnoventX system currently installed at the company's Salt Lake City, Utah, facility. The matrix will be scaled up on the bigger X25Pro and X160Pro systems.

“Driving mass adoption of additive manufacturing requires scalable systems capable of printing high-performance materials that enable the most innovative applications,” said Ric Fulop, Co-founder and CEO of Desktop Metal. “We’re proud to support the mission of USNC with flexible binder jetting technology that takes customers all the way to production and helps play a role in solving global-scale problems with additive manufacturing solutions.”

The X-Series - Binder Jet 3D Printing for Metals and Ceramics
This unique approach to binder jetting is made possible by Triple ACT advanced compaction technology for dispensing, distributing, and compacting powders throughout the binder jet printing process. This open materials design allows X-Series printers to process metals, ceramics, and other materials with high density and repeatability producing functional, precise parts and tools in a wide range of build regions. The full process of 3D printing silicon carbide is done at low temperatures. With traditional technologies or laser-based 3D printing procedures, USNC can generate complicated and unique shapes in a material.

Spotlight

In today’s manufacturing companies, CAD, PLM and ERP solutions are traditionally implemented as stand-alone solutions, which each has its own data structure, interface and capabilities to fulfill Engineering, Operations and Manufacturing requirements respectively. However, with the rise of Industry 4.0, for manufacturers to stay competitive they must be able to implement solutions that interconnect information and processes not only across the internal enterprise and departments but external partners and suppliers as well.

Spotlight

In today’s manufacturing companies, CAD, PLM and ERP solutions are traditionally implemented as stand-alone solutions, which each has its own data structure, interface and capabilities to fulfill Engineering, Operations and Manufacturing requirements respectively. However, with the rise of Industry 4.0, for manufacturers to stay competitive they must be able to implement solutions that interconnect information and processes not only across the internal enterprise and departments but external partners and suppliers as well.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

Phoenix Motorcars & CATL Form Long-Term Partnership

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited | November 23, 2022

Phoenix Motor Inc. (Nasdaq: PEV) (“Company” or “Phoenix”), a leader in manufacturing of all-electric, medium-duty vehicles, today announced the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (SHE: 300750) (“CATL”), a global leader of new energy innovative technologies, for the co-development of batteries for Phoenix Motorcars’ product lines. The MOU will support the long-term supply of battery solutions and related products for Phoenix’s commercial electric vehicles including Gen 4 vehicles, as well as the potential cooperation on Gen 5 and EdisonFuture (Gen 6) models in the future. The two companies also agreed to explore the opportunity to deploy E-rolling chassis technology in Phoenix vehicle models. Developed for commercial vehicles by its subsidiary Suzhou Synland Technology Co., Limited, CATL’s E-rolling technology is a separate frame construction chassis solution that integrates coaxial e-beam, frame, electronic devices and the battery pack which in turn is integrated with the power domain controller. The innovative technology supports various vehicle types including pickups, light trucks, vans and RVs. Phoenix Motorcars CEO Dr. Lance Zhou commented, “We are thrilled to be working with CATL, one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers and solution providers, as we develop and produce our Gen 4 medium-duty vehicles and explore further cooperation including Gen 5 ground-up chassis vehicles and EdisonFuture (Gen 6) line of light-duty vehicles over the next few years. This MOU will ensure stability and security of essential battery supply. We are also very keen on the E-rolling chassis technology from CATL which would enable simplified, highly integrated and light weighted design of e-chassis to achieve higher energy efficiency in commercial vehicles. Collaboration with partners such as CATL is central to our ‘asset light’ strategy and adds to our confidence that we will deliver our enhanced product lineup on time, within budget and with maximum quality. “We are glad to cooperate with industry pioneers like Phoenix Motorcars, and we believe the successful cooperation with Phoenix will further promote the application of advanced technologies in commercial vehicles, This cooperation not only expands our global network of commercial application business, but also reflects our determination to promote comprehensive electrification with innovative battery solutions, thus contributing to the global efforts towards carbon neutrality.” -Li Xiaoning, Executive President of Overseas Commercial Application, CATL. About Phoenix Motor Inc: Phoenix Motor Inc., a pioneer in the electric vehicle (“EV”) industry, designs, builds, and integrates electric drive systems and light and medium duty EVs and sells electric forklifts and electric vehicle chargers for the commercial and residential markets. Phoenix operates two primary brands, “Phoenix Motorcars,” which is focused on commercial products including medium duty EVs (shuttle buses, school buses, municipal transit vehicles and delivery trucks, among others), electric vehicle chargers and electric forklifts, and “EdisonFuture,” which intends to offer light-duty EVs. Phoenix endeavors to be a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of electric vehicles and electric vehicle technologies. About Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited: Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) is a global leader of new energy innovative technologies, committed to providing premier solutions and services for new energy applications worldwide. In the year 2021, CATL’s EV battery consumption volume ranks No. 1 in the world for five consecutive years, and it ranks first in the market share of global energy storage battery production. CATL also enjoys wide recognition by global EV and energy storage partners. To achieve the goal of realizing fossil fuel replacement in stationary and mobile energy systems with highly efficient electrical power systems that are generated through advanced batteries and renewable energy and promote the integrated innovation of market applications with electrification and intelligentization, CATL maintains continuous innovation in four dimensions including material and electrochemistry system, structure system, green extreme manufacturing and business models.

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Hexagon Acquires LocLab to Accelerate Creation of Digital Twins

Hexagon | December 29, 2022

In a strategic move, digital reality solutions leader Hexagon AB acquired Loclab, the company recently announced. The acquisition is synergistic since Loclab is a leader in 3D digital twin content creation and will be a part of Hexagon’s Geosystems division. In addition, LocLab's proprietary technology is used by leading transportation, construction, and design consultant companies. Hexagon’s cloud-based storage, visualization, and collaboration platform blend well with LocLab’s ability to create digital twins using a high degree of automation, proven workflows and artificial intelligence. To balance speed, cost, and accuracy, LocLab developed a toolchain that can leverage several data input formats, such as terrestrial videogrammetry, survey data, and point clouds, using only photographs or videos at a minimum. When survey accuracy is not required, and speed is preferred, videogrammetry is a highly scalable method. The AI software compares detected objects with LocLab's vast object library of 3D elements (street objects, building components, rail equipment, etc.) to semi-automate the creation of a semantically enriched 3D model. "Like any digital twin, it provides an intuitive 3D hub for data management and information. But it has traits not always associated with digital twins: it's data-rich, kept up to date in real-time, and workflow-driven, making it seamlessly accessible. And most importantly, it's autonomously intelligent, meaning it can implement physical world actions independent of human intervention."Hexagon President and CEO Ola Rollén. About Hexagon AB Hexagon is the world's leading provider of digital reality solutions. We use data to improve efficiency, productivity, quality, and safety in industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications. Our technologies make production and people-related ecosystems more connected and autonomous for a scalable, sustainable future.

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MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY

American Battery Technology Company Selected for US DOE Grant for $115M First-of-Kind Commercial-Scale Lithium Manufacturing Facility

American Battery Technology | November 10, 2022

American Battery Technology Company, (ABTC) (OTCQB: ABML), an American critical battery materials company that is commercializing both its primary minerals manufacturing and secondary minerals lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, was selected as a recipient of competitive funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of battery grade lithium hydroxide for lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, with a focus on domestic processing of materials and components that are currently imported from foreign countries. In collaboration with grant partners DuPont Water Solutions, University of Nevada, Reno, and Argonne National Laboratory, ABTC was awarded $57 million towards this project from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to design, construct, commission, and operate a first-of-kind commercial scale facility to demonstrate its novel process for the manufacturing of battery cathode grade lithium hydroxide from unconventional Nevada-based lithium-bearing sedimentary resources. By demonstrating at commercial scale this new low-cost and low-environmental impact process for manufacturing lithium products from unconventional sedimentary resources, the domestic-U.S. lithium resource base can be expanded and allow for the U.S. battery manufacturing supply chain to operate in a self-sustaining closed-loop fashion. This award was announced during a Presidential event at the White House, which included a direct conversation about the importance of this project between U.S. President Joe Biden, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, and ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert. "We are honored and excited to be selected for this investment from the U.S. government to accelerate the construction and commissioning of our first-of-kind commercial scale lithium refinery to manufacture battery grade metals from Nevada-based sedimentary claystone resources, The U.S. has unfortunately been essentially a non-player in the lithium manufacturing industry in recent decades, and while the nation has established large amounts of multi-billion dollar electrical vehicle and lithium-ion battery factories in recent years, nearly 100% of the lithium materials that feed these facilities are imported from foreign countries." -Ryan Melsert CEO ABTC. Currently, the vast majority of lithium products manufactured globally utilize conventional brines or hard rock ores as feedstock material, and less than 1% of these lithium products are sourced from within the U.S. Moreover, the implementation of responsible and sustainable domestic sourcing and processing of the critical materials used to manufacture lithium-ion batteries will strengthen American supply chains, accelerate battery production to meet increased demand, and secure the nation's economic competitiveness, energy independence, and national security. This grant accelerates progress on the demonstration and facility commercialization efforts already underway, as ABTC, in collaboration with DuPont and the University of Nevada, Reno, was awarded a $4.5M grant from the US Department of Energy in 2021 to build and operate a multi-ton per day demonstration-scale system to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of this critical lithium manufacturing technology. This funding announced by the DOE is the first phase of over $7 billion in total provided by the President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the battery supply chain. The DOE's Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains (MESC) is responsible for strengthening and securing manufacturing and energy supply chains needed to modernize the nation's energy infrastructure and support a clean and equitable energy transition. MESC will manage the portfolio of projects with support from the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Vehicle Technologies Office. In addition to securing a sustainable, domestic supply of battery grade lithium hydroxide, the project as designed is intended to provide local permanent jobs, infrastructure improvements, educational opportunities, and other economic developments. This program will work to develop the next generation of diverse scientists and engineers that will continue innovating for future generations. By leveraging resources and expertise of collaborating grant partners, the project has the potential to create over 150 new skilled regional jobs and foster local community-driven betterment through an environment and equity focused micro-grants program. Building off our current partnership in place with the University of Nevada, Reno, ABTC will work to expand STEM based education for disadvantaged communities and student internship opportunities. "American Battery Technology Company is demonstrating tremendous leadership in the development of technologies and a new energy economy on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, Through the creation of jobs and internships, they are giving new experiences to our students and contributing to the preparedness and diversity of our future scientists and the nation." -Brian Sandoval University President. About American Battery Technology Company: American Battery Technology Company is uniquely positioned to supply low-cost, low-environmental impact, and domestically sourced battery metals through its three divisions: lithium-ion battery recycling, primary battery metal extraction technologies, and primary resources development. American Battery Technology Company has built a clean technology platform that is used to provide a key source of domestically manufactured critical and strategic battery metals to help meet the near insatiable demand from the electric vehicle, electrical grid storage, and consumer electronics industries. This ESG-principled platform works to create a closed-loop circular economy for battery metals that champions ethical and environmentally sustainable sourcing of critical and strategic materials.

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