Today, I join peers, customers and fellow innovators in the automotive sector in discussing what defines world-class automotive manufacturing. We’ve come together at the 2014 Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars in Michigan to break down what defines excellence, where we stand today and how we can continue to move forward.
For Novelis, world-class manufacturing begins with a world-class material. More than forty percent of our global R&D is dedicated to automotive research – the largest investment in any single market segment for our company. We do this because we know the opportunities for aluminum in automotive. We’ve realized many of them.
For example, the one-piece body-side used by the Range Rover, the largest single aluminum automotive body panel in the world to date, was made possible by Novelis automotive alloy R&D. This manufacturing feat was first made possible with the invention of the e170 alloy, part of the Novelis AdvanzTM family of alloys, invented specifically for this kind of demanding component manufacturing.
But the reality is that “world-class” is forever evolving, redefining what it means with every latest breakthrough. At Novelis, we embrace that evolution – in fact, we have a history of leading it.
For nearly forty years, Novelis has led the industry in automotive aluminum metallurgy, surface finishes and applications, and we’re continuing to lead the way in areas like advanced component forming – enabling leading edge styling and new levels of strength and toughness for safety and durability.
We’re making further breakthroughs in our multi-alloy tailored solutions, and our testing of a new AdvanzTM e200 alloy is demonstrating it can outperform even the e170 alloy in certain applications. And there’s plenty more examples of work like this taking place in our R&D centers around the world.
All of this proves that the latest innovation is never permanent, that as an industry we must continuously push ourselves and our peers to work to improve even the things that aren’t broken. At Novelis, we’ve had a long history of raising the bar when it comes to world-class manufacturing, and we’re moving at a pace to make it a long future.