Almost-divorced Chrysler may have to do some fast talking to resurrect its important partnership with Chery Automobile Co. of China. As you might recall, Chery was scheduled to build low-cost subcompact cars which Chrysler would market in the United States. Important deal for a company that has been surviving on gas-guzzling hemis and trucks under its Daimler ownership. According to some published articles, Chery had some reservations when it was announced that Chrysler would be spun out. Tom LaSorda will remain CEO of Chrysler under Cerberus Capital Management, and announced he wants to expand the relationship with Chery. I think this will work out fine. Daimler had a poor track record in its dealings with Asian partners (Mitsubishi and Hyundai Motor). Chrysler will make it work, because it has to work. Cerberus is a word in Greek mythology for a three-headed dog that guards the gates of Hades. We know that auto manufacturing in Detroit today is modern-day Hades, and we’ll find out soon enough if this dog can hunt.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.