Addressing The Global Need for Speed

Jeffrey Nichols
Executive Director Advanced Technology Integration & Business Development American Axle & Manufacturing

In an era of companies working to reduce their carbon footprints, automotive companies worldwide are in a race to lightweight. Global automakers and suppliers are recognizing the value of lightweighting to increase efficiency and speed and, in some cases, strength.

At American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), lightweighting is integral to our advanced product development. Quite frankly, AAM’s mission is to improve power density and performance while reducing costs and mass. LIFT, in turn, can help meet that goal by leading technology innovation and accelerating technology adoption through initiatives that align with its core technology pillars. Bottom lineā€¦ LIFT enables forward-thinking projects that offer value for American industries — automotive, aerospace and defense — and allows them to move at a rapid pace.

From working across industries to sharing best practices and resources – both personnel and physical – LIFT is a pathway for advanced materials and processing. Working in a cross-industry consortium has allowed us to learn from our partners. The aerospace industry, for example, has a core knowledge of lightweighting and has been lightweighting since the inception of air travel. The automotive industry can learn significant lessons from this rich history of using innovative and lightweight materials and advanced multi material processing inclusive of computational engineering methodologies.

As we begin to see more and more use of new lightweight materials by the automotive industry our manufacturing processes and analysis tools will also change to correlate to the new materials and aligned processes. We will gain value through our LIFT project activities that we will leverage across our engineering and manufacturing activities. This will enable AAM to accelerate our advanced technology integration on the numerous applied materials processing and manufacturing methodologies that LIFT is leading.

Our pace of technology integration will continue to increase with numerous industry and legislative changes globally.

As a local convener poised to serve many of the cross-functional industries, LIFT has an opportunity to leverage strengths to accomplish technology adoption and integration, as well as speed to market for commercialization.

Jeffrey Nichols
Executive Director Advanced Technology Integration & Business Development American Axle & Manufacturing; Chair, Technology Development Committee, LIFT