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Posted: January 9, 2008
GM Switches Materials to Cut Costs
(Nanowerk News) Soaring material and plastics costs pose problems for automobile manufacturers. In an interview with Design News, Bo I. Andersson, General Motors' top supply chain executive, said the main strategy is to develop materials options even before vehicles are designed, so GM can shift gears down the road if imbalances develop between materialsí prices.
Among the cost cutting tips listed by Design News are nanotechnology enabled solutions: "A new hybrid structure uses a proprietary process called MetalFuse that applies precise amounts of nanometal to molded plastic components. Parts are said to have the stiffness of aluminum or magnesium, but with better strength. Grain sizes of the metals are 1,000 times smaller than conventional metals. The technology was introduced at K 2007 by DuPont Engineering Polymers and partners Morph Technologies of Toronto, Canada, Integran Technologies of Pittsburgh, PA and PowderMetal Technologies of Carlsbad, CA."
Listen to the podcast: Hear GM executive Bo Andersson explain how the auto giant is building design options into new vehicle programs so that substitutions, such as steel for plastic, can be made.