Greetings from the virtual offices of WorldAutoSteel! I thought it would be a good idea, as AHSS Insights’ Editor, to let you know what is happening here at WorldAutoSteel at the beginning of 2021.
Steel E-Motive – a new industry demonstration
No doubt you have received some emails about our Steel E-Motive program. If you are familiar with WorldAutoSteel’s history, you know our roots are in the UltraLight Family of Research and FutureSteelVehicle, geared to demonstrate the latest steel solutions for vehicle structures of their times.
Our member companies believe that the best way to show steel capabilities is to demonstrate them, and we have done that with body structures, closures and suspensions in the past. Now we are embarking on a whole new adventure, demonstrating the future of steel products and manufacturing technologies in the development of body structures for Level 5 autonomous, electric, ride sharing/hailing vehicles for Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The challenges and opportunities in these vehicles are creating a lot of excitement here as we work together with Ricardo, our world-class engineering partner, and our global steel members, to discover viable steel solutions for this new market.
For me personally, as my sixth experience with steel industry demonstration programs, it has been an exciting ride to see us once again tackle a major program like this, not to mention doing so in a year when we cannot meet and communicate face to face.
Our usual practice is to meet somewhere in the world around a common table several times a year, break up into working groups tackling various topics, brainstorming together with our engineering partner. Until we can once again freely move around the world, we are doing the same thing everyone else is—meeting virtually, with sometimes 40+ people on a call, with often 15 different native languages represented, gathered around a virtual white board. I’m sure many of you have felt the same struggle of making sure everyone has a voice in that setting.
In September 2020, we had 17 web conferences, including whole team meetings, sub-team working groups with subject matter experts, and even OEM advisory groups as we closed in on the end of our Phase 0 decision making. Despite the complications, we’ve been able to get the tasks done, and done well.
But what really excites me the most is that in a year of such uncertainty amid a global pandemic, the steel industry chose to move forward with its plans to invest in the future with new vehicle applications and steel innovation. I cannot be prouder of that bold decision. And we cannot wait to start showing you what we are doing. Unlike our other programs where we made a big announcement at the beginning of a program and then were silent until the end, Steel E-Motive is continuously communicating all the way along our development timeline until we finish at the end of 2022.
Get ready to don your Oculus goggles – we will be releasing VR eventually to show you our designs. Sign up for updates at www.steelemotive.world so you are sure to receive our news.
AHSS Application Guidelines DATABASE
Yes, that says database! Many of you are familiar with our 400+ page tome on the metallurgy, forming and joining of Advanced High-Strength Steels. Like any big reference book, it is daunting, yet it is the most popular document on our website, with people from all over the world still downloading the last volume released in 2017. We have had a three-year cadence of updates stretching all the way back to the late 1990s, authored at that time by Dr. Stuart Keeler. Now it is time to get it off the shelves, and onto the web where it can be more easily searched, and even better, more consistently updated with rapidly evolving technology and best practice experience.
Dr. Daniel Schaeffler, President and CEO, Engineering Quality Solutions, Inc., is authoring the Metallurgy and Forming information, and Menachem Kimchi, Associate Professor of Practice in the Welding Engineering program at The Ohio State University, is authoring the Joining section. Each is drawing from a world of resources and our steel member experts to make sure they are adding the best and most recent information. Our fingers are a bit raw from adding article after article of new data!
We are also, wherever possible, linking to all referenced technical papers that are available through scientific journals and other sites. Our clickable citations thus far number over 500 with probably two-thirds linked to the source papers. We are not just creating an online volume; we’re building a community of resources on Advanced High-Strength Steels to which you will want access if you have anything to do with vehicle engineering and material application.
We’re expecting to launch the new database in May 2021. If you received an email for this blog, then you’ll get notified when the database will become available too. If someone forwarded you this article, make sure you Subscribe. The AHSS Insights blog will be integrated with the whole database, and ahssinsights.org will be its combined home. Spread the word!
We think we have a nice lineup of blogs for the remainder of this year. Next month, we will release a summary article on press-hardened steel usage, written for the new Guidelines, that we think you’ll find interesting, as well as a bit of an appetizer of things to come.
Thank you, loyal readers. From all the staff at WorldAutoSteel, we send you best wishes to stay safe, stay healthy and make every day count.
Editor, AHSS Insights