Golden Sponsorhip: Metalworks Associates supplies technical 5-axis aluminium parts to the TU-Fast Eco in München
München - 27/04/2023
The much-anticipated day has finally arrived! On Thursday, April 27th, the TU-Fast Eco team at the TUM, Technische Universität München, raised the curtain and unveiled muc023 to the world, showcasing the future of mobility. The hyperefficient urban vehicle boasts an optimized aerodynamic shape, lightweight construction, and minimal energy losses across all systems.
The Muc023's roll-out event took place at the Verkehrszentrum of the Deutsches Museum and was also attended by Bavarian Minister of Science Markus Blume, Munich's second mayor Katrin Habenschaden, and TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann.
The team's previous generation concept car achieved an impressive efficiency of 271 km/kWh, compared to today's electric vehicles that only get about 5-10 km/kWh. This year, they set new standards by reducing the chassis by 21% and the running gear by 30%, resulting in a car that weighs only 65 kg - lighter than its driver.
The team made significant progress in aerodynamics, improving the drag coefficient from an already impressive 0.16 to an outstanding 0.13, beating even the most optimized cars on the road, which typically achieve values of around 0.2.
To make the car even more efficient, the electric team developed a new power regulation, distribution, and logic unit, combined into a single PCB, called the Wonderboard. They also implemented a new, more powerful motor.
The team's autonomous system has also been improved, equipped with new technologies, including a depth camera and a GNSS sensor for better GPS positioning and navigation. Cameras and LiDARs are also used.
The car will be put to the test on the racetrack in a few weeks at the Shell Eco-marathon at the Paul Armagnac circuit in Nogaro, France. The team will compete against university teams from around the world to see how efficient their car truly is. In addition to the efficiency of the car, the team will test its autonomous system by taking on three challenges: Autonomous Track Driving, Obstacle Avoidance, and Parking.
The TU-Fast Eco team has expressed its deep appreciation for the invaluable support of all their sponsors and supporters who made muc023 possible. Metalworks Associates, one of the golden sponsors, went above and beyond by supplying technical and lightweight 5-axis milled aluminum parts for the suspension systems in a record time of just two weeks. Their unwavering commitment to excellence played a pivotal role in helping the TU-Fast Eco team achieve their goals. The team hopes to collaborate with Metalworks Associates and all their sponsors and supporters again in the future as they continue to push the boundaries of technology and innovation.
What is a successful company in 2023 ?
Lyon - 07/01/2022
According to a survey conducted by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in December 2022 on 179 businesses, 98% of Equipment Manufacturers are currently struggling with an unreliable supply chain. Two major issues are causing this debacle: workforce shortages and the limited access to components for production.
Despite its still sub-50 readings however, the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has bounced back from 47.1 in November to 47.8 in December 2022. This, compiled with the PMI future output index jumping from 48.8 to 53.8 (Reuters, 2023), tends to reflect positive outlooks for the manufacturing sector in the months ahead.
In Europe for instance, Eurostat data show that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) proved in 2020, with a small 5% decrease in value added compared to 2019, to be more resilient to the economic turmoil at the pandemic’s height than larger firms in the sector. Moreover SMEs, accounting for 99% of all companies in the non-financial business economy in Europe (Eurostat, 2020), employed 62% of the 82 million people employed that year. These employees were hired in distributive trade, manufacturing and constructions sectors. A clear sign of working opportunities in SMEs part of these three economic categories.
Opportunities yes !… For adaptive companies only.
While on one hand the manufacturing sector still fears supply chain disruptions and that on the other hand the difficulties to hire and retain talents have become substantial, it turns to be increasingly strategic for Equipment Manufacturers at the outset of 2023 to partner with others, conduct frequent trainings and ensure a proper knowledge transfer between workers generations.
According to the definition provided by The World Economic Forum in December 2021, a future-ready SME should be able to successfully respond to shocks and seize opportunities that emerge from constant disruption thanks to three characteristics: sustainable growth, societal impact and adaptive capacity.
First, SMEs should generate sustainable cash flows through innovation. Second, by aligning with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, the SMEs will also have a positive impact on society. Finally reinforcing a more agile structure will result in more resilience over fluctuating economic cycles or during periods of changing market demands.
To achieve these objectives, two of the main future readiness drivers are a business model flexibility and the access to reliable networks. The former refers to the capacity of a business to adapt its strategy in order to capture new revenue streams, whilst the latter describes the opportunity of associating with other companies to increase effectiveness.
After surveying around 300 SMEs, The World Economic Forum drew the conclusions that, as opposed to telecommunication, education or media companies able to easily change their business orientation to meet new demands, SMEs in metal production, mechanical and electrical engineering face more difficulties to reconfigure or redeploy their chain of resources.
When the companies surveyed were asked to describe their biggest challenges: 52.5% mentioned limited resources to attract and retain talents, 43.8% highlighted the constant need to develop the business to new markets/customers despite low profit margins, and 35.7% expressed difficulties to access capital funds.
As a wrap-up statement, SMEs that are able to reconfigure their supply chain, reallocate their resources, review their strategies during changing economic trends should demonstrate sustainable growth, positive societal impacts and greater adaptive capacities. Plus, the constitution of a reliable Network also plays a pivotal role for SMEs. Indeed, the associated parties would provide the future ready company with complementary expertise, extended sourcing channels, new markets as well as further innovation opportunities.
“When SMEs equip themselves with the necessary tools and network resources to execute their innovative vision, they stand to compete with larger corporations.” (World Economic Forum, 2021)
Author: Antoine Micaleff - Co-owner Metalworks Associates
A clear trend: The customization of industrial machines
Lyon, September 06, 2021 - In 2021, investing in new machines is essential to increase production rates while reducing scrap rates. As the cost of raw materials has risen sharply in recent months, making production tools more reliable and optimizing their efficiency remain two major growth vectors for any company wishing to be profitable in the years to come.
In addition, each production activity tends to differentiate itself in order to satisfy a demand that is more and more keen on customization. Indeed, according to studies conducted by Deloitte in 2015, 36% of consumers show an interest in buying personalized products and services. 48% of respondents would even be willing to wait longer to receive a customized product or service!
However, the personalization of the offer should not be at the expense of the quality of the delivered products and services ! Regularly changing processes imposes many constraints on the company, especially in terms of supply management and resource organization. It is not always easy to anticipate a shortage of components, a delay in delivery, a reduction in profit margins... Thus, to avoid all these logistical constraints, it becomes imperative to rethink one's purchasing portfolio and multiply the number of usual suppliers.
To meet flexible demand, the offer must also be flexible: this is the era of industrial machine customization.
Metalworks Associates (MWA) supports its customers - integrators and manufacturers of special machines - in this transition to a new industrial era by supplying them with customized mechanical parts and sub-assemblies. Also, there is no need to order in large quantities to save money! Working with MWA means, above all, access to a machine park that produces flexibly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
In 2021, a company that buys a production line meeting precise specifications and taking into account its own needs, is a company that knows how to differentiate itself by offering a product that reflects its image.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in 2021: Aiming at an optimal management of resources
Lyon, August 05, 2021 - In 2021, a machine that leaves production must guarantee its users an efficient consumption of resources. The efficiency of a machine is illustrated by a constant, optimal activity, minimizing energy requirements and promoting zero waste. To achieve this, intelligent programming of the HMI and its related functionalities is essential. However, the components and parts of the machine should also be engineered to limit mechanical efforts and resistance while reliably ensuring their functions.
The management of water, oil, gas and other fuels is a challenge in the race towards a greener economy.
For instance, Metalworks Associates is committed to providing its customers with specific, certified and sustainable valves. Whether it's a ball valve, butterfly valve, check valve, throttle valve, diaphragm valve, globe valve or needle valve, MWA ensures the longevity of a reliable, ergonomic and leak-free mechanism.
The robotics market is booming!
Lyon, July 15, 2021 - The trend is announced: companies are investing in the automation of their workstations. It is the rise of robotics that has favored the entry of cobots in the daily factory. Assistance in welding, cutting, packaging, checking parts... No task on the production line is left out! From packaging to pharmaceuticals through automotive, robots are an integral part of the working environment in all industries and sectors.
Today, it is this euphoria that is driving a surge of activity among integrators, designers and manufacturers of special machines. Thus, MWA has recently been the object of strong solicitations to meet an increased demand for custom mechanical parts. Indeed, the ever more complex mechanical specifications are not forgiving: axes, bearings, cones, toothed pulleys must be machined with the greatest precision to avoid any friction, unnecessary energy expenditure, abnormal wear of parts...
In the same way, the companies pushed by a wave of economic revival are in perpetual search of the reactive subcontractor able to produce and deliver certified components under short lead times.
Metalworks Associates has sufficiently invested to meet the needs of the market.
Boilermaking and maintenance jobs at short in 2021!
Lyon, May 07, 2021 - Boilermaker and maintenance technician job offers are pouring in on recruitment platforms in France!
Since June 2020, more than 12,000 job offers looking for the rare pearl in the maintenance department have been published. In this recovery phase, companies are required to maintain their productivity. And this requires optimal control of the machine fleet, as well as good anticipation of breakdowns.
Thus, Metalworks Associates has never been as much contacted by companies unable to guarantee reliable output as during this period of worldwide pandemic.
The COVID 19 crisis has indeed accelerated the need for subcontracting production due to a lack of qualified staff members !
The MWA international network has therefore been able to offer its customers the flexibility to refocus on the essential: limiting the escalation of maintenance costs and materials in order to save jobs.
MWA contributes to the recovery of SMEs
Lyon, February 20, 2021 - Metalworks Associates officially becomes the first international network of subcontractors serving small and medium-sized companies! While the crisis of COVID-19 has already forced many company managers to close their doors, MWA does not face any downtime!
Last year, all indicators of business competitiveness were in red. In May 2020, L'INSEE (french statistics agency) published the first forecasts of business investment for the current year. The manufacturing sector estimated a 7% drop in investment compared to 2019, a decline of about 10 points, whereas on average the April revision usually remains at zero. In the long term, this sharp decline could impact the competitiveness of the French entrepreneurial sector, 99.9% of which is made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (INSEE 2020).
This year, Metalworks Associates is mobilizing its partners and committing itself to supplying small and medium-sized businesses in the sector with mechanical parts in order to promote their recovery. The chairman of MWA declares: "We cannot wait any longer, we must react! Companies are looking for know-how and savings. MWA is here for that! Indeed, MWA quickly makes the link between its customers and certified partner companies ready to produce on demand.