KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation—Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader and a mobility company based in Dearborn, Mich., that manufactures and distributes automobiles across six continents, was confirmed this August as a charter member of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI). The Manufacturing USA institute driven by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the U.S. Department of Energy is a 100+-member consortium committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the U.S. composites industry. Ford's Letter of Intent includes a $5 million commitment to IACMI over five years, leveraging significant federal, state and industry investment dollars totaling $250 million. As part of its Charter Membership, Ford has appointed one representative, Patrick Blanchard, Technical Leader for Composites, to IACMI's Board of Directors.
Ford and IACMI are working together to produce pioneering processes that will use carbon fiber and other advanced composites to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions, making the next generation of vehicles even better for the environment. Ford's sustainability strategy sets near, mid- and long-term goals for significant reductions in the company's global environment footprint with the use of new technologies, business models and partnerships, such as with IACMI-The Composites Institute.
"In line with our Sustainability strategy, our goal is to work with the entire vehicle supply chain to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions through the use of advanced composites," said Patrick Blanchard.
Ford has achieved dramatic success by converting the body of the Ford F-150 truck from steel to high-strength aluminum alloy. By using aluminum alloy, the overall weight of the vehicle decreased by as much as 700 pounds—enabling best-in-class gasoline EPA-estimated fuel economy, along with also providing best-in-class payload and tow ratings. The all-new Ford GT supercar is a low-volume test bed for Ford's work with composites such as carbon fiber, cutting the weight of parts by as much as 60 percent compared to steel.
"Ford has a proven track record for success in recent automotive advancements—by implementing lightweight materials such as carbon fiber and aluminum to reduce vehicle weight," said Craig Blue, IACMI CEO. "We are proud to partner with a global, forward-thinking innovator to continue an impactful trajectory in the automotive and manufacturing industry.
About IACMI-The Composites Institute: The Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), managed by the Collaborative Composite Solutions Corporation (CCS), is a partnership of industry, universities, national laboratories, and federal, state and local governments working together to benefit the nation's energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of advanced composites. CCS is a not-for-profit organization established by The University of Tennessee Research Foundation. The national Manufacturing USA institute is supported by a $70 million commitment from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Manufacturing Office and over $180 million from IACMI's partners. Find out more at IACMI.org.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company's core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
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