Magna has opened a new manufacturing facility to make advanced technological products for the automotive industry in Michigan. The factory will be used for large-scale manufacture of advanced driver-assistance systems, advanced robotics and micro-LED lighting. The new facility required an investment of USD 50 million and highlights Magna’s commitment to technologies for the future. At the new factory, Magna has consolidated three nearby locations at a single new site that uses the latest manufacturing technologies and features a people-first workplace design.
The plant which sprawls over 230,000 sq.-ft. is located in Grand Blanc Township north of Detroit. Magna has developed products which combines cameras with other sensors like lidar and radar for use in advanced driver assistance systems. Such systems can play key role in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicles and even in the case of technologies that are currently available like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist and other popular ADAS features.
Commenting on the new factory, Magna CTO Swamy Kotagiri said that the company’s focus is on providing features which can improve the daily commute for motorists and add a layer of safety. There has been a lot of buzz about autonomous vehicles and the potential they offer to eliminate car crashes, as they reduce the scope of human which plays a key role in many traffic accidents. However, Swamy emphasized that safety and driver-assistance systems that are currently available can pave the path to full autonomy.
Currently, Magna’s electronics unit sends ADAS components to over 330 locations across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
According to the company, the electronics unit first started production of automotive-grade cameras in 2005 and slowly started ramping up its annual output in order to cater to growing consumer demand and new safety regulations.
The new facility will not only make ADAS components, but will also accommodate Magna’s advanced robotics R&D testing lab.
In light of the advances that have been made in artificial intelligence, Magna is incorporating more smart factory concepts into its operations, and the new lab will facilitate the testing and implementation of robotics that are adaptable, flexible and work in collaboration with people.
The facility also houses Magna Rohinni Automotive, a joint venture that Magna formed with Rohinni in 2018 to bring ultra-thin, flexible micro-LED lighting solutions to market. Magna and Rohinni say the joint venture, after less than one year, has a dedicated production line installed in the new facility and is ready to start production.
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