Manufacturing Today - July 2017 - 72

SPECIAL SECTION Automotive

"we wanted to have
a new honda powertrain product. in our
heart we are an engine company, and we
believe we should be
in the market with a
strong product for
torque conversion."
and a second, single/wide belt system
is designed for testing high-performance sports cars and purpose-built
race vehicles.

Future Flexibility

honda's new 10-speed automatic transmission appears
in the all-new 2018 honda
odyssey minivan.

be in the market with a strong
product for torque conversion."
The transmission, which features a
low-friction design, appears in the allnew 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan. It
will be rolled out to other Honda and
Acura models over time.
Established in 2006, HPPG's annual capacity is 375,000 transmissions
for Honda and Acura automobiles.
HTM began production in 1996 and
has a capacity to manufacture 1 million transmissions for Honda and
Acura models, as well as gearsets and
four-wheel drive systems.

Proving Ground
Honda in April announced a $124 million investment to create a multifunctional wind tunnel at the Transportation Research Center (TRC) in East
72

manufacturing-today.com JULY 2017

Liberty, Ohio. Groundbreaking will be
in the summer. Owned by Honda but
operated independently, the TRC is
the largest vehicle testing and proving
ground in the United States.
"This wind tunnel is about meeting the growing demand for aerodynamic and aeroacoustic research
and testing," Shoupe says. "There
is a worldwide and growing demand
for this capability; we thought it was
important to add that to the TRC for
the industry as well as our own testing purposes."
The tunnel will be able to produce
wind speeds of 192 mph and will include an interchangeable belt system
capable of testing both production
vehicles and race cars. The five-belt
rolling road system is designed for the
development of production vehicles

The new wind tunnel at TRC is not the
only recent Honda investment that
will benefit other automakers.
The company recently announced
a joint venture with General Motors
Co. to mass-produce an advanced
hydrogen fuel cell system that will be
used in each company's future products. Honda and GM are each investing $85 million in the venture, known
as Fuel Cell System Manufacturing
LLC. The venture will operate within
an existing GM battery pack manufacturing facility in Brownstown, Mich.
The two companies integrated their
development teams and shared intellectual property to create an affordable commercial solution for fuel cell
and hydrogen storage systems, Honda says. Mass production is expected
to begin in 2020, and the venture will
create roughly 100 new jobs.
Honda continues to look for opportunities to improve its overall operations. "Facility-wise, our future
investments will be based on our current market situation," Shoupe says.
"Much of our investment will capitalize on improving our flexibility overall
or launching new models." mt


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - July 2017

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