Ford a major player in digital revolution

Updated 23 January 2013
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Ford a major player in digital revolution

In Ford’s Silicon Valley Lab, Dave Evans creates a custom vehicle gauge and emails the 3D design to Zac Nelson in Dearborn. Nelson uses the MakerBot Thing-O-Matic at his workstation and prints up a physical prototype. The future of research and development is happening right here and now at the desks of these Ford engineers.
Just like laser printers today, expect 3D printers to be commonplace tomorrow. Engineers throughout the industry will have the ability to visualize a design on a computer screen and have the physical prototype show up at a colleague’s desk on the other side of the country in minutes. With this capability, the most qualified experts in each domain can make changes that feed into a tangible model. They can then share a 3D CAD design with the improvements.
“We’ve been shifting from the tangible world to the computer world, and the reality is that a hybrid model works best,” says K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader, open innovation, and a member of Ford’s Technology Advisory Board, Research and Innovation.
“There is nothing like having a tangible prototype, but it has always been time consuming and expensive to create. Now, at the press of a button, you can have the product or component at your fingertips," he adds. "With a model in one hand, you can then input your changes back into the computer model. The best decisions are made from the highest quality engineer and at the best pace.”
Currently thought of as a do-it-yourself tool for independent entrepreneurs and hobbyists, MakerBot enables users to design and produce products in various plastic materials.
Ford is using this low-cost 3D printing in similar ways to other technology companies, mainly for small developments like shift knobs, gauges and display modules.
Ford is using 3D printing in the manufacturing world, bridging the gap between abstract and practical. Large industrial rapid prototyping machines have made significant gains in the manufacturing world, and Ford is fully invested in the latest commercial 3D printing innovations.
Recently, many of the components for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the all-new Transit Van were developed with the aid of 3D rapid manufacturing. Cast aluminum oil filtration adaptors, exhaust manifolds, differential carrier, brake rotors, oil pan, differential case casting and even rear axles were prototyped with the technology, specifically utilizing selective laser sintering, stereolithography and 3D sand casting.
Additionally, Ford is a leader in a new variation on this technology: 3D printing with sand allows for the creation of casting patterns and cores with multiple printers in-house.


New Zealand PM Ardern names new-born daughter Neve Te Aroha

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford pose with their baby daugther Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford outside the hospital in Auckland on June 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 24 June 2018
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New Zealand PM Ardern names new-born daughter Neve Te Aroha

  • Ardern said she and her partner Clarke Gayford had settled on the full name of Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford for their first child
  • Ardern, who said the couple kept a short list of names, added that Neve meant “bright and radiant and snow,” while Te Aroha was the name of a rural town some 140 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Auckland where her family is from

AUCKLAND: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed her newborn daughter would be called Neve as she left an Auckland hospital Sunday, and expressed hope that one day a woman giving birth in office would no longer be a “novelty.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since her delivery on Friday — which made waves around the world — Ardern said she and her partner Clarke Gayford had settled on the full name of Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford for their first child.
“We chose Neve because we just liked it, and when we met her we thought she looked like she suited the name,” the 37-year-old told reporters as she cradled her daughter in her arms.
Ardern, who said the couple kept a short list of names, added that Neve meant “bright and radiant and snow,” while Te Aroha was the name of a rural town some 140 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Auckland where her family is from.
The New Zealand leader said she was blown away by well-wishes locally and internationally, including from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
“We wanted to say thank you (to New Zealanders for their support) and we are all doing really well. Sleep deprived, but super well,” she said.
Ardern is only the second world leader to give birth while in office, after former Pakistan PM Benazir Bhutto, and said she hoped such experiences would not be unusual in the future.
“Hopefully, these things said in these moments now, I guess for want of a better word — novelty, they are still new — that one day they aren’t new anymore,” she said.
“And that it’s generally accepted, not just that women can make choices, but actually that men can too,” Ardern added, referring to Gayford, who was standing beside her.
Her partner, a 40-year-old television fishing personality, will be a stay-at-home dad while the prime minister will return to work after six weeks’ maternity leave.
“Clarke’s been as much of a role model here as I am, and that’s something that I think a lot of people talk about too and it’s true,” Ardern said.
“So I hope for little girls and boys that actually there’s a future where they can make choices about how they raise their family and what kind of career they have that is just based on what they want and it makes them happy.”
Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark had said the couple was sending sent a significant message to the world and were “inspirational” for younger men and women.
The birth capped an eventful year for Ardern, who became prime minister in October just three months after taking charge of the Labour Party as it languished in the polls.
Her deputy Winston Peters is now acting prime minister, although Ardern will continue to be consulted on significant issues.