Underscoring its commitment to future technologies, auto supplier Magna cut the ribbon on a new $50 million electronics manufacturing plant in Michigan on Aug. 14.
The facility consolidates three nearby locations at a single new site incorporating a people-first workplace design and the latest manufacturing technologies.
The 230,000-sq.-ft. (21,368-sq.-m) plant is in Grand Blanc Township north of Detroit and is focused on advanced vision-based driver-assistance systems.
Magna says the new facility will allow it to accelerate large-scale deployment of future technologies such as advanced driver-assistance systems, advanced robotics and micro-LED lighting.
Magna now combines cameras with other sensors such as radar and lidar to develop the advanced driver assistance systems that make up the building blocks of autonomy and enable current technologies such as adaptive cruise control, blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist and other popular ADAS features.
“We provide features to improve the daily commute and add a layer of safety,” says Magna CTO Swamy Kotagiri.
“With the excitement surrounding autonomous vehicles and their potential to eliminate car crashes, it can be easy to forget the path to full autonomy lies in the safety and driver-assistance systems we have today,” he says.
Magna’s electronics unit ships ADAS components to more than 330 locations in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
The company says the division started producing automotive-grade cameras in 2005 and has steadily increased its annual output of driver-assistance systems because of new safety regulations and consumer demand.
In addition to manufacturing ADAS components, the new facility is home to Magna’s advanced robotics R&D testing lab.
The company says that with continued advancements in artificial intelligence, it is bringing more smart factory concepts into its operations, and this new lab allows 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 formed 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.