Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada has invested in updated laser screw welding procedures as part of a $421 million upgrade to its Cambridge, Ontario assembly plant. The investment is in order to manufacture the next generation Lexus RX 350 and 450h vehicles at the facility. The new laser screw welding systems are to join the stiffer body structure of the fourth generation RX vehicles, working with lightweight, high-strength steel.
The new RX model relies on aluminium back door and hood panels to help control body weight – aluminium is now being used more often in car production, with Jaguar Land Rover using aluminium panels, extrusions and castings in its F-Type model. Trumpf’s Klaus Löffler also noted the trend in a automotive conference earlier in the year.
More than $40 million has been invested in Toyota’s Woodstock plant to build a new stamping line capable of creating aluminium parts, while the new Lexus RX built in Canada will add new materials ranging from aluminium to new paint formulations and resins.
TMMC has more than 8,000 people employed at its Cambridge and Woodstock assembly plants. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada president, Brian Krinock, said: ‘Over the past three years, we have invested more than $1 billion in capital expenditures at our Canadian manufacturing facilities.’