The Big Story – July 2017 – OEM
In the mixed-use Detroit Corktown neighborhood just a few blocks south of where fans cheered professional baseball for 87 years, LIFT – Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow – is making some major-league noise.
“We’re about reducing the weight of machines that move people and goods on land, sea and in the air,” says Alan Taub, LIFT’s chief technology officer, who retired in 2012 from his position as General Motors’ head of global R&D. Taub also is an engineering professor at the University of Michigan in nearby Ann Arbor.
Although LIFT’s lightweighting endeavors are wide-ranging, from military applications to aerospace, about two-thirds of its $150 million in projects relate to taking pounds out of cars, trucks and SUVs. To do that, the notfor-profit technology incubator is installing pilot-scale equipment to study lightweighting solutions.