Business News

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Oakland County News - Connected Mobility

Oakland County is a global leader in Connected Mobility research. The knowledge-based economy of Oakland County continues to lead in the research and development of technologies essential to the invention and manufacture of the next generation of mobility.

Anca, Inc.

Anca, Inc., a machine tool builder, recently celebrated with a ribbon cutting at their Wixom Facility. The company expanded their facility by 50%, adding a dedicated customer focus and training center, and doubling its machine demonstration area. The event is captured in the video below.

Anca, Inc., president, Russell Riddiford hosted representatives from the company's Melbourne, Austrailia headquarters, as well as many other visitors, including some local dignitaries. 

*Schonscheck, Inc., also a Wixom company, was contracted for the expansion. 

Ford Wixom Plant Property Sold

The former Ford Wixom Plant property has been sold to a new owner, Industrial Commercial Properties (ICP) of Solon, OH. ICP owns/has redeveloped other former automotive properties in multiple states, including here in Oakland County. They have indicated a desire to bring outstanding commercial and industrial uses forward for the property and we look forward to working together with ICP to transform this long vacant industrial space in Wixom.  

You can view media coverage of this story at the following links:


Daily Tribune

The Oakland Press

Detroit News 


Altran Opens Passive-Safety Center in Wixom

Post Date:11/14/2017 9:12 AM

Posted to November 13, 2017
by Jim Irwin


Technicians conduct full-motion head test at new passive-safety test facility. 

WIXOM, MI – Altran, an automotive engineering-services and R&D provider, opens a passive-safety testing center in this Detroit suburb, focusing on pedestrian protection, airbag testing and interior testing.

The center will coordinate its activities with similar Altran testing centers in France, Austria, Germany and Canada. It also will provide local distribution and turnkey-equipment support for customized applications from Altran’s Concept Tech and Microsys testing systems.

The Wixom center, Paris-based Altran’s first in the U.S., initially will employ 10 people, says Rob Vatter, CEO of Altran North America. Another is under development in India and Altran already is considering expansion in the U.S., possibly in the Silicon Valley region, he says.

‟Here in the U.S. we are bringing together engineering, testing, simulation and test equipment all under one roof,ˮ he says.

Equipment at the new facility includes or will include a universal test system with robotic launchers that measure impact on pedestrians or occupants in crashes; impactor testing equipment for airbags, a bumper pendulum, low-speed crash device, barrier trolley and drop tower. The testing equipment is integrated with high-speed cameras and techniques for measuring, for example, the time a side-cushion airbag takes to deploy.

Some of Altran’s testing equipment is improvised. A baseball with a string attached to it lies on a shelf near the airbag-deployment test chamber. ‟That’s not a baseball. That’s a bird,“ says Sebastian Wipfler, manager of the new facility. The baseball was cut apart and refilled with softer material to simulate the body of a bird, useful for testing the sensitivity of sensors installed in a car’s front bumper, he explains.

The company already is conducting significant work in passive safety for autonomous cars for German and French OEMs, Vatter says. Passive-safety features will carry over from today’s cars to the self-driving vehicles of the future, says Keith Williams, Altran’s group chief technology officer.

‟We (now) think of people sitting in a car facing forward,ˮ Williams says. ‟But (with autonomous vehicles) three kids riding will be different from two adults having a business meetingˮ and such carsʼ interiors will be configured differently, posing new passive-safety challenges, he says.

Altran says it has performed passive-safety-testing equipment projects and achieved more than 240 installations for major OEMs. Its 6,000-plus automotive specialists operating in 15 countries also conduct testing for Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers. Automotive accounted for 20% of the company’s €2.12 billion ($2.5 billion) in revenues in 2016. 

Return to full list >>