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Michelin is leveraging its know-how on emerging markets

Firm in its belief that technological progress is one of the solutions to environmental challenges, Michelin invests and innovates to develop new technologies for emerging applications and markets.

Michelin, on the cutting edge of hydrogen

Inspired by its vision of sustainable mobility and powered by its expertise in materials, Michelin has been investing in hydrogen fuel cells for over 20 years. Hydrogen is one of the keys to achieve our objectives for reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution and to enable the energy transition to non-fossil resources. 

Yves Faurisson Global Head of Hydrogen Activities at Michelin

Becoming a global hydrogen solutions player

As a recognized pioneer in the field, Michelin now aims to become a global hydrogen solutions player and is investing in three areas: hydrogen fuel cell production, the service offer to make the energy transition more accessible for its customers, and infrastructure development.

Fuel cell production: Symbio

Michelin aims to become a global leader in hydrogen mobility systems with Symbio, a joint venture created in November 2019 by Michelin and Forvia (formerly Faurecia) and joined in July 2023 by Stellantis. Symbio aims to achieve €1.5 billion in turnover by 2030 thanks to its production site in Saint Fons, which was inaugurated on December 5, 2023.

Symbio develops, produces, and markets a full line of hydrogen fuel cell systems (StackPack®) for mobility, with a focus on light utility vehicles, trucks, and buses. Hydrogen fuel cells are a technology that emits only water during the entire vehicle use phase.

Service offers: Watèa

Through its connected solutions for vehicle fleets, Michelin has an offer called “Watèa by Michelinwhich supports professionals in their energy transition.

In December 2022, Michelin opened up the capital of Watèa—its subsidiary that specializes in the transition to battery-powered electric, and soon hydrogen, mobility for professional vehicle fleets—to Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring.

Infrastructure development

The Group also plays a unifying role, bringing companies, regions, and countries together to make hydrogen mobility accessible and enable its roll-out to all types of transportation.

That commitment is best illustrated by the “Zero Emission Valley” (ZEV) project in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, which aims to create an adequate local network of charging stations. The project, which is spearheaded by the company HYmpulsion, in which Michelin is a shareholder, recently received several subsidies from the EU (€10.1 million) and the French government (Ademe:  €14.3 million and €2.1 million). The region currently has 4 operational stations and the HYmpulsion station in Gravanches was inaugurated on July 5, 2023.

Developing the hydrogen industry and making it more sustainable

Michelin innovates in High-Tech Materials to make the hydrogen sector more sustainable. To that end, Michelin and the CNRS (National Scientific Research Center) inaugurated HydrogenLab, a new joint academic research laboratory whose purpose is to design a new generation of materials for Membrane-Electrode Assemblies (MEA), the core component of hydrogen fuel cells and Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers.

Michelin also works to foster cooperation among hydrogen industry players in France and worldwide. Its involvement at the European level as a member of Hydrogen Europe, the association of European hydrogen sector companies, and the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, as part of the deployment of the European strategy initiated by the European Commission. The Group is also strongly invested in France Hydrogène, the French hydrogen association.

MICHELIN, a major player in metal 3D printing

3D metal printers produce parts that cannot be manufactured using traditional processes. They also offer industrial players a wide range of additional benefits, including materials savings, increased design flexibility, and agility. That is why we believe in the potential of the development of metal 3D printing. 

Julien Marcilly CEO of AddUp

Over two decades of experience in metal additive manufacturing

Michelin first used metal additive manufacturing in the early 2000s to produce complex sipes in its curing molds, a technology that is now found in many of its truck, car, and motorcycle tire ranges.

In 2016, Michelin teamed up with Fives, the leader in industrial machine design and production, to create AddUp, a joint venture that specializes in metal 3D printing. Michelin is now on the cutting edge of metal additive manufacturing technology and is expanding into fields beyond tires.

AddUp has drawn on the expertise of Michelin and Fives to become a major player in metal additive manufacturing.

With its 2018 acquisition of BeAM, AddUp added a new technology that complements powder bed fusion: Directed Energy Deposition. Its business is now based on two types of technology: Powder Bed Fusion (PBF) and Directed Energy Deposition (DED). AddUp’s innovative multitechnology production systems are designed to produce extremely precise parts and optimize productivity.

They are fully integrated into a digital environment and offer innovative ways to solve the most complex challenges. In addition to its full line of machines and parts production, AddUp also offers a selection of support services for industrial players that want to develop metal 3D printing for industrial series production.

Focus on Directed Energy Deposit Technology
DED Technology: metal powder is sprayed into a fusion bath created by a laser. Parts are created by superimposing weld seams.
Focus on Powder Bed Fusion Technology
PBF Technology: metal powder is spread out, then one or more lasers fuse the areas to be solidified.

A technology now serving new markets

While it was initially used to produce unique, high added-value parts, metal 3D printing is now moving into new markets. Today, AddUp is expanding its areas of expertise with a focus on the medical, industrial, and industrial tooling markets, mainly in Germany, while continuing targeted partnerships with major players in other fields like the aerospace industry.
  • Zoom sur une pièce aéronautique fabriquée en impression 3D
  • AddUp plateau
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Michelin: decarbonizing the maritime industry with WISAMO

With its innovation “WISAMO - Wing Sail Mobility,” Michelin aims to contribute to decarbonizing maritime shipping by using a wind propulsion solution to reduce its environmental impact.

Gildas Quemeneur CEO, WISAMO Michelin

WISAMO: Michelin's expertise in materials is advancing maritime decarbonization

The WISAMO wingsail, which was developed within Michelin's internal incubation program, the Michelin Innovation Lab, was officially presented in 2021 by Florent Menegaux, chairman of the Michelin group, at the international Movin’On mobility summit.

WISAMO, which draws on the Group’s innovation prowess and its historic expertise in high-tech materials, particularly for inflatable structures, fits perfectly into Michelin’s “All-sustainable” approach. The Group, which ships its tires by sea, aims to reduce the environmental impact of its supply chain. 

WISAMO also showcases Michelin’s ambitions for growth in new areas, as laid out in its “Michelin in Motion” strategic plan.

Understanding the WISAMO system 

Developed by Michelin, WISAMO is a huge, fully retractable and automated inflatable wingsail that uses free, universally available wind energy for propulsion. It can be used on any type of ship and can be installed as original equipment or retrofitted.  
The principle of the system that it can be inflated at low pressure using fans, putting little mechanical stress on the fabric. The wingsail is automated and can be unfurled or completely retracted thanks to a fully telescopic mast, both for safety in bad weather and to make ships more mobile in situations like navigating under a bridge or unloading at a dock. 
WISAMO is easy to use and entirely autonomous. It is particularly high-performing in upwind conditions, which are the most common on maritime routes, but also works well with a very wide range of winds. 

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