Even during team-building events, Magna engineers are connected to the earth.
One recent adventure: cave exploration in Ontario, Canada, where a group of Magna innovators forged stronger relationships and got inspired by nature.
“We were roped together,” recalled Gabriel Cordoba, the global director of research and development at Cosma. “The holes we crawled through were about the size of a bucket. You couldn’t get through them without the help of the person in front of you or behind you. It’s a good thing I have a great team that’s smart, passionate about what they do – and strong technically.”
The same thing applies at work, where Cordoba and his team take exploration to the next level when it comes to products and processes that benefit the environment.
“Our focus has been making our processes more sustainable and efficient,” said Cordoba. “We have a diverse team in North America and Europe that represents different cultures and perspectives. For us, everything is about efficiency, using resources wisely, and not being wasteful.”
The R&D team continues to explore Industry 4.0 and the best ways to connect people and machines, as well as developing ‘smart’ tools for manufacturing and machines that can do double duty.
“Another focus is affordable lightweighting,” Cordoba said.
Hot stamping, a process used in 15 Magna global divisions to create stronger and lighter parts, exemplifies that effort.
“Magna has made hot stamping into a very efficient and competitive technology, and the market has grown significantly,” Cordoba explained. “The technology, which is used in structural components, has become accessible. It’s a good lightweight solution that can be used on more parts of a vehicle, every car and every brand.”
New grades of steel for cold stamping bolster Magna’s hot-stamping capabilities, and provide yet another affordable lightweighting solution, Cordoba said.
Whether his team is exploring caves or new ways to be sustainable, Cordoba said one thing is a constant.
“They always surprise me with everything they do,” he said.
Gabriel Cordoba, global director of research and development at Cosma.
Doing the Best for “Our Kids’ World”
Magna’s Gabriel Cordoba grew up in Cuernavaca, Mexico, a lovely part of the planet known as the “city of the eternal spring.”
Lemon and orange trees dotted his family’s backyard, and instead of air conditioning, they just opened a window to let in the breeze.
To Cordoba, the global director of research and development at Cosma, personal sustainability means striving for a similar way of living.
“I am gardening and growing my own tomatoes” said the father of three who lives in Michigan. “The last time I went to Mexico, I bought a mill to grind my own corn to make tortillas. I’m planning on planting my own corn this year. It’s about avoiding the impact on resources, making sure we don’t lose our skills, and staying connected with basic stuff like growing things.”
He also talks to his kids, who range in age from nine to 13, about being environmentally responsible.
“We’ve been in the U.S. for five years,” Cordoba said. “It’s a different culture. My wife and I try to make sure the kids recognize that you don’t need to buy every single thing. You have to be careful. You don’t need every available electronic gadget.”
He adds: “We try to do our best for our kids’ world.”