Hybrid drivetrain systems combine, typically, combustion engines and electric motors. (There are the prototype or not-ready-for-mass production fuel cell hybrids, but . . .) As there are more of these systems being developed, there is a need for commercial test solutions.
Imagine picking up the paper one morning, and using it to help power your appliances—or your car.
Can a refrigerator magnet provide a more accurate and faster sensor that can be used for ABS, stability control, and roll mitigation systems?
At Volvo Car Corp., the seats that go into the company’s vehicles are being tested day and night in a climatic chamber.
Ideas lead to innovations.
While U.S. vehicle manufacturers seem to think that the station wagon is an anathema (or maybe it has something to do with the profitability provided by SUVs and now crossovers), that’s not shared by manufacturers in other parts of the world.
The assembly operations within the BMW factory near Spartanburg, SC, have under-gone a transformation to help make the operation more effective.
“Theory and modeling predict that hurricane intensity should increase with increasing global mean temperatures, but work on the detection of trends in hurricane activity has focused mostly on their frequency and show no trend.
Ever wonder what happens once you drop your submission into that idea box on the wall of your office building or when a concept proposed by your group gets submitted for review?
Alfa-Romeo, which is part of Fiat, pulled out of the U.S. market in 1995 (11 years after the parent company gave up). But Alfa is coming back.
The NASCAR Car of Tomorrow (COT) program is predicated on standardization of the chassis and body elements of the vehicles (see AD&P, May ’07; Inside NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow). Which begs the question: How does NASCAR know that the cars that are being built meet the specs?
Two things are going on in the market right now.
Tokyo’s biennial auto show has cultivated a reputation as being the place where Asian OEMs bring their wild and wacky concept vehicles out from under their veil of secrecy to show the world what’s possible if imagination ruled the world.
oPtion$: The Secret Life of Steve JobsA Parody by Fake Steve Jobs(Da Capo Press; $22.95)During the Center for Automotive Research’s (www.cargroup.org) Management Briefing Seminar this past August, there was an astonishing number of speakers who cited Apple with the kind of respect and admiration that is uncommon, especially when one takes into account the fact that typically people at automotive conferences don’t talk about anything other than automobiles (or themselves, if they’re in the consulting business). Every now and then there is a citation of Boeing, but that’s another story.Apple’s product development.
The SCARA robot (Selective Compliant Assembly Robot Arm) was actually inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in 2006 (see: www.robothalloffame.org/06inductees/scara.html). According to that hall, the “claim to fame” for the SCARA is that it “revolutionized small electronics assembly.” Fanuc Robotics America (www.fanucrobotics.com) has a new robot for small part assembly applications.
In an effort to carve out a niche in the crowded luxury segment, Nissan’s Infiniti brand is working to differentiate itself by providing technologies that its product planners hope will fuel customer demand.
As NVH is a key concern at Ford Motor Co.—Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development, recently stated that they are working to “Understand every noise path,” as quiet vehicles are desirable—when a transmission prototype had sound pressure levels of 10 to 15 dB greater than the nominal values, Jack S.P.
All automotive environmental initiatives aren’t focused on things happening under the hood or coming out of the tailpipe.
We Are Smarter Than Me should be of particular interest to those involved in product development (it should go without saying that marketers will find it valuable) as it points out the ways and means people—large numbers of people, potentially—can be tapped for their likes, dislikes, ideas, issues, concerns, observations, etc. about what is being developed—or even, as is the case with an example in the book, Cambrian House, whether something should be developed at all.
Although people—mainly people at plastics companies—have been talking about polymers replacing metals in auto applications for years, the results have not exactly been as expected.
According to Richard E.
Ford Motor Co. engineers were forced to make a change to the design of the grille of its 2008 E-Series commercial van after the automaker’s manufacturing ergonomics lab determined, through virtual simulation, that assembly line workers would have to exert too much pressure on their bodies during installation. “We were looking for a specification to provide to engineering on what the maximum acceptable insertion force would be [and determined] the allowable effort would be 29.2-lb.,” says Allison Stephens, Ford manufacturing ergonomics technician specialist.
Virtual reality technology is putting more data on large screens. And it's better data: higher resolution, easier access, different viewpoints, more accurate tracking, and affordable.
Perhaps if this process didn’t have a comparatively well-known name more people would use it, they wouldn’t be chasing low labor rates, and products would be better.
It looks like high-velocity sculpture. It is how Audi has translated its sports car racing expertise into a hand-built vehicle that could be a daily driver. And the build process is out of the ordinary, as well.
Anyone who follows Formula 1 knows that expecting the sport’s governing body, the FIA, to follow through on its pronouncements is about as reasonable as believing any government will spend your tax money wisely.
It’s been a while—since model year 2001—between Sequoias. But with the Tundra out, the vehicle with which is shares lots of technical genetic material is now rolling, too.
“Innovate or Die.” It’s a popular saying, and one that suggests the act of innovating is at least as important as the result.
Once the drawing is done—whether on a computer screen or piece of paper—the design process isn’t over.
Scene 1Invited to preview Ford’s L.A.
Unless you are an expert, it is difficult to tell one brake caliper from another.
The one hand that has been tied behind the backs of GM, Ford and Chrysler is now free.
I generally avoid predicting the future, particularly as the automotive industry seems to be changing on a minute-by-minute basis.
While on a trip to learn about the 2008 Chevy Malibu, I had the opportunity to take a tour of the Gibson guitar factory in Memphis, where they make semi-hollow-body electric guitars.
Camera-Based Measuring SystemPilz Automation Safety’s (www.pilz.com) PSENvip measurement and protection system design for press brakes provides an easy-to-configure and low-maintenance camera-based way to reduce the reliance on curtain systems.
Every so often, someone with a talent for big thinking dreams up a game-changing move, a strategy that radically shifts the basis of competition in a particular area.