Production Scenarios for 2003 and Beyond

Zero percent on; zero percent off.

DCX's Flashware

One of the major dilemmas that automakers are increasingly facing is how to keep pace with the electronics revolution. Within days of a design freeze, some new electronic feature is almost bound to have been introduced that will date the vehicle if it is not included.

Marginal: No Secrets

What is the secret to success? If I had the definitive answer, it wouldn't be a secret. What's more, I'm not so certain that if everyone did have the secret, there would be such a thing as success. It is, after all, a com-parative state of affairs. That is, if everyone was successful, would anyone be successful?

Communications: A Two Way Street

In a revealing communications experiment, a large group of trainees received elaborate instructions on how to arrange five dominoes in a certain pattern. The trainees were not allowed to ask the instructor any questions.

Plastic's Possible Future

From engineering and product perspectives, the characteristics of plastics for automotive applications that Dr. Michael M. Fisher, director, Technology, American Plastics Council (APC; Arlington, VA), cites are interesting and impressive

The Trouble with False Gods

Politics is the art of making the possible difficult, and the impos- sible law. And in the case of California's decree that automakers must reduce CO2 emissions 10% by 2009, it also has the perverse effect of forestalling any innovation before that time. The only known way to reduce CO2 emissions is to decrease fuel consumption.

Genchi-Genbutsu and Creating the Toyota 4Runner

With the proliferation of SUVs on the market right now, the folks at Toyota knew that there was a big challenge in developing the new 4Runner. So Toyota engineers applied a methodology that got them thinking about what really needed to get done.

Auto IT Moves Back to Basics

When it comes to information technology (IT), today the auto industry is going "back to basics." Some of the major strategies pursued over the last decade either have not panned out or have already been played out. North American-based automakers are back into familiar trenches.



Engineer-turned-inventor Ulf Arens claims his ignition booster improves combustion efficiency, power output, and fuel economy. And a number of independent tests show he may be right. Yet, when he showed it to executives at one domestic automaker, he was ridiculed and shown the door before it could be tested in-house by the platform group that invited him.

Metaldyne: Supporting Strategy with Technology

Looking to expand its role beyond that of a chassis component supplier, Metaldyne is developing the ways and means to provide automakers with modules, as well. To do so, its engineers are developing technologies that can provide a competitive advantage. One case in point is found in its Edon, Ohio, facility.

Remote Laser Welding: A Few Things to Know

Laser welding for body and component applications in U.S. facilities are slowly growing. Some of the benefits of remote laser welding may cause an acceleration. Here are some things to know about it.

Heavyweight Horsepower!

The Hemi V8 returns to battle in a truck, but also will see use in future Chrysler passenger cars. Light, compact and simple, the 5.7-liter overhead valve engine is surprisingly modern, and plenty potent.


Though developed from the CRV, Honda's Element demanded concurrent design and development, as well as a different way of managing cost.

Advancing Cluster Technology

If European automotive customers are any indication, then there may be a greater acceptance of electronics-based gages in the not-too-distant future. This could have some major effects on packaging, manufacturing, and costs—good ones.

Creating the Chassis of Tomorrow

While GM is working hard at developing fuel cells for vehicular use, don't overlook the implications of its new chassis architecture. It has the potential to affect everything from interior designs to the number of manufacturing plants needed to produce vehicles.

SENSORS to Improve Operational-and Product-Performance

Sensors are controlling, monitoring, measuring, verifying, and more—often simultaneously— in OEM and supplier plants worldwide. Here's a brief look at some of those applications.