Speed and Quality

Can production speed and quality coexist?

Pitch and Crash

Until Instron Structural Testing Systems (Canton, MA) added a modular pitching unit to its servo-hydraulic crash sled, there was no non-destructive method to test the effect of pitching—the lift and roll of the rear of the vehicle in a frontal crash—on occupants.

This Software Could Even Improve Jennifer Garner's Looks

"Design has become much more of a differentiator." That's Doug Walker, president & CEO of Alias Systems Corp.

Siemens VDO’S Innovative Controls

The "EasyControl" controller prototype from Siemens VDO Automotive Corp.

Saturn Re-emerges

If a vehicle can be considered a "coming out" party for a brand, then that's exactly what the Saturn Relay is.

Denso 2015

Mitsuo Matsushita has hardly gotten his seat warm as the new president and CEO of Denso International America, Inc. and he’s already talking about where the company wants to be in 2015.

Achieving Economic Survival

Imagine that you are running a plant.

GM's Two-Seat Technology Showcase

Hydroforming is essential to the Kappa platform that underpins the Pontiac Solstice.

Touchscreens That Touch Back

Touchscreens may have the virtue of replacing rows of buttons, but pushing your finger on a smooth piece of glass lacks the tactile satisfaction of operating an honest-to-goodness button or knob.


Designing Safer Bodies The Volvo Way

Soon after the car division of Volvo was bought by Ford in 1999, Volvo engineers were overwhelmed.

Faster Machining

When Winfried Benz, managing director, LiCONMT relates the types of systems and machines that the company has provided to companies (Volkswagen is a big customer) for a variety of parts, ferrous and nonferrous alike, it becomes clear that there is a focus on high uptime, especially as he's talking about equipment that typically runs in the range of 100,000 to two million parts per year.

Ford's non destructive evaluation lab: Looking Into Problems

Ford's Non Destructive Evaluation Laboratory (NDEL) sits in a non-descript white concrete building in the middle of the test track next to its Livonia, Michigan, transmission plant.

Steel Strikes Back

"It's my job to prepare my best possible case, poke holes in my competitor's case, and convince the customer to use steel for this application." The speaker is J.P.

Do Small Companies Need PLM?

Finding and reusing product designs, quickly getting to the right design revision, and just plain working on the same design revision in a collaborative work environment—these alone are all good reasons to implement product lifecycle management (PLM) systems. But it seems small companies aren't really buying into PLM; they are just now implementing and getting settled with product data management (PDM)—and getting what they would expect from "PLM."

Sweden Does Telematics

In automotive circles Gothenburg is known mainly as the home of Volvo. But Sweden's second largest city has become a hotspot for telematics research that is drawing global attention.

Extended Stability

Suppliers are adding greater functionality to electronic stability control systems to improve safety and entice car buyers to check the ESC option box.

Hush: The Buick LaCrosse

Back in 2001, when Buick designers and engineers were working on what would become the replacement for not one sedan but two—the Regal and the Century—Bob Lutz took a look at what they were doing.

Chrysler Group Goes To Extremes

That is a real situation.


Building Aston Martin Engines in Cologne—By Hand

Against a background of deep gloom surrounding Germany's automotive industry—Volkswagen recording a €47-million ($60-million) loss in the first nine months of 2004.

No Air? No Problem!

Another run-flat tire?   Not exactly.

Wallowing in the Mud

"On the flight home I asked myself, 'How could such truly talented people allow them-selves to get into such a morass?'"—Louis V.

Spin This!

A friend and former colleague refers to me as "the most cynical man I know." In some respects, he's right—especially when it comes to the auto industry and its various players.

The Innovation Imperative

 We have been talking a lot about innovation in this column—how it has been intensifying into a "solutions race" in some fields where there are multiple, alternative approaches, each with its own fans, and how innovation can be leveraged through some basic disciplines that characterize the suppliers whose margins are consequently higher.

How To Simplify Your Job

No matter what your job, almost surely it can be made easier than it is now.