Notable

Calculating Noise

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.

Optimized Front End Module

HBPO, the joint venture between Hella, Behr, and Plastic Omnium (HBPO; www.hbpo-group.com), continues to develop its front end modules for tighter gaps, smaller cross sections, and greater parts consolidation.

New Mag Process for Cost-Effective Components

“With T-Mag you can make a magnesium alloy engine block that is two-thirds the weight on an aluminum alloy engine block,” claims Sam Tartaglia, business development manager at the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (www.csiro.au). What’s more, the process is said to be cost effective vis-à-vis processing cost requirements.

Better Broaching Through (Steel) Processing

Although the changes made to the steel are said to be small, the benefits of “Advanced Final Cooling” steel, developed by The Timken Co. (www.timken.com) are rather significant. “We have made subtle changes to the steel manufacturing process to enhance the broachability of the steel,” according to Shawn Seanor, director of marketing and business development for Timken’s steel division.

Get the Drift? Small Cars Go Rear-Drive

Wonder what the hottest powertrain layout in the world is right now?

The Return of Alfa

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.

Hyundai Goes Euro Style

Hyundai will be launching a new European-inspired vehicle in the U.S. market in the spring of ’08 that is named the “Elantra Touring.” The vehicle, a compact five-door hatch, will be available in Europe as the i30.

Mercedes Tweaks SUV Range

At a time when most SUV purveyors are considering downsizing displacement of their V8 engines to improve fuel economy, Mercedes-Benz is putting bigger engines under the hoods of its ML- and GL-Class SUVs.

Mazda2: Light and “Speedy”

Mazda engineers took their weight savings goal on the new Mazda2 very seriously, lowering the weight of the new car by 220 lb. when compared to its 2,300-lb.

PT Cruiser Rolls On. And On.

The Woodward Dream Cruise has become an August tradition on the street that drag racing made famous in the northern Detroit suburbs back when cars had carburetors and the only kind of airbags were the hot air bags that were throwing down lame claims about their rides.

Magnetic Pulse Welding: Ready for Prime Time?

Development of magnetic pulse welding systems have been relegated to research & development groups at major OEM and Tier 1 suppliers (see: Marriage of Metals and Magnets), but Hirotec America (www.hirotecamerica.com) says it is ready to move the technology from the lab onto the production line with its C3 (clean, cost-effective cold welding) technology.

Columns

Marginal: Facing Reality

Alan Mulally had them from the start.

Insider: The Nardelli Factor

The ink on the divorce papers was barely dry when Cerberus Capital Management installed a new CEO at Chrysler.

Competitive Challenges: The Big Three & the UAW

Will this year’s labor negotiations really make the OEMs profitable again? Well, they’ll help, but. . .

EuroAuto: Generating Interest in Engineering & Manufacturing

A recent study indicates that a key way to generate interest among students in engineering and manufacturing is by proving that it isn’t dull and boring. One solution: developing race karts.

Insight: Renewed Commitment to Mexico

The recent coverage of the debate about immigration legislation brought to mind the interest and concerns about low-cost labor that were much in the news back in 1994, when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect.

Profiles: Something Cool From Canada

Powersport equipment design requires flowing, edgy forms, an understanding of the role of the rider, and a multi-disciplinary team, says BRP’s Etienne Guay.

Objects of Interest - September 2007

LED-Based Inspection SystemSCHOTT’s (www.us.schott.com) Surface Mounted Display uses high-brightness LEDs for high-volume web scanning and diffuse surface inspection for part quality and defects.

Dudder: The All-American

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but none come better than this.

Feature

CHRYSLER’S ’08 MINIVANS: Raising The Bar

Are minivans going away? Not according to the sales numbers. And the rise of “crossovers” notwithstanding, Chrysler is bullish on the future of the vehicle architecture, and has improved on its vehicles for the segment it pioneered.

‘08 HONDA ACCORD: Continuous Improvement Action

They’ve come a long way in eight generations. A remarkably long way. And while they’re touting safety and fuel efficiency, style and comfort, Honda designers and engineers haven’t forgotten one factor: fun.

Flexible, Capable, Production Machining

If you’re looking at running medium to high-volumes of powertrain components and don’t want to be stuck with an expensive monument when part requirements change, you might consider this new approach to flexible systems engineered by Heller.

Along Came A Spyder

Canada’s Bombardier Recreational Products questioned what a power sport product for the road might look like. This was the answer.

Designing Things Right

Here are three new CAD tools. One focuses on part assemblies. Another focuses on displaying CAD models. The last focuses on making CAD available everywhere for everybody.

Engineering A Serious Chassis

When you’re developing a chassis for a vehicle that weighs 63,300 lb. and that not only has to travel on land and water, but must deal with people shooting at it, you do it very, very seriously.