Feature

J Mays and The Importance Of The Story

Emotional but rational. Artistic but bottom-line oriented. Yes, being a car designer is something that takes varying point of views, as J Mays explains

The Design Imperative

How GM designers are improving the company’s product both inside and out.

The Software connection

Fault-tolerant microkernel software and modules will increase the functionality, capabilities, and expandability of automotive infotainment systems says QNX.

Lasers Aid Fuel Cell Development

Developments are speeding up in fuel cells—including laser process technology.

Breathing Life Into An Engine Icon

To claim that GM’s small-block engine has earned a place in history would be an understatement.

L.A.: Cars, Crossovers & Concepts

The Los Angeles International Auto Show made a calendar change for 2006 so that it would precede the North American International Auto Show in Detroit by some two months, thereby providing an opportunity for some vehicle manufacturers to get a jump on revealing new, shiny sheet metal.

Integrating The Manufacturing Enterprise

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors have been very, very busy with acquisitions, new modules, and integrations. Here’s a snapshot of some new developments.

Columns

Insider: Another Wreck in Motown

A surprising financial loss and the parking of unsold vehicles in parking lots throughout Detroit wasn’t expected from Chrysler, a company that just a few years ago was riding high on the success of its innovative rear-wheel-drive passenger cars.

Insight: How Real Estate Can Help Competitiveness

The global automotive industry continues to create opportunities and skirmishes within the ranks of the supply chain due to massive change and never-yielding competition.

Competitive Challenges: Detroit’s Shifting Fortunes

The speed of change in the auto industry is accelerating, with Detroit feeling the heat.

On Strategy: The Low-Cost Car Challenge

Low-cost cars will begin reaching America’s shores by the end of the decade.

Objects of Interest - January 2007

Light Leak TesterThe Falcon Leak Test System from Cincinnati Test Systems (www.cincinnati-test.com) measures leaks in both headlights and taillights.

EuroAuto: Safer Is Better

According to Continental AG, 4 to 5pm on a Friday afternoon is the most common time for car accidents to occur, while Saturday noon is the most likely time to have a car crash during the weekend.

Marginal: Be Resolute

This could be a year of slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Or a time when you resolve to succeed

Dudder: Remembering My Father

About the time I was ready to transition out of high school and into college, there came the inevitable question: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” The only thing I knew for sure at that point was that the world was filled with cars, and cars were the only thing I knew.

Notable

Ford Goes Green-With Beige & Other Fabric Colors

Although there were some eyebrows raised on the foreheads of environmentalists when Bill Ford’s bullishness of the number of hybrids that the company would be producing was put on a back burner with E85 coming to the fore, Ford Motor deserves credit for rolling out what the company thinks is the first U.S. application of 100% recycled fabric seating surfaces for the 2008 Escape—and Escape Hybrid.

Racing Toward Second-Generation Diesel

What is the point of Audi’s (and, in 2007, Peugeot’s) move to diesel power in endurance racing, and why is Shell so centrally involved?

Soy Oil for 'Greener' Interior Foam

Farm chemurgy?Bizarre as that may sound, according to Ash Galbreath, director of Environmental Comfort & Engineering at Lear Corp. (Southfield, MI; www.lear.com), this undertaking, farm chemurgy, which involves using chemistry and other scientific processes to transform farm crops to industry products, is something that is being taken very seriously at Lear as they work toward more environmentally sound products and processes.

Bagged, Tagged, and Tracked

Tracking and tracing products—and the parts that make up systems—will increase in importance across a number of industries, says Holger Schoenherr, Head of the RFID Center of Competence, Siemens Automation & Drives, (www.automation.siemens.com). One reason is safety, where it is increasingly necessary, says Schoenherr, “to prove that everything that you say is in the vehicle is actually there.” What’s more, it integrates manufacturing operations.For example, he suggests, moving from barcoding to attaching RFID tags to completed systems and major components is a way of using data to aid flow.

Know EN?

Have some expertise in electroless nickel (EN) that you want to share?

Integrating Improvement Efforts

As companies are looking for the ways and means to improve their operations, some companies are trying to implement lean manufacturing processes.

Diesel Hybrid-Electric Drive

Xtrac (www.xtrac.com) and Zytek (www.zytek.co.uk) have joined forces to create a diesel-electric hybrid drive system for a next-generation small family car.