Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Automotive Manufacturing Technologies

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency.
October 22, 2019

Posted in

The automotive industry is an economic sector that involves designing, construction, supply, and trading of motor vehicles. It provides a mode of transportation in many countries like the use of commercial vehicles and collects huge revenue. The best and high automotive producer countries in the world enjoy a good income from this venture as compared to low-volume production or non-producing countries. Manufacturing is cost-effective and requires high levels of machinery. It is defined as the process of transforming raw material to construct motor vehicles and their construction parts.

Automotive companies

Automotive companies refer to groups or organizations that are involved in the automotive manufacturing sector. The creation of these companies can be described as progress for the companies to cope up with better advancements. There is a massive competition among the companies resulting in improvement in efficiency and the rise of new technologies to outdo each other. Better producers who come up with automobiles that are more advanced and more comfortable are going to compete better in business and make more sells. Besides producing the best automotive producers, the best companies entail the best framework to ensure they have the best marketing and even branding techniques an essential tool for marketing.

These companies have slogans to market their products and gain unique identification in the market. For instance, Volkswagen AG Company has a slogan that identifies its products. Volkswagen’s marque has helped the company to achieve the market globally. Some of these companies include ford that originated in the United States, Nissan, and Toyota that originated in Japan and the jaguar land rover. These producers are known to be among the world’s best producers and remain relevant in the market. They always come up with new productions or make even better advancements in their creations.

Automotive manufacturing techniques

Techniques used in the automotive sector are sophisticated and more engaging. There has been an improvement in the technology used over decades, such as automation of the manufacturing process. The application of new technologies has resulted in faster construction, reduction in cost, and improvement inefficiency. Some of the techniques used in manufacturing include:

Injection Molding

Injection moulding is a process that is useful in the formation of parts of motor vehicles by inserting molten material into a cavity. The equipment takes shape, size, and configurations of the mold after cooling. The molten material is injected into metal cavities or steel depending on the preferences in the construction material of the parts. Currently, it’s applied in the construction of plastic parts of motor vehicles. This can be molded to any required shape as the shape depends on the shape and size of material you are going to pour the hot mold into.

3D Printing

3D printing is a technology that involves the use of 3D printers to apply layers to products. The process is computer-controlled. It has enabled the production of finished products with complex shapes and improved accuracy. The application of this technology in the manufacturing sector has led to the creation of digital models on finished products. Most of the automotive in recent times digitalized. This helps to make their operation less complicated, comfortable, and updated; hence, technology plays a part and is very helpful.

CNC Machining

Computer numerical control machining is a technology that uses computers to control machines such as drills and lathes automatically. It involves feeding a computer numerical control machine with coded information that it uses to execute its functions without being handled manually. CNC is an automated technology and has enabled faster production of products as compared to the non-computerized machining. A computer numerical control machine is a free tool that is controlled by a computer. CNC is cost-effective and more convenient. This technology has helped in the production of more beautiful and more precise productions as it is more accurate as compared to manual handling.

Sheet Metal Fabrication

This technology is automated and applied in car modification sustaining and satisfying customer needs. Sheet metal is used because of its plasticity and elasticity. Sheet metal fabrication is also involved in the construction of unibody parts, car restoration, and roll cage work, thus improving the performance and safety of these components. The best producers also focus on the best ways of improving safety, whereby sheet metal can also play a role.

New technology

Advancement in the use of computer systems in this industry has resulted in rising of better techniques in the manufacturing of motor vehicles. The transition from old technology to new technology has posed a lot of benefits. Some of the advantages include faster production of products; they are efficient, convenient, and allow customization of products according to specifications. The technologies that are advancing include:

Digital Manufacturing

Digital manufacturing is a computer-based technique of manufacturing products that are currently used. It has enabled engineers to establish convenient manufacturing techniques to improve the finished product. The producers can give accurate information on the production period, and even durability as this type of manufacturing is entirely very reliable. On-demand is the following technologies

Addictive Manufacturing

It’s an automated process that applies a layer after a layer on the finished products. It has enabled the use of fewer workforces, and therefore the manufacturing cost is reduced. It has also resulted in the production of products at a faster rate, saving time, and a lower price. Every manufacturer aims to make profits after the sale of output. It means coming up with technologies that will save a lot in terms of production costs to make the difference, which is the profits.

Rapid Manufacturing

Rapid manufacturing has enabled the production of a large number of products over a short period. It’s also an automated process hence quicker. This has helped to match the demand in the market with the supply hence a stable economic state.

Cloud-based Manufacturing

Cloud-based manufacturing enables access to information from various sources used in the production of the products. It’s open to social networks and helps to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and facilitates good response to customers.

Three-dimensional Modeling

Three-dimensional modeling is a technology that enables engineers to modify tools to be used in the manufacturing process, thus reducing cost and improving efficiency.

Rapid prototyping

Rapid prototyping has accelerated the development of products, minimized errors, and led to higher accuracy in product manufacturing. It involves CNC applied in construction and soft tooling silicon modeling. Its a more efficient technology in manufacturing.

Advancement in technology has resulted in a reduction in the cost of manufacturing, improved accuracy of many processes, and minimum value used. It has also enabled autonomous driving. The independent driving of autonomous vehicles has improved safety on the roads, welfare, and reduced traffic congestion. Advanced technology has also enabled the construction of more sophisticated cars such as BMW, electric vehicles, and ford.

Automotive sector

This sector involves a lot of activities ranging from construction, supply, and marketing the products. It’s one of the leading industries in revenue earnings in many economies like the UK economy. The supply chain in this sector includes many relationships between the sales channel, suppliers, manufacturers, and the transportation sector. In the industry, low volume production occurs when there is a need for prototyping, manufacturing of niche vehicles, and initial production of new models.

Current six automotive trends in the automotive Industry

  1. Acceptance of autonomous vehicles in most parts of the world with less concern about safety.
  2. The use of internet in the sector enables the vehicle to vehicle communication, thereby enhancing efficiency in this sector.
  3. Sharing of automotive vehicles hence there’s a decline in ownership of cars, and this has helped reduce traffic congestion inroads.
  4. Digitization and automation of automotive products that have resulted in better efficiency and quicker action in production
  5. The improved requirement for social skills and is helping to reduce the unemployment rate in the economy.
  6. The emergency of hardware and software updates.

Share with your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

Why Choose Injection Moulding?

October 2, 2019

Posted in

Injection Moulding

Injection moulding is the process of manufacturing parts in large quantities. It is mostly used in occasions where the same parts are being produced thousands or millions of times at a time. One of the advantages of using injection moulding is the ability to produce in masses. After the initial cost has been paid, the prices per unit in the process are extremely low. The prices also drop further as more parts are produced. Some of the other advantages of the injection moulding process include:

It Produces Low Scraps and is Repeatable

When compared to other manufacturing processes like CNC machining, the rate at which scraps are produced in plastic injection moulding is very low. CNC is known to cut off substantial percentages off the original plastic block. However, injection moulding can also not be compared to processes like 3D printing which has even lower scraps. The waste produced in plastic injection moulding services come from four areas: the runners, the sprue, gate locations, ejector pins, and the runner system. The sprue is the part that guides molten plastic from the spout of the injection moulding machine to the injection moulding tool. The runner consists of channels that meet with the sprue.

Their function is to guide the molten plastic to cavities within the plastic injection moulding tool. The gate is the part that comes after the runners leading directly to the part cavity. After the injection process, the cooling plastic leaves solid pieces along with the sprue, runners, and gates, if not appropriately contained. After the first part has been created, the second and the rest that follows are practically identical from shape to part size. This is a brilliant characteristic, especially when trying to keep up with brand consistency as well as high volume production of parts.

What Is the Down Side To Injection Moulding?

The process has an upfront cost which is usually very high due to the testing, design, and tooling requirements. Now that the other parts look identical to the first one produced, you will need to make sure that you get the first part right when producing in high volumes. Otherwise, the process that follows including thousands of parts will be a mess. For the first part to be perfect, you will need to:

•    Design and the prototype the part itself to specification- The prototype is first designed on a 3D printer using a different material such as ABS plastic.


•    Design an injection unit tool for the initial production- This is required for generating 300-1000 prototypes with the production material.


•    Refine all surface finish in the injection moulding tool before mass production.

Injection moulding requires uniform wall thickness. For instance, if you were to cut a cross-section, you would realise that the wall thickness is about 2-3mm. This prevents uneven cooling and deformation of part shapes, their wall thickness, and strength. Some of the potentially negative aspects of injection moulding include:

High tooling cost and large lead times

Tooling is quite a huge process by itself and is only a phase in the whole moulding process. The high cost and time needed come about because you’ll first need to produce a prototyping part before producing the actual moulded part. After the prototype is made and perfected, you’ll now need to come up with a perfect mould tool that can produce duplicates in large volumes with zero error. As you can now see, getting a prototype right and moulding tool with fine details for mass production requires both time and money.

Difficult to make changes

These tools are typically made of steel, so making any changes to them is quite a hustle. In cases where you need plastic added to the tool, you can always make larger cavities by cutting away steel or aluminium depending on what the tools made of. If in your case you need plastic removed from the metal, then what you need to do is decrease the mould cavity size by adding metal to it.

Material Suitable for Injection Moulding

One of the most important factors to consider during injection moulding is the type of material used. These plastic materials directly affect the moulding manufacturing process and performance as well. For you to choose the right material, you have to consider its function and environment. Other factors to consider in thermoplastics are material strength, flexibility, durability as well as color and cost. Below is a list of the most commonly used materials:

Nylon

Due to its toughness and high melting temperature, nylon is mostly used to produce plastic products like gears and bearings. It is best known for resisting chemicals as well as tear and wear and is cost-effective.

Acrylic

This material is used to produce transparent parts like lighting equipment, window panes, and walls. Due to its tensile strength, it’s often used as an alternative to glass. It’s also scratch-resistant. One of the most common uses is to create food containers. This is as a result of its tasteless and odourless nature hence making it perfect for food preparation and storage.

Polyoxymethylene

Often used for making parts that would be made of metal, this material is used for the production of hardened plastic parts. Its chemical compound makes it very strong, rigid, and tough. Its common uses include making knife handles, gears and ball bearings.

Conclusion

What makes a material suitable for use in injection moulding machines or not depends on what is being manufactured. The materials used should meet property requirements as well as be resistant to the environment of the application. For instance, parts that are often used in the kitchen or as part of a moving mechanism would require the use of Polyoxymethylene due to extreme heat and clamping. Places that need lighting or translucent walls like public offices would mean that the material used for construction be made of acrylic material. There are many other considerations to make during the injection moulding process. It all depends on the purpose of the parts being produced. 

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

Aluminium Anodising Process and Benefits

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However,
September 19, 2019

Posted in

Everything You need to Know about Anodising

Anodising is a process that is used to convert a metallic surface into corrosion-resistant, durable, decorative, and anodic oxide finish. Aluminium alloy is the most suitable material for anodising. However, other metals such as titanium alloys and magnesium can be anodised.

The anodic oxide that is used in the process is retrieved from the aluminium substrate and only contains aluminium oxide. However, this oxide cannot be applied on surfaces like plating or painting; but is resistant to chipping since an aluminium substrate underlines it. Another feature of the substance is porosity. This particular feature allows it to be used for secondary processes such as sealing and colouring.

Why is Anodising Important?

Due to the facts mentioned above, it is accurate to mention that anodising process that can be employed to protect the surface of the metal from possible damages caused by abrasion. By anodising aluminium alloys, a protective coating of aluminium oxide is added, and it is resistant to rusts and other causes of wear and tear. Aluminium oxide is a durable, corrosion-resistant material. The electrochemical process also lets you colour the surface with dyes without the possibility of peeling and flaking.

Now let us go into the nitty-gritty of the benefits of anodising.

The core benefit of anodising aluminium alloys is that it improves its durability and wear resistance. Though it won’t provide everlasting protection against weathering, you will not have to incur the exaggerated maintenance cost. However, you will notice that anodised surfaces tend to pick up dirt and stains quite easily, but they are easy to clean using a piece of cloth or wool. Better still, you can do it using a mild detergent, and the surface will look as good as new.

Anodised surfaces can last up to 20 years before showing any sign of wear and tear. This is far much better than organic paints that peel off as soon as they get into contact with sharp and scratchy substances. Since anodised surfaces are far much harder than powder-coated surfaces, they are the best for areas with high traffic or even heavy equipment use where contacts are likely to happen. The surface will not easily take damages from contact, even when it is exposed to harsh chemicals.

Thankfully, the surface cannot be affected by the UV light, which is a common destroyer of many surfaces.

Key Advantages of Anodising Aluminium Alloys

– Corrosion resistance 

– Natural metallic anodised finish

– No risk of adhesion failure of the anodic film  

– No risk of surface finish fading

– No risk of chalking 

– No risk of filiform corrosion 

– Preservation of the original surface finish texture and design

– Optimal surface coverage  

– Anodic film is totally impermeable

– Exceptional abrasion resistance 

– Anodised Aluminium components are  100% recyclable

Are there Good and Bad Applications?

Yes, just like with any other product and application, there are wrong ways to anodise aluminium, and you should learn to avoid them at all cost. The main factors that must be considered in the process are the micron thickness and quality of the anodic element. Also, it is important to know that thinner coatings tend to provide minimum protection against destructive elements.

That said, the bottom line is that the higher the quality and the thicker the anodic material is, the better the protection it can provide against various damages. Aluminium products tend to be more susceptible to wear and tear, and the best way to ensure maximum protection is through the provision of high quality, thick anodic process.

What are the Downsides of Anodising?

While there are tremendous benefits linked with anodising, it still does not offer enough resistance to chemical damages. When exposed to corrosive substances for a long time, the surface of anodised material starts to break down. And when this starts to happen, you can lose the entire product.

This problem is mainly encountered in urban areas where there is a lot of chemical emission going on from active industrial activities. Most building materials in the urban centres tend to break down after long exposure of acidic chemicals.

Can Stainless Steel be Anodised?

Yes, though it does not have the kind of use that aluminium has, we can anodise stainless steel into different colours such as brown, black, white. However, compared to other substances such as titanium, stainless steel colours are not quite durable enough. This means that even when you manage to anodise stainless steel, you might not protect the surface long enough since it will peel and wear off faster compared to aluminium and titanium. If you want to make it more durable, there are special protective coatings that you might have to add to the mix. But that is a lengthy process which is unnecessary altogether.

 

If you are not sure whether you need soft anodising or hard anodising your aluminium, then you might want to contact an expert. It is essential that you protect the surface of your materials using the processes that guarantee longer effectiveness.

Share with your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.

Rapid Prototyping in Manufacturing and Its Benefits

Rapid Prototyping in Manufacturing and Its Benefits

In this new technological dispensation, innovation has completely changed how brands and businesses work. For you to thrive in business, you must ensure you evolve around digital innovation. You also need to scale your internal venture like environments, as well as offer new and advanced products and services to your customers.
September 11, 2019

Posted in

In this new technological dispensation, innovation has completely changed how brands and businesses work. For you to thrive in business, you must ensure you evolve around digital innovation. You also need to scale your internal venture like environments, as well as offer new and advanced products and services to your customers. 

The traditional, now outdated discoveries development strategies are going through a shift that requires new manufacturing technologies that support sustained competitiveness. Today, startups are not the leaders in implementing the latest technologies as it used to be back in the day. The established businesses are quickly adopting modern methodologies in software development and design like prototyping. Today also, the established firms are quickly translating the innovative startup processes in their corporate structure. Going forward, we believe that they will capitalize on the startup’s untapped digital opportunities such as rapid prototyping in manufacturing, in material and processes, in product design, technologies, as well as the rapid development of innovative products and accelerate innovation. 

What is Rapid Prototyping?

Prototyping is the process of validating the possibilities that a product will be capable of solving the problem that is required to. A prototype seems to be real enough such that potential users can interact with it and give feedback. In case the feedback given by the user about the prototype is negative, the firm is saved considerable amounts of time and money to build a product or service that won’t perform in real sense. Positive feedback, on the other hand, shows that the product concept is on point and from there; and aids in the advanced product development. 

The term rapid, on the other hand, is used to mean the speed in which the prototype can be produced. Also, how fast the feedback can be collected and synthesized and also, how quickly the following iterations can go through the same process. Therefore there is a great need for teams to strike a balance between creating a prototype that looks near-real so that users can provide real feedbacks and reactions. 

DMLS – Direct Metal Laser Sintering​

The technology is useful in most  industries today and has a wide range of applications including the automotive industry, marine, aerospace and defense, robotics, energy, and consumer products.

Types of prototypes in product design

Prototypes are categorized based on the degree of accuracy needed. For instance, there is Fidelity. Also, they can be classified depending on the product development stage the technology is applied.

Fidelity types

Prototypes don’t have to look exactly like the final product and can vary widely based on what the designer wants to achieve from it. As stated, rapid prototypes are classified based on the accuracy needed. The degree of accuracy varies from low to high Fidelity in the products appearance, functionality, size, and user interface.

Low Fidelity Prototype

These are very simple, and they are produced very quickly for testing the boarder concept like cardboard mock-ups and paper sketches or consumer products.

High Fidelity prototypes

These appear and work exactly like the final product. They are used in industries where unmatched precision is required and the best use of 3D printing is of essence, e.g., in the automotive, robotics aerospace and defense industries since the production parts are cut precisely.

Selective Laser Sintering

This is an AM technique (additive technology) with the lasers the power source for sintering powdered materials such as polyamide or nylon. It aims the laser automatically at the points in space that are defined by a 3D model.

What are the benefits of using Rapid prototyping in Product design and development?

It is one of the challenges that most product designers face, being unable to make in-house management stuff, or their client to realize how the end product will look and feel. While today there are tremendous advancements in the 3D and CAD technologies, it still a daunting task to explain the design aspects through the digital models. Therefore one must prove it in the first place.

Rapid prototyping or additive manufacturing technology has come a long way, and today its gaining popularity among manufacturers and engineering designers. It remains to be a fast and accurate way of realizing the potential of a product. This is why firms no longer do not shy away from adopting rabid prototyping technologies when coming up with their new products. It brings a high fidelity from the conceptualized product when you judge against the conventional paper prototyping. Here are some of the benefits of this technology in product design and development.

Realise the design concept

This technology allows one to realise the concepts beyond just virtual visualisation, thus making one understand the looks and feel of a design. Therefore designers can forward their ideas and apply them in the design before finalisation. The end client who won’t take anything short of realistic product design is also provided with a proof of concept

Incorporates changes instantly

With a physical model ready, you can easily incorporate changes immediately by asking your customers for feedback. There are lots of iterations needed before you finalise the design. With every iterative process, the design is further improved, and this builds confidence among the designer and consumer.

Saves costs and time

Rapid prototyping service, in manufacturing, it is cost-effective and reduces the time spent in developing patterns, molds and also eliminates the cost of bringing in specialised tools. You will use the same printing equipment and CAD software to produce various geometries. There is less materials that goes to waste as selective laser melting is pretty much used.

In conventional paper prototyping, eg, CNC machining, the waste produced is significant, compared to rapid prototyping where it only prints only the material that’s needed to build a project.

Minimises design flaws

Additive manufacturing enables one to identify defects in the design before mass production. Materials used in additive manufacturing pretty much look like the properties and also the strength of the real product. This it is possible to execute a physical test easily. Faults and usability will be identified earlier, avoiding risks that may manifest later in the manufacturing process.

Share with your Friends

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Geomiq. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world analytic products as they are based only on very limited and dated open source information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of any Geomiq Employee.