If you go through the history of transfer lines, names like Cross and Lamb come to the fore, especially as regards the massive machining systems made for blocks and heads. Robert Pelachyk, in his career, worked for those companies and others. He’s seen a lot of changes when it comes to production systems for powertrain applications, be they in automotive facilities or plants where engines are produced for agricultural and off-road equipment use.
Here's an overview of the study of assembly plant productivity that gets the undivided attention of all automakers: "The Harbour Report." Although the Big Three companies are getting better, they still have a way to go. But given the levels of competition, better won't be good enough for some plants, it seems.
Topology optimization cuts part development time and costs, material consumption, and product weight. And it works with additive, subtractive, and all other types of manufacturing processes, too.
Although the RAV4 has plenty of heritage in the small crossover segment, competition has gotten a whole lot tougher, so Toyota has made significant changes to the fourth-generation model.