How to get precise machined surfaces for commercial truck engines.
Helping manufacturers hike quality by more closely tracking parts
Taking the concept of retooling to a whole new level
Spot welding continues to be a major application area in automotive and robot manufacturers are improving the tech to make that happen as efficiently as possible.
New designs, higher speeds, and added functions address changing automotive manufacturing dynamics.
Canada’s Unifor union is hoping to somehow resurrect the Canadian assembly plant General Motors closed this week in Oshawa, Ont., after 112 years of operation.
Harbour Results Inc. estimates decline in N.A. OEM tooling spend for 2020
Carmakers, who spent $8.7 billion on production tooling in North America this year, are likely to cut their investment to $6.8 billion in 2020 and $7.1 billion in 2021, predicts Harbour Results Inc.
Process advances, new materials and tooling breakthroughs are advancing the state of hot stamping
Data collection, networking and machine design options are driving notable improvements and cost savings.
Shop Floor CMM; Robots for Pressworking; Vertical Spindle Machining Centers
To get a sense of just how serious HP (www8.hp.com/us/en/printers/3d-printers.html) is about actually doing high-volume manufacturing with its new Jet Fusion 5200 3D printing system, know that when introducing the unit, which literally uses what can be considered print heads that provide a building speed on a machine of up to 309 in3/hr, Ramon Pastor, general manager and global head of Plastics Solutions at HP 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing, talks about having a machine that has “industrial level overall equipment effectiveness,” the sort of thing that one might hear regarding a machining center, and points out that because HP is a mass manufacturer it understands such things as the process capability index (Cpk), so the company has devised process control software for the 5200 Series that includes a machine-learning algorithm, which means that the printer will get closer and closer to its target value. “We are delivering a Cpk of 1.3,” Pastor says, adding, “We ask our vendors for 1.3.” There are three machines in the series, the 5200, 5210 and 5210 Pro, which is a capability walk toward more functionality and capability. “We are building a new market, a digital manufacturing market,” Pastor says, so to that end they are assiduously working with other companies, be they users (e.g., Jaguar Land Rover, whose Ben Wilson, additive manufacturing manager, said, “Our work with HP to advance our knowledge and in-house capability in 3D printing has been an important step toward production of quality parts to support current and aftermarket customers.
Coolant-targeting Toolholders; Hybrid Metal Additive-Subtractive Machine; Fastems RoboCell
To say that the GM Parma Metal Center is instrumental in the production of assembly and stampings for the OEM would be a huge understatement: at the 2.3-million ft2 facility the team processes over 1,000 tons of steel per day.
The fastest way to put a texture onto an injection mold has long been chemical etching. Recent improvements in laser ablation have narrowed the gap.
Fritz Studer AG has been producing grinding machines since 1912. During that time the Swiss firm has produced more than 24,000 of them. So when it redesigned two of its universal grinders—the S31 and the S33—it went at the task so as to increase the capabilities and productivity of both.
The grail of metal additive manufacturing is the ability to keep pace with full automotive production. The quest continues.
Lathe maker Index designs to get more types of operations out of each machine.
One of the most significant things about the 2019 Acura RDX is something that most people are not going to know about.
Brad Keselowski, who drives for Team Penske in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, is taking what he’s learned about the importance of advanced technology on the track to manufacturing.
Connected, Vibration-dampening Tool Holder; Robust Hardness Tester; Mini End Mills
Aluminum alloy AA 7075 is almost as strong as steel but weighs only a third as much—a dream material to use for lightweighting, you might think.
Adopting new technology in design and manufacturing is usually a series of baby steps. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are no different.
Production equipment is beginning to autonomously learn from experience.
A team of optical physicists at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is experimenting with a femtosecond laser and has already shown that it can effectively weld glass to copper and glass to glass.
Makino UP6 HEAT Wire EDM system. AV450 automatic vision system from Starrett. Double-cut Carbide Burrs. The Okuma MB-5000HⅡ
Y-axis travels and secondary spindles have engendered some new approaches to familiar tasks.
Spending on automotive tooling in North America surged 48% to $10.3 billion in 2017 and had been expected to climb another 14% last year. But sales dropped instead.
As vehicle manufacturers look for the ways to save mass in vehicle structures, the amount of advanced high-strength steels used is increasing.
Flexible, 3D Metal; Denso Takes Stake in Infineon; ProJet by 3D Systems; AdaSky Viper Camera Tech
High-performance Milling The Mikron MILL P 500 U is designed to achieve high-quality surface finish and precision in the continuous machining of complex forms and tough materials such as molds.
The photo below shows a step in the process known as “hot stamping,” wherein the material is heated before it is stamped, such that the material is sufficiently pliable to be formed without breaking the tooling: hot stamping is performed mainly for steels that are really, really strong (typically used for things like B-pillars on vehicles, so that this strength helps for safety in the case of a side collision); after the material is formed and cooled it is back to being formidable, but not formable. (Photo: Schuler AG) Body panels and components for the body-in-white (i.e., the vehicle before the exterior panels are fitted into place) are stamped.
The demand for additive technology has grown as more businesses in automotive are using it as a fast and cost-efficient way to produce tooling, fixtures and more. Here’s where to see it in action at IMTS.
SLM 280 metal additive manufacturing system. Compact Horizontal Machining Center. Versatile Solid Carbide Drill. Comprehensive CAM Software. Ergonomic Pneumatic Die Grinder.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV says the company’s machining facility in Toledo, Ohio, will produce the power electronics module for the plug-in hybrid variant of its new Jeep Wrangler SUV.
Andra Rush, who founded Detroit Manufacturing Systems LLC (DMS) in 2012, has sold her majority stake in the firm to Bruce Smith, the co-owner and CEO of Marysville, Ohio-based tooling maker BTM Co.
How does the average shop go about doing all the process engineering to make sure they get the best return on an automated turning center? Murata Machinery USA, makers of Muratec automated twin-spindle turning centers, breaks it down.
Live tooling spindles—motorized spindles in a CNC lathe turret that hold a drill, end mill or other tools—have been getting more powerful in recent years: it’s no longer uncommon for them to reach 10,000 rpm at upwards of 5 hp (3.73 kW) for a short time period.
As designers and engineers look for weight reduction and design flexibility, aluminum can be an option. And this company can provide it for structural applications.
It’s never been easier to monitor and conserve energy use on machining equipment.
Ford announced today that although it had planned, starting in 2010, that it would reduce CO2 emissions 30 percent per vehicle produced by 2025, it has achieved that goal eight years early, an impressive accomplishment.
Some people insist that 3D printers and other additive manufacturing will remove metal cutting and injection molding from the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers wonder how long until they are able to 3D-print high-volume production parts. Capabilities exist right now that may be surprising.
Makers of high-volume machining centers find ways to improve production time without sacrificing uptime.
To prepare the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant to launch the Lincoln Navigator and the Ford Expedition last fall, Ford invested approximately $900 million in its Kentucky Truck Plant facility to launch the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition.
This week Tesla Inc. told customers eager to buy its Model 3 electric sedan that deliveries have again been delayed by production snags.
More than product specs for the cloud crowd, this approach to machining setup can massively accelerate things—both the planning and the operation.
From the ability to handle harder materials to eliminating the need for hard tooling, laser blanking systems can improve pressroom operations.
Laurie Harbour cites a somewhat startling set of statistics about North American automotive production.
Magna International Inc. has begun using a new torsional welding process that the company says can reduce the cost and weight of joining plastic parts.
The Infiniti Prototype 9, which is going to be part of the marque’s exhibit at this weekend’s 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that although this has the look of the 1940s, it has powertrain technology of right now: it features a 120-kW electric motor that’s powered by a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery pack from Nissan’s Advanced Powertrain Department.
North America’s tool-and-die industry faces a sharp drop in business at the end of the decade that is likely to force many companies out of business, says manufacturing expert Laurie Harbour, CEO of Southfield, Mich.-based Harbour Results Inc.
When we think 4,000-ton hydraulic presses, making sheet metal body panels comes to mind.
Tesla Inc. plans to go straight to production tooling rather than testing its new Model 3 production line with prototype equipment when the company ramps up output of the electric sedan later this year at its Freemont, Calif., facility, Reuters reports.
Sensors, motors and more are making smart machines faster.
Should PSA Group acquire Opel, which seems likely (and which may have already happened by the time you read this), there will be what is euphemistically called “rationalization” occurring regarding the companies’ facilities.
As manufacturers are looking for process changes, friction welding can provide a great opportunity in production.
Automotive components could see significant process improvements.
Certification can provide a competitive edge
Retrofitting by design can maximize machining center value.
Bob Lutz of VFL Automotive joins Autoline After Hours to discuss the newly released Destino and the future of vehicular transportation
Martinrea International Inc., a Toronto-based metal forming and fluid systems parts supplier, is building a technical center in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The 2017 Acura NSX is an engineering tour de force.
While it is pointed out that using hard turning in place of grinding for case-hardened or induction-hardened steel components such as transmission shafts and gears can reduce both machining costs and time by as much as 70 percent or more, according to the people at Sandvik Coromant Co. (sandvik.coromant.com) such gains are achievable only if that hard turning (usually performed as a finishing or semi-finishing process) is performed with optimized insert grades.
Speed, accuracy and productivity are all features of a new laser welding machine that has plenty of auto applications.
Increased automation, feeds and speeds, accuracy and ease of use are the general themes in this year’s machining software enhancements.
The tech has been around for a while, but improvements are making it all the more efficient.
According to Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, “We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind.”
Generally, pictures of the Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV) are along the lines of this: Not this: But that second shot is important, in that it is taken on the inside of the General Motors Orion Assembly plant in Michigan, where the vehicle is being built.
The global automotive industry is a solid market with different regional approaches.
New developments can make big differences in production.
As part of its goal to grow its automotive business, Japan’s Panasonic Corp. has announced two more initiatives: a lithium-ion battery joint venture in China and a new laser welding molding compound.
The reveal of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra at the LA Auto Show yesterday included an emphasis on something that isn’t ordinarily spoken of in such settings: Structural adhesives.
Here’s a look at some productive grinding equipment that combines precision with productivity.
Which type of automotive factory uses the most amount of energy? · Stamping · Parts facilities · Foundries · Machining operations · Assembly plants If you selected “Assembly plants,” then you know your energy usage.
While many people are familiar with the “Mopar” brand of aftermarket offerings, there are probably fewer who have heard of Porsche Tequipment.
As transportation demands change, Ford looks to alternative forms of vehicles—like bicycles. What’s more, it is using material ranging from coconut fibers to tomato seeds to produce parts. And sometimes making parts isn’t done with machining but printing. Really fast printing.
Honda Motor Co. says its new NSX hybrid sports car will be built by a team of 100 engineers and technicians in a dedicated center at its Marysville, Ohio, campus.
Although General Motors announced on July 28 that it was going to be spending $5-billion “outside of mature markets” for product development, it is worth noting that the company announced on April 30 that it would be spending $5.4-billion in its most-mature market, the U.S.
It’s the classic story of a tinkerer in a garage starting something and then having it go big.
When we’ve written about the Red Dot Awards in the past, it has typically been about Peter Schreyer managing still another win for Kia.
Yesterday we looked at the addition of apprentices at Audi in Germany.
Tesla Motors Inc. has acquired Riviera Tool LLC, a Grand Rapids, Mich., maker of metal stamping dies, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The latest improvements in CAM lead to reduced cycle times, reduced tool wear, better profits.
As materials are introduced to automotive production plants, so, too, are the tools needed to machine them. Here’s a look at some of the developments.
Oliver Schmidt is the general manager of the Engineering & Environmental Office of Volkswagen Group of America.
Aluminum and steel can be welded together, but the process is complex and costly, The Wall Street Journal reports.
High-Production Tapping Tool Holder
Here is a look at some of the equipment developed by Mazak for improved manufacturing operations.
Late last week General Motors announced that it is spending some serious money for manufacturing in southeastern Michigan.
General Motors Co. tells Automotive News its patented spot-welding system for aluminum allows it to add aluminum components to its vehicles without the downtime and expense of adopting more conventional rivet-and-bond systems.
Magna International is the third-largest automotive supplier on the planet.
From machining centers to robots and plenty in between, here is a look at some recent developments in the field.
Hydroforming and laser welding may give rise to lighter car seats.
If it is early August, then it is time for the annual Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Michigan, time for John McElroy of “Autoline” and me to head north to do more listening than talking, then talking after all of our listening.
You may be surprised at how you can achieve output, quality, and energy savings in machining operations.
As production costs around the world vary, global OEMs are shifting where they build products, often at the expense of long-time production sites where, essentially due to labor costs, things have become non-competitive.
While the folks up in Manitoba at KOR EcoLogic are running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to create the Urbee 2, a wholly 3D-printed vehicle, right now, Local Motors is, this very moment (until May 13, 2014), running, in cooperation with the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), the 3D Printed Car Design Challenge.
New Inserts for Machining Cast Iron What: Two Tiger•tec Silver geometries and two grades for cast iron machining: RK5 for roughing and RK7 for interrupted cuts.
Building a race car to traverse dusty Mojave Desert trails at more than 100 mph and then crawl up steep stone-covered hills is no small feat.
Here’s how metalcutting can get a whole lot better through the aggregation and analysis of data.
As OEMs and suppliers seek lightweight solutions to meet higher fuel economy standards through multi-material structures, conventional welding techniques are beginning to give way to new solid-state joining methods better suited for creating strong bonds between dissimilar metals.
High-Precision Jig Boring and Milling Machine What: Vertical three-axis CNC jig boring and milling machine, the Yasda YBM 640V3 Who: Methods Machine Tools Important to note: The Yasda YBM 640V3 performs high-speed, precision boring and milling for mold, die and complex component manufacturing, with accuracy and rigidity intended to almost eliminate any need for hand polishing.
The latest advances in Siemens NX can help speed both programming and machining.
If you think back to 1989 and Roger & Me, Michael Moore’s scathing film about General Motors—and remember: this is 1989, not 2009, the Year of Bankruptcy—you’ll undoubtedly recall that Flint, Michigan, where Moore was born, was pretty much a blighted landscape where one woman apparently had to sell rabbits for “Pets or Meat.” One can only imagine that in the years since, Flint, which continues to have a huge debt problem, would be completely Beyond Thunderdome by now.
One of the obvious-but-overlooked aspects of the auto industry is that all of those cars and trucks, all of those engines and bodies, all of those interiors and chassis are actually made in honest-to-goodness factories, places full of welding robots and stamping presses, machining centers and cutting tools devices, fixtures and material handling devices.
Ford is upping its output at its Buffalo Stamping Plant via an investment of $150-million for the production of more than 25 new subassemblies, including hoods, doors and fenders.
Yes, this is about a new model. An incredibly important model for Mazda, accounting for as much as a third of its global sales. But it isn’t just about the car, it is how they are manufacturing things like its engines that matter, too.
By 2018 the capacity of so-called vendor tooling suppliers in North American will be 64% short of local demand, according to Harbour Results Inc.
The truism that you have to spend money to make money seems to be the basis, in part, of General Motors’ investment of some $200-million at its Arlington, Texas, manufacturing facility, where it produces Cadillac Escalades, Chevy Tahoes and Suburbans, and GMC Yukons.
Mazda Motor Corp. is saving time, money and complexity by using relatively simple computer numeric control machining to mill blocks for its new line of Skyactiv engines, WardsAuto.com reports.
New Insert Geometries for Turning Walter USA (walter-tools.com/us) has launched a new series of insert geometries for turning a wide-range of materials.
Vertical grinder for small parts; Machining center for high production, Milling machine for complex parts.
Toyota must believe that V6 engines have a bright future in the U.S. car market because (TEMA) announced last week that it is investing $150-million to increase machining capacity in its Alabama engine plant and $50-million in Bodine Aluminum—a wholly owned subsidiary—casting plants for additional engine part capacity.
Highly engineered stainless steel bar stock for CNC screw machining applications.
WorldAutoSteel, an organization that curiously doesn’t put spaces between the words in its name, wants designers and engineers everywhere to know that they have developed a FutureSteelVehicle design (again, leaving out spaces, apparently in a drive toward greater efficiency), and this “optimized FSV” body would tip the scales at 176.8 kg, which would make the structure’s mass comparable to aluminum structures.
Guests from around the world gathered at GF AgieCharmilles’ main building in Losone, Switzerland, for the company’s International Technology Show, March 19-23, 2013. More than 700 users attended the event.
Some things remain the same. But there are also significant changes in the area of cutting metal.
Counterboring Inserts; High-speed Milling Machine; Flexible Gaging System
Amtek Auto Ltd., a New Delhi-based maker of forged and cast components, has agreed to buy Neumayer Tekfor Group for an undisclosed price.
ELC series machine from EMAG
Well, that’s not entirely accurate.
If you were to see the actual version of this, the MotoEye LT laser seam-tracking device for tracking weld joints at high speed and in real time from the Motoman Robotics Div. of Yaskawa America (motoman.com), you wouldn’t see that red triangle emerging from the bottom of the camera, the SF-D camera from Servo-Robot.
Horizontal CMM; VMC for Large Parts; Tools for Turning, Milling
Vertical turning; Large HMC; Laser system for texturing
Heller is working on productionizing what it calls “CBC”—Cylinder Bore Coating.
Hyundai's FD series of CNC vertical machining centers are specifically engineered for high-production applications.
A new electrode tip design allows welding of sheet, castings and extrusions.
The California Energy Commission has awarded a $10 million grant to Tesla Motors Inc. to pay for tooling at its Fremont, Calif., plant to produce the Model X electric crossover vehicle.
The California Energy Commission has awarded a $10 million grant to electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors Inc. to pay for tooling at its Fremont, Calif., plant to make the upcoming Model X crossover vehicle.
Next year General Motors Co. plans to ramp up its use of a new spot-welding process for aluminum the company says will eliminate nearly two pounds of rivets normally used in aluminum hoods and doors.
Gauges for internal threads; shoulder mills, software for 3D waterjet cutting
Audi in Mexico; Renishaw Equator; Honda welding process; Ford - Going for the One; Steel for Safer Volvo; Valeo's Hybrid4all
Honda Motor Co. says its new friction stir welding system enables it to reduce the weight of front subframe by 25%. The company is using the technology to continuously weld aluminum and steel subframes for its redesigned 2013 Accord cars.
Although the Chevy Cruze had a brisk start when it was introduced as a model year 2011 car, and although it is the Chevy passenger car leader on a global basis (it has actually been available in several other markets prior to being rolled out in the U.S.; it originally went on sale elsewhere in 2009), things have slowed of late for the compact.
Quick: What was the first Toyota manufacturing plant in the U.S.? If you guessed the Georgetown Plant, you’re wrong.
As it is Independence Day here in the U.S., we’d like to take this moment to make an observation about flags.
Penn Engineering; Mitutoyo; Delcam.
The 2013 Stage 3 Mustang from ROUSH Performance features a supercharged 5.0-liter engine under its hood that provides 565 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque.
Inserts for improved turning; thread tapping tools; interference-free five-axis machining.
Although production volumes are going up, the need for flexibility in powertrain machin-ing has grown more important. Here’s a look at how things have changed.
While laser cutting and laser welding are typically separate processes, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT; ilt.fraunhofer.de) have developed a “combi” head that permits both cutting and welding; capacitance sensors not only perform distance control but component measurement.In all, the combi-head addresses various processing issues ranging from equipment foot-print on the factory floor to clamping, storage and transport.
Heller Machine Tools and Voith, a Germany-based transmission manufacturer, have developed a process that permits the pre-milling and milling operations to produce bevel gears and gear components on a five-axis machining center rather than on a dedicated gear-making machine.To produce gears, they start with the drawing of the part.
While no single piece of equipment is ideal for everything, those looking for a better way to perform production welding ought to consider these solid-state laser systems for speed, efficiency, and effectiveness.
A HSK shrink-fit toolholding system for machining centers and multi-tasking machines has been released by Kennametal.
Looking for an effective and efficient means to grind complex workpieces? One way to handle tasks like this is a modular multi-surface grinding machine from Bryant Grinder, a division of Vermont Machine Tool Corp. The LL2U-MS can be configured as a chucker, shoe-type centerless, roll-type centerless, or center-type grinder, depending on your specific application. Which certainly means that this machine is flexible in operation.
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.
GKN Driveline has two new technologies for the constant velocity joints (CVJs) that significantly reduce weight, NVH levels, size, and improve efficiency.
With a specialized vehicle like the Porsche Cayenne there’s a need for specialization in aspects of its production. Like the use of a specialist casting supplier to not only produce the aluminum-silicon alloy block, but to completely machine it as well. seat.
Here are some things to know if you're in the metal removal arena — they'll help you get it done faster, better, and probably less expensively.
Laser welding for body and component applications in U.S. facilities are slowly growing. Some of the benefits of remote laser welding may cause an acceleration. Here are some things to know about it.
Handling parts that are hard to handle—like large body panels— parts that have a physical propensity to flex, can be tricky.
Here's a look at how imagination, teamwork, and machining skills are making this second-tier supplier a successful competitor in contract manufacturing.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)
By John R. (Jay) DoubmanIn concept, not much has changed in double disc grinding since the invention of the machine in the 1890s.
The use of magnets for cold welding comes from behind the Iron Curtain...plastic welding grows in popularity...and other more traditional methods are gathered together here, as well as a few places for you to start if you're looking for information on the 'Net.
Separately, lasers and induction heating equipment can do a good job on some components. But researchers at a German R&D institute in Dresden have discovered a way to combine the two with great benefit for hardening, cladding and welding. And the process is on its way to the U.S.
The automotive industry has used discrete event simulation for many years to investigate the capabilities of the different manufacturing systems involved in building automobiles. Here we will look at the use of simulation in body shops, paint shops, trim/chassis/final, engine assembly, machining and stamping.
Let's face it: no matter what kind of bearings are used in the spindle and no matter whether it is a linear motor or a highly capable ballscrew system, how parts are fixtured for high-speed production machining makes all the difference in the world when it comes to productivity.