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When the moving assembly line debuted at Ford’s Highland Park factory 100 years ago, the world was becoming a smaller place, thanks to canals, flying machines, road maps and highways.
As household appliance manufacturers continue using thinner sheets of material, engineers must address new challenges and explore alternative joining solutions.
Several big hurdles need to be overcome before there will be more widespread use of carbon-fiber composites in the auto industry. Major issues include material cost, high-volume processing, repeatable quality and overall cost effectiveness.
Carbon-fiber composites offer numerous benefits to automotive manufacturers, such as weight reduction. However, they pose a wide variety of joining challenges to engineers, who must choose between adhesive bonding or mechanical fastening. Each assembly process has many pros and cons.
Carbon-fiber composites offer numerous benefits to automotive manufacturers, such as weight reduction. However, they pose a wide variety of joining challenges to engineers, who must choose between mechanical fastening or adhesive bonding. Each assembly process has many pros and cons that must be evaluated.
Traditionally, it has been difficult to manufacture large quantities of carbon-fiber composites. That drawback has hindered widescale use of the lightweight material in the mainstream auto industry. However, engineers in Germany have developed a new process that makes it possible to use injection-molding technology.
A European consortium called ACOMPLICE (Affordable Composites for Lightweight Car Structures) recently embarked on a two-year program to develop low-cost materials for mainstream automotive applications.
In 1987, Apple Computer Inc. introduced FireWire. It was the first direct-connect digital interface (IEEE1394) and standard (DCAM) on the market.
Robotic screwdriving offers numerous advantages to manufacturers, such as flexibility and repeatability. However, it’s easy to underestimate the requirements of automation. Sometimes, engineers specify the wrong type of robot or overlook parts feeding issues.
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