SOLIHULL, UK—The humble rivet. That’s what Demos Hoursoglou, Jaguar Land Rover’s body-in-white manufacturing manager here, puts near the top of his list of worries about assembling the aluminum body of the Range Rover. The 2014 Range Rover body uses 17 types of rivets, 3,722 per vehicle. If one jams in a gun or is inserted incorrectly, production stops.
REDDITCH, UK—GKN Aerospace has begun a project that aims to automate the assembly of aircraft structures with the goal of creating high-quality wing structures 30 percent faster than is possible today.
When K.A. Swanstrom founded Penn Engineering & Manufacturing Corp. in 1942, he did so with a revolutionary new product: a self-clinching fastener that provides load-carrying threads in metal sheets too thin to be tapped.
As U.S. furniture manufacturers revamp domestic production after more than a decade of offshoring, they need help implementing state-of-the-art assembly lines. Many of those companies are seeking assistance from the Franklin Furniture Institute at Mississippi State University.