Articles by Austin Weber

Composite Joining: Fastener Pros and Cons

May 2, 2013

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.


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New Carbon-Fiber Process Allows Mass-Production

May 1, 2013

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.


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European Consortium Hopes to Spur Auto Composites Use

May 1, 2013

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.


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Assembling Next-Generation Batteries

Manufacturers are scrambling to increase production yields.
May 1, 2013

Batteries are an environmentally friendly form of energy with fewer pollution and disposal issues than other green technologies.


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Does Color Matter on the Plant Floor?

May 1, 2013

Color affects mood and perception. It’s amazing how a slight change in color can alter the look and feel of a room. I found this out first-hand recently after doing a little painting at home. Whenever I step into an assembly plant, I always try to take a quick look at the color of its floor, walls and equipment. Usually, it’s nothing to get too excited about.


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Optimizing Parts Bin Layout

Engineers must minimize excessive movement while maximizing productivity.
May 1, 2013

Parts bins have been synonymous with assembly lines ever since the mass-production process was pioneered by Ford Motor Co. engineers 100 years ago.


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BYU Engineers Push Product Design Boundaries

Traditionally, automobiles, lawn mowers, airplanes, dishwashers and other products contain a wide variety of rigid parts connected by joints that are designed to be strong and stiff.
May 1, 2013

Compliant mechanisms are jointless, elastic structures that reduce costs and simplify product designs. These single-piece flexible structures elastically deform without joints to produce a desired functionality.


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Handheld Crimping Tools

Hand tools are ideal for prototyping, repair and small production runs.
April 1, 2013

A fully automatic stripping and crimping system might be the “glamour” technology of wire harness assembly shops. However, there’s still plenty of work for handheld electric, pneumatic and manually powered crimping tools.


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What Is the Oldest Assembly Plant in the World?

March 28, 2013

Today, the plant where BMW assembles the Mini is celebrating its 100th birthday. The first motor car to emerge from the factory in Oxford, England, on March 28, 1913, was a Bullnose Morris Oxford.


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Robotic Screwdriving Mistakes to Avoid

March 22, 2013

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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Multimedia

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Image Galleries

Behind the Scenes at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant

People are the heart and soul of the 2012 Assembly Plant of the Year. This slideshow shows some of the men and women who build three different types of electrified vehicles alongside traditional gas-powered cars on the auto industry’s most flexible assembly line—Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Photos courtesy Ford Motor Co.

Podcasts

Live from The Assembly Show, the hosts of Manufacturing Revival Radio sit down with Adam Malofsky, Ph.D., president and CEO of Bioformix to discuss his company’s innovative, energy-saving adhesives and polymers, which cure without the need for heat or light. 

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Welding: Principles & Practices

This text introduces students to a solid background in the basic principles and practices of welding.

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