The ASSEMBLY Blog is written by our team of editors and industry experts. It provides thought-provoking opinions on issues and trends in manufacturing, as wells tips, tricks and suggestions for implementing assembly technology.
During a presentation at last week’s Assembly Summit in Rosemont, IL, John McElroy, host of the popular Autoline Detroit TV and Web show, told attendees that the auto industry will have to endure its current wild ride for another year or two before things settle down. On a bright note, he highlighted three new technologies that GM engineers have been quietly developing: vehicle-to-vehicle communication, smart materials and autonomous vehicles.
The other day, a flying car called the Transition made a successful test flight in New York. The two-seat vehicle transforms itself from a plane to a car in less than 30 seconds. It can drive on highway speeds on the road and fits in a standard household garage.
A decade after General Motors outsourced its parts-making operations in a widely publicized move, the company has just quietly acquired its old steering division. Is this part of an ongoing trend among large manufacturers?
It appears that General Motors plans to pull the plug on its Saturn division. If so, the 18-year-old brand will join other nameplates that you now only find in museums or classic car shows. But, Saturn will always be associated with assembly line innovation.
Domestically imposed costs, such as health care insurance and litigation, harm American manufacturers more than offshore competition from China and other low-cost countries. But, other factors also affect the ability of our assembly lines to compete in today's global market.
Watching astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon captured my imagination in a way that no toy, television show or movie ever could. I wonder how many children in India will be similarly inspired by the success of that country’s first lunar mission?