Designing a new medical device is a bit more complicated than designing a toaster or an automotive cooling system. Besides the issues common to any product—feasibility, usability, and design for manufacture and assembly—there are also issues of biocompatibility, sterilization and FDA regulations to deal with.
New plastics and coatings are giving automotive engineers a wealth of options for interior design. These materials offer the promise of additional functionality beyond just decoration or passenger protection.
Mergers, acquisitions and partnerships are risky endeavors for managers, as well as workers. Sometimes these transactions favor one group over another, or end up being disastrous for both groups. Other times, however, the deal turns out great for everyone.
In the early 1980s, a product design methodology called design for assembly (DFA) began to gain popularity. It focused on improving efficiency by evaluating the amount of labor required for assembly. Since that time, the DFA methodology has been adopted with much success by more than 850 corporations.
Times were tough for the Timken Co. at the start of the 21st century. In March 2000, the Canton, OH-based manufacturer of antifriction roller bearings and related components announced plans to cut 600 jobs worldwide—after having trimmed 1,700 jobs in the previous two years. It also closed plants in Australia and England, and was relying more heavily on sources of steel outside the United States.
There's no mistaking the specialty of Tier 1 supplier American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM). This company designs and manufactures driveline and drivetrain systems for light trucks, SUVs, crossover vehicles and passenger cars.