Jim is a senior editor of ASSEMBLY and has nearly 35 years of editorial experience. Before joining ASSEMBLY, Camillo was the editor of PM Engineer, Association for Facilities Engineering Journal and Milling Journal. Jim has an English degree from DePaul University.
Whether vehicles are powered by gas, batteries or a combination of the two, energy efficiency is a priority in the automotive industry today. Weight reduction, or lightweighting, is one way that automakers are trying to make vehicles more energy efficient. Engineers are incorporating a raft of new materials in vehicle designs, including composites, engineering plastics, aluminum, and higher strength, lighter-weight steels. According to the Center for Automotive Research, various steel alloys accounted for some 65 percent of the weight of an average vehicle structure in 2020. Aluminum alloys represented 13 percent, while plastics and composites made up 6 percent. By 2040, however, steel alloys will account for only 46 percent of that weight, while aluminum alloys will comprise 26 percent and plastics and composites will represent 15 percent. Assembling this hodge-podge of materials will require new ways of fastening and joining. Tried-and-true technologies like resistance spot welding will no longer be able to do the job. In this workshop, you’ll learn about the latest technologies for joining them.