The automotive industry is a competitive one — and it’s only growing more competitive as technology changes the way we do everything from driving to purchasing cars. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some ways that technology is changing automotive production.
1. Robots Are Now Used for Welding in Production
In the past few years, robotics has been involved in almost all aspects of vehicle assembly. Robots now weld and paint vehicles, as well as manipulate materials and parts. As technology improves and moves to more advanced forms of robotics, we’ll continue to see greater use of these welding robots.
2. Computer-Assisted Design (CAD) Has Changed Manufacturing
Computer-assisted design software is now used for all types of vehicles, from electric cars to commercial trucks. This software has changed the way that engineers design vehicles, allowing them to test more designs than they would be able to create on their own.
3. Computer Simulation is Now Used for Crash Test Data Analysis
Computer simulation programs are also helpful in crash testing of electric and hybrid electric vehicles. This testing allows engineers to accurately predict how electric vehicles will behave in the event of a crash, which can ultimately lead to safer electric vehicles.
4. More Exotic Materials are Used for Production
The use of exotic materials is increasing as well — lightweight metals like aluminum are replacing heavier steel parts, and carbon fiber composites are being used more frequently as well. These exotic materials are lighter, which improves fuel economy and performance.
5. Use of Right Equipment paves the way for Effective Results
Robots are often paired with other equipment that can manipulate materials or parts in specific ways. This leads to more effective, efficient production while reducing waste and product damage. For example, an electric cylinder actuator is often paired with robots in order to provide the power and force required for welding, while machines like electric screwdrivers are used to reduce the damage that can be caused by hand tools.
6. Shift from Traditional Manufacturing Technologies
Manufacturing technologies involving water-based paint and powder coatings have changed as well — instead of these traditional methods, electric vehicles and hybrids use water and oil-based paints and coatings. These new technologies allow for more accurate color matching, longer-lasting results, and less environmental impact of painting compared to powder coatings.
7. Technologies Like Virtual Reality Are Used in Assembly
Virtual reality is being used in the assembly process to reduce design errors, improve efficiency, and provide employees with an easy way to reference information or instructions. It is also being used by automotive assembly plants to help improve the efficiency and safety of workers on the line. Applications like this increase productivity and allow manufacturers to decrease the amount of training required for new assembly line workers.
8. Shift from Manual Assembly to Automatic Assembly
Assembly line workers are now seeing a shift from manual assembly tasks to more automated ones — which includes direct programming of robots. This allows manufacturers to increase manufacturing speeds without sacrificing the quality or safety of the vehicle. In the past, these automated tools were programmed by hand — now, companies can quickly and easily program these tools without the need for manual programming.
9. Vehicle Production Speed Has Increased
Due to the use of emerging technologies in vehicle production, manufacturers are able to create vehicles more efficiently than ever before. As a result, we see an increase in vehicle production speed. This reduces the time it takes for new vehicles to go through all phases of development, which ultimately makes them available more quickly.
As technology changes, vehicle production speeds have increased. Now more vehicles are produced every year than ever before, although this percentage is decreasing as manufacturers continue to improve their productivity through the use of advanced technologies.
10. Production Has Become More Accurate
These new advancements in technology are also making the production process more accurate. With robots, CNC machines, and other automated equipment, manufacturers can produce higher quality results at a much faster rate than they could by hand.
Beyond speed, production has become more accurate as well. Manufacturers can now use robots and other automated tools to create even more precise parts for vehicles, which ultimately results in safer cars on the road.
The automotive industry is constantly changing with the help of advancing technologies. We’ve seen a shift from traditional manufacturing methods to more advanced ones and an increase in the use of robotic automation. This makes vehicles faster to produce, more accurate, and have fewer resources. With new advancements in alternative fuel sources and self-driving cars on the horizon, we can expect even more changes in the years to come.