Magnesium: The Other Light Metal

Several magnesium alloy parts are incorporated into the steering column for the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique. ITT-Automotive employs magnesium in its design of an ABS support bracket for Chrysler minivans. Various components produced from M.A. Hanna’s Controlled Color Natural line of resins. Previous Next By Colleen A. DeJong Pure magnesium is about one-third lighter […]

Lightweighting Special Coverage: Software for Lightweighting Composite Parts

HyperSizer Express tightly couples with FEA, determining the best-performing concept (solid laminate, honeycomb, or foam sandwich), and the minimum number of plies and core material thickness that match the design and failure criteria for, as shown here, an automobile hood. This display shows the optimum number of plies—0 degree carbon fiber weave plies—to meet all […]

Lasers Aid Fuel Cell Development

Related: Automotive Chassis Automotive Production Could the automotive fuel cell be ready for production sooner than some people think? That seems to be the case. According to John Mendel, senior vice president, Automobile Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Honda will introduce a production version of a fuel cell vehicle in 2008. And while GM continues […]

Laser Ablation Improves Texture Consistency & Quality

A laser ablation system. Inside the work area. A pulsed ytterbium fiber laser—20 or 50W—is used for ablation. Textured parts produced via laser ablation. (Source: J. & F. Krüth GmbH, Form-Ätz-Technik) Aluminum tool textured with laser ablation; processing time: 1.5 days. (Source: J. & F. Krüth GmbH, Form-Ätz-Technik) Blow molding tool that’s both textured and […]

Introducing “IoT Platforms” – Part 1

Remote device access is not new in factory automation. However, that access has been dramatically changed lately, enough to change how future factory systems will be designed, installed, managed and used. “Traditional machine-to-machine [M2M] solutions typically rely on point-to-point communications using embedded hardware modules and either cellular or wired networks,” says Chantal Polsonetti, vice president, […]

Inside JCI Northwood

The line at the JCI Northwood plant consists of 27 stations separated into four zones. The line is laid out so that there is accessibility to both sides of the assembly. The cockpit assembly built by Johnson Controls for the 2002 Jeep Liberty. Previous Next Related: Automotive Electronics Automotive Supply Side Related Suppliers Johnson Controls […]

Hewlett-Packard Gets Into the CNC Business

Related: Automotive Production Related Suppliers Hewlett Packard Co.  It’s called the HP Open Architecture Controller; it is a computer numerical control (CNC) system for machine tools, and yes, it is from Hewlett-Packard (Palo Alto, CA). Specifically, it comes out of the HP Test and Measurement Organization, which is, interestingly enough, the original business unit of […]

Fixturing for High-Speed Machining

Related: Automotive Production Related Suppliers BIG KAISER Precision Tooling Inc. Ingersoll Cutting Tool Co.  High-speed machining for production operations is generally figured to be that metal removal which is performed by a machine equipped with a spindle that’s capable of spinning a tool at 25,000 rpm or more. Clearly, a driver for using equipment that […]

Fast Turbocharger Design

TurboMatch software provides system-level modeling of key components in a turbocharger system, speeding the design cycle. Related: Automotive Design Automotive Engineering Digital Domain TurboMatch software from Concepts NREC ( bridges the gap between engines and turbochargers by allowing users to design and analyze turbochargers optimally matched to a specific engine system. The software consists of […]

Digital Mock-Up Grows Up

“If computer-aided design [CAD] wasn’t so hard to use, took so much space, and sucked so much compute power, you wouldn’t need DMU because you could use CAD. But, you can’t, so that’s why there’s DMU,” sums up Charles Foundyller, CEO of the research firm Daratech Inc. (Cambridge, MA;, speaking of the relevance of […]