Car manufacturing process and materials have significantly developed during the last ten years. Previously, all automobiles’ components were primarily steel, but modern manufacturers are converting to materials with more outstanding performance, such as composites, aluminum, and magnesium. To accommodate these new materials, new manufacturing techniques are in use. However, the car industry’s ambiguity may slow the implementation of these cutting-edge car technologies. New materials must be safe, reasonable, and marketable if used for additional automobile components.
The only way to meet these quality requirements is to streamline the production process. One of these is using HashMicro Manufacturing Software. This solution can precisely and rapidly improve the efficiency and profit of your vehicle manufacturing sector. Singapore’s top manufacturing method simplifies car manufacturing process tasks for reliable output. Visit HashMicro’s Manufacturing Software price calculation scheme to learn more and customize it to your budget!
Table of Content
How are Cars Assembled?
An Efficient Supply Chain is necessary to sustain output on the assembly line, given the time-consuming nature of the car manufacturing process. Since the manufacturing process requires the installation of multiple pieces, automotive manufacturers have particular shops or facilities for casting engines, producing components, and performing metal operations.
Many workspaces are available in a vehicle production line to install components in order. An assembly line aims to increase productivity and efficiency while streamlining the manufacturing process. The assembly line concept has been widespread across numerous sectors, including the automobile sector.
A suitable supply chain is essential for an effective assembly line. Car manufacturers often buy specific components from suppliers, so they don’t entirely depend on internal manufacturing. These materials must, of course, pass quality inspections to ensure that their dimensions, designs, and standards that apply are within acceptable ranges. They can optimize the supply chain and save time as a result. A vehicle is categorized according to its design, shape, and space using the term “car body type.” The “body style” of a car, which can range from tall and boxy (SUV) to low and streamlined (coupe) or anywhere in between, typically determines the body type of a vehicle (hatchback).
Robots and humans work together in a contemporary assembly line to produce goods. Programmable robots are quicker, more accurate, and less prone to human mistakes, making them popular in the car manufacturing process.
Converting the raw materials into steel sheets for the body pieces is the first stage in the car manufacturing process. The automobile sector often has strong relationships with regional steel producers and suppliers, making it simple to get ferrous metal. It intends to press or stretch the metal sheets to the proper thickness; these sheets’ thickness varies. Stamping turns the sheets into a vehicle portion like the door, hood, roof, or fender.
Welding is the process of heating many metal components to form joints. Since each component must be precisely steel and meet quality requirements, robots frequently play a role in completing the process. Most contemporary assemblers employ sensors to verify that the placed pieces meet the required criteria.
Once the foundation structure is complete, the body is cleaned and sanded to eliminate dust, filth, and filth from the construction process. The body in white (BIW) of the automobile frame is used before it is prepared for painting and component installation. Robots will often apply numerous coating layers to the automobile body. The automobile receives an anti-corrosion coating during the pre-treatment phase. For instance, BMW coats its vehicles with a zinc phosphate coating to prevent corrosion. An implementation of filler, a final car paint coat, polishing, and inspection come next.
The previously decorative shell has been equipped with the components. The installation process differs according to the brand of the product. Interior assembly includes the installation of wiring harnesses, control instruments, dash panels, seats, infotainment systems, steering columns, upholstery, side and rear glasses, and the front windshield. In addition to the tires, the engine and transmission parts of the car are individually put into the body of the car.
The vehicle undergoes a quality inspection and testing once it stands on its own feet and has a running engine. Quality assurance is crucial in manufacturing since a defective automobile might lead to a costly recall.
CAR’s Technology Roadmaps study lists materials and manufacturing technologies utilized in 42 2015/2016 model-year automobiles, CUVs, SUVs, and light trucks. Steel makes up most of a vehicle’s components, including the floors, doors, roofs, body side panels, and fenders. These are the parts that are hardest to replace with alternative materials since they are most crucial to driver safety.
The most frequently utilized car components now and in the upcoming years are:
- Mild Steel: Cold stamping and other obsolete car parts producers like mild steel since they are more accessible to mold. They have a tensile strength of 270 MPa at their absolute maximum.
- High-Strength Steel (HSS): High-strength steels are produced by blending conventional steels with baking, which removes carbon. As a consequence, baking may convert weaker steels into more vital metals. Tensile strength ratings typically fall between 250 and 550 MPa.
- High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA): A microalloying element, like titanium, vanadium, or niobium, is added to carbon manganese steels to strengthen them, creating HLSAs. These can still be forced-formed despite having a tensile strength of up to 800 MPa.
- Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS): Modern high-strength steel often produces strengths of more than 550 MPa. They are fire and freeze composites that meet component specifications and contain various metals.
- Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS): These characteristics are comparable to AHSS and remain at least 780 MPa strong.
- Aluminum 5000/6000 (AL 5000/6000): Aluminium from the 5000 series has a magnesium alloy. The magnesium silicide that results from silicon and magnesium in 6000-series aluminum renders it heat treatable.
- Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP): Carbon addition of fiber to CFRPs, which are lightweight polymers that are very robust. Although they are costly to create, as prices come down, there will be greater demand for them in the automobile sector.
Innovative Parts Manufacturing
High-strength elements represent the future of automotive component manufacture, but cold-formed steel remains the best choice. Heat treating or hot stamping has become popular because high-strength metals are challenging to cold shape. Among the cutting-edge manufacturing techniques that will revolutionize car components are:
- Hot-Formed Steel: Steel becomes more ductile and is better able to form various forms without breaking when the temperature rises.
- Warm-Formed Aluminium: The same thing about heating metal applies to aluminum with less heat. Around 200–300 degrees Celsius are used to melt and shape aluminum, which enhances elasticity and strengthens the metal when cooled.
- High-Pressure Thin-Walled Aluminium Die Casting: Thin aluminum molds must be filled rapidly before temperatures decrease due to aluminum’s fast boiling and forming points. As a result, production procedures involving high heat and high pressure are essential.
- Resin Transfer Molding: Injection of high-pressure resins into molds results in collisions with pre-installed fiber preforms. This converts lightweight preform materials into very durable vehicle components.
- 3D Printing: 3D printing allows producers to create prototypes and full-scale products far more intricate than shaping or molding. Printing items might use various materials, including aluminum, high-strength plastics, and more rigid metals.
The previously stated technologies will replace cold forming and conventional pressing or molding as they become less prevalent. Heat shaping is the most common car manufacturing process because it produces more durable and lighter steel.
Present and Future Automotive Assembly
Both manually and automatically, spot welding unites touching metal surfaces by producing intense heat from an electric current. In the car manufacturing process, this has been the procedure to combine steel for decades, but it won’t work with non-metal components. Modern automobile assemblers must explore new solutions that may combine various materials. The following are a few examples:
- Adhesives: As plastic components expand, they contain various glue-like ingredients that may bind carpets, windshields, etc.
- Tailor Welded/Rolled Blanks and Laser Welded Blanks (TWB/TRB/LWB): Utilises a variety of metal alloys, thicknesses, and coatings to combine the most incredible material with the best applications.
- Rivets/Self-Piercing Riveting (SPR): Utilises a mechanical attaching procedure at high speed to point connect sheet material, commonly made of steel and aluminum.
- Bolting: Processes for cutting holes in two materials. To fasten them together, you may put a bolt and nut securely.
- Laser Spot Welding (LSW): Creates a weld spot using modern laser equipment that melts metals together to form a durable link.
- Flow Drill Screws (FDS): Utilise pushing and self-piercing fasteners to attach steel sheets. The screw combines interfacial drilling and thread creation since it is a fastening and drilling-and-tapping tool.
Specific adhesives that effectively attach plastic and metal pieces will swiftly replace spot welding, which is already declining. Among modern methods, riveting and weld blank may also be the most popular assembly processes.
How Will Auto Materials and Processes Evolve?
CAR’s research provides car manufacturing process timetables or “roadmaps” according to recent components and technique improvements. They account for technology and cost competitiveness challenges, but projections are seldom 100% accurate. There are elements in each cutting-edge manufacturing material and technology that might affect forecast timetables. Widespread industrial implementation could be sped up or delayed according to these variables.
- Fuel Economy: Lighter materials will produce lighter automobiles with lower fuel consumption. Customers find fuel efficiency to be a compelling selling point. Therefore manufacturers will work to meet this desire.
- Vehicle Emission Reduction: By law, automobile manufacturers may be required to increase fuel efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) pollutants.
- Autonomous Vehicles: Vehicles that don’t need a driver have many more parts than self-driving cars. Lending the other components to balance the additional load and capacity is necessary.
- Electric Powertrain: Unlike modern internal combustion engines, diesel vehicles and batteries are heavier. Other components must be lighter to make up for the changeover to electric powertrains.
- Added Content: Every model year, drivers anticipate better vehicle features. To accomplish this, elements must gradually get lighter; otherwise, fuel efficiency would decrease.
- Mixed Material Joining: The different melting points of different materials need adjusting traditional welding techniques.
- Corrosion: Car electronics may malfunction due to moisture exposure due to fresh materials degrading over time.
- Thermal Expansion: When objects are put in paint ovens, certain pieces may stretch farther than others or get more thoroughly thick.
- Cycle Time: To maintain throughput at the same pace as standard ones must produce novel parts.
- Cost: New resources, like carbon fiber, may be far more expensive than conventional ones.
- Supply Chain: All manufacturers had to be able to get raw ingredients and keep up the machinery needed to process them. Supply chain problems result from the difficulty of globally reproducing more diverse commodities.
- End-of-life Recycling: When a car is old, its parts need to be recyclable. Some cutting-edge substances don’t comply with recycling regulations.
- Repair: More intricate components come at higher ownership costs, including ongoing maintenance expenses, since repairs are more expensive.
- Talent Gap: Engineers and factory employees must get training on the increasing complexity of materials and procedures.
Regarding the production of vehicles, there is a great deal of administration work. Vehicle manufacturing software must be up to the challenge, from scheduling and planning production to materials handling and multiple BOMs. Introducing HashMicro Manufacturing Software — an ERP system designed to help you automate and streamline vehicle production. Look no further than HashMicro Manufacturing Software if you want to optimize and simplify your car manufacturing process. If you want to adopt this method, check HashMicro’s Manufacturing Software pricing scheme and check out the free demo!