In recent years the car has undergone something of a transformation. From a vehicle that was simply used to get a person from A to B, it now has innovative features such as computer functions, greener fuel systems and extensive safety features. The complexity of some of these features has led to the need for manufacturing methods that are intricate and precise without the risk of sending production costs soaring.

What will happen to human involvement in car manufacture?

There will always be a need for human involvement in car manufacture – design and innovation has to come from humans! However, when it comes to the manual aspect of creating a motor vehicle, humans may find themselves taking a back seat and letting machines do much more of the work.

It is also humans who come up with the equipment that is needed for accurate design and development, such as taking measurements and weights. With so many automated processes in the manufacture of cars and the development of ever more sophisticated vehicles, the importance of accuracy should not be underestimated. Parts like those from Transducer Techniques offer that accuracy, ensuring that there is no guesswork in the development process.

What technology is in use for car manufacture now?

One of the main innovations in car production is the growing use of robotic technology. For many manufacturers, robotic technology is used for much of the process of putting the car together. Honda, for example, has created a new manufacturing plant in Yorii where fewer robots can carry out more work, handling tasks such as welding, attaching glass, mounting seats and fitting the doors. This has had the benefit of cutting assembly costs considerably.

Engineers designing and developing new technologies in car manufacture are increasingly making use of 3D printing. One example is that of students from a Danish university, who used a 3D printer to create the hundreds of parts they needed to put their car together. The parts are bright green and made from thermoplastic filament. One of the reasons they turned to 3D printing is the cost – it was far cheaper to produce the parts that they wanted this way than to make them from materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber. In addition, these parts are much lighter than the metal parts and are easily replaceable – if one breaks, another is printed. The same processes have now been adopted by other organizations.

All of those involved have agreed that 3D printing is the way forward for many different products – not just cars. This is partly due to the simplicity and the many advantages of this equipment. The same applies to robotic technology – it has been refined so that the robots can carry out more tasks more efficiently and this is only set to improve in the future.

The car manufacturing industry is one that is evolving very quickly at the moment, and research and development into new and innovative techniques is essential if manufacturers want to stay at the top of their game.