The car manufacturing process has changed quite a bit over the last hundred years; the process has steadily become more sophisticated and high-tech. Cars are not as simple as they once were, they now come fully equipped with the latest technology for both entertainment and safety. Since cars are such an integral part of modern society, it is no surprise that their production is now a part of the innovation industry. Carmakers are clamoring to find new ways to design and produce cars to maximize efficiency.
Most people have very limited knowledge about how cars are made. There is typically no desire to question how the vehicle was built; the majority of people just get in the car and drive. Most cars today are built using the assembly line process, the same production process that has been around for the last century. Using this process, workers only assemble one part of the car. One worker only works on the same part of the car, day after day, so even workers at an auto plant may not have a full understanding of how the complete product is made. The introduction of the assembly line revolutionized the auto industry, streamlining the manufacturing process and making it possible to produce cars more quickly.
As the auto industry has grown, the techniques involved in building cars have become more and more precise. This is due to measuring and accuracy improvements, made possible by more advanced technology. Companies like Transducer Techniques, makers of smart load cell systems, are using this advanced technology to build parts that include data acquisition systems and data logging software. Their Transducer Electronic Data Sheet, or TEDS, allows for the simplification of interfacing sensors with instrumentation. Some of the advantages of these systems are saving time and money with no programming required, quick and easy interchanging of load cells, and minimizing mistakes in scaling and calibration.
Today, there are many companies experimenting with the automobile manufacturing process. Local Motors, a Phoenix, Arizona based company, has developed a car made using a 3-D printer. The car, the Strati, is a two-seat electric car that has a range of 120 miles and a top speed of 40mph. The car’s design was chosen from over 200 submissions to the company’s website and was built in only 44 hours. The company believes that they can get production of the car down to less than ten hours and ideally would like to be able to make the car while the customer waits. To compare, cars being built in Detroit and Germany are produced in about ten hours on the assembly line.
The production of cars has changed a lot over the last 100 years, and change is certain to continue. With a constant influx of innovators looking to improve the process, cars are bound to become more efficient and advanced. Innovators are using different products and techniques to build cars, and automobiles are being designed to be safer and more environmentally friendly.