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Technical Paper

A Methodology for Evaluating Body Architecture Concepts Using Technical Cost Modeling

2011-04-12
2011-01-0767
The ability to make accurate decisions concerning early body-in-white architectures is critical to an automaker since these decisions often have long term cost and weight impacts. We address this need with a methodology which can be used to assist in body architecture decisions using process-based technical cost modeling (TCM) as a filter to evaluate alternate designs. Despite the data limitations of early design concepts, TCM can be used to identify key trends for cost-effectiveness between design variants. A compact body-in-white architecture will be used as a case study to illustrate this technique. The baseline steel structure will be compared to several alternate aluminum intensive structures in the context of production volume.
Technical Paper

Economic Analysis of Hydro-Mechanical Sheet Metal Forming

1999-09-28
1999-01-3207
Recent industry trends have resulted in growing interest among automakers in low to medium volume manufacturing. The expansion of automobile production into developing economies and the desire to produce specialized vehicles for niche markets have pressed the automakers to find cost effective solutions for manufacturing at low volumes, particularly with regard to sheet metal forming. Conventional high volume stamping operations rely heavily on achieving minimum scale economies which occur at about 200,000 parts per year. These scale economies are mainly dictated by the efficient use of the standard, expensive cast iron dies. These dies can cost well over one million dollars depending on the part, and in return offer tool lives over 5 million strokes. Die investment can be reduced by changing the stamping process technology. Hydro-mechanical forming has been proposed as a promising low volume alternative to conventional stamping.
Technical Paper

Alternative Tooling Technologies for Low Volume Stamping

1999-09-28
1999-01-3216
Low volume manufacturing has become increasingly important for the automotive industry. Globalization trends have led automakers and their suppliers to operate in developing regions where minimum efficient scales can not always be achieved. With proper maintenance, standard cast iron stamping tools can be used to produce millions of parts, but require large investments. Thus at high production volumes, the impact of the tooling investment on individual piece costs is minimized. However, at low volumes there is a substantial cost penalty. In light of the trends towards localized manufacturing and relatively low demands in some developing markets, low cost stamping tools are needed. Several alternate tooling technologies exist, each of which require significantly lower initial investments, but suffer from greatly reduced tool lives. However, the use of these technologies at intermediate to high volumes requires multiple tool sets thus eliminating their cost advantage.
Technical Paper

Modeling Costs and Fuel Economy Benefits of Lightweighting Vehicle Closure Panels

2008-04-14
2008-01-0370
This paper illustrates a methodology in which complete material-manufacturing process cases for closure panels, reinforcements, and assembly are modeled and compared in order to identify the preferred option for a lightweight closure design. First, process-based cost models are used to predict the cost of lightweighting the closure set of a sample midsized sports utility vehicle (SUV) via material and process substitution. Weight savings are then analyzed using a powertrain simulation to understand the impact of lightweighting on fuel economy. The results are evaluated in the context of production volume and total mass change.
Technical Paper

Achieving An Affordable Low Emission Steel Vehicle; An Economic Assessment of the ULSAB-AVC Program Design

2002-03-04
2002-01-0361
Vehicle weight reduction, reduced costs and improved safety performance are the main driving forces behind material selection for automotive applications. These goals are conflicting in nature and solutions will be realized by innovative design, advanced material processing and advanced materials. Advanced high strength steels are engineered materials that provide a remarkable combination of formability, strength, ductility, durability, strain-rate sensitivity and strain hardening characteristics essential to meeting the goals of automotive design. These characteristics act as enablers to cost- and mass-effective solutions. The ULSAB-AVC program demonstrates a solution to these conflicting goals and the advantages that are possible with the utilization of the advance high strength steels and provides a prediction of the material content of future body structures.
Journal Article

An Assessment of the Rare Earth Element Content of Conventional and Electric Vehicles

2012-04-16
2012-01-1061
Rare earths are a group of elements whose availability has been of concern due to monopolistic supply conditions and environmentally unsustainable mining practices. To evaluate the risks of rare earths availability to automakers, a first step is to determine raw material content and value in vehicles. This task is challenging because rare earth elements are used in small quantities, in a large number of components, and by suppliers far upstream in the supply chain. For this work, data on rare earth content reported by vehicle parts suppliers was assessed to estimate the rare earth usage of a typical conventional gasoline engine midsize sedan and a full hybrid sedan. Parts were selected from a large set of reported parts to build a hypothetical typical mid-size sedan. Estimates of rare earth content for vehicles with alternative powertrain and battery technologies were made based on the available parts' data.
Journal Article

CoQ Tradeoffs in Manufacturing Process Improvement and Inspection Strategy Selection: A Case Study of Welded Automotive Assemblies

2012-04-16
2012-01-0514
In today's highly competitive automotive markets manufacturers must provide high quality products to survive. Manufacturers can achieve higher levels of quality by changing or improving their manufacturing process and/or by product inspection where many strategies with different cost implications are often available. Cost of Quality (CoQ) reconciles the competing objectives of quality maximization and cost minimization and serves as a useful framework for comparing available manufacturing process and inspection alternatives. In this paper, an analytic CoQ framework is discussed and some key findings are demonstrated using a set of basic inspection strategy scenarios. A case of a welded automotive assembly is chosen to explore the CoQ tradeoffs in inspection strategy selection and the value of welding process improvement. In the assembly process, many individual components are welded in series and each weld is inspected for quality.
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