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Technical Paper

Economic and Environmental Tradeoffs in New Automotive Painting Technologies

Painting is the most expensive unit operation in automobile manufacturing and the source of over 90 percent of the air, water and solid waste emissions at the assembly plant. While innovative paint technologies such as waterborne or powder paints can potentially improve plant environmental performance, implementing these technologies often requires major capital investment. A process-based technical cost model was developed for examining the environmental and economic implications of automotive painting at the unit operation level. The tradeoffs between potential environmental benefits and their relative costs are evaluated for current and new technologies.
Technical Paper

3D Vortex Simulation of Intake Flow in a Port-Cylinder with a Valve Seat and a Moving Piston

A Lagrangian random vortex-boundary element method has been developed for the simulation of unsteady incompressible flow inside three-dimensional domains with time-dependent boundaries, similar to IC engines. The solution method is entirely grid-free in the fluid domain and eliminates the difficult task of volumetric meshing of the complex engine geometry. Furthermore, due to the Lagrangian evaluation of the convective processes, numerical viscosity is virtually removed; thus permitting the direct simulation of flow at high Reynolds numbers. In this paper, a brief description of the numerical methodology is given, followed by an example of induction flow in an off-centered port-cylinder assembly with a harmonically driven piston and a valve seat situated directly below the port. The predicted flow is shown to resemble the flow visualization results of a laboratory experiment, despite the crude approximation used to represent the geometry.
Technical Paper

A General Method of Life Cycle Assessment

In previous Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods, environmental burden items to be analyzed, prior to a life cycle inventory analysis, were assumed as the main factors of environmental problems regardless of the product category. Next, the life cycle inventory analysis, in which the total amount of environmental burden items emitted during the life cycle of a product was calculated, and an environmental impact assessment were performed. The environmental impact assessment was based on the initially assumed environmental burden items. The process, in other words, was a particular solution based on this assumption. A general solution unconstrained by this assumption was necessary. The purpose of this study was to develop a general method of LCA that did not require such initially assumed environmental burden items, and to make it possible to perform a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and strategically reduce environmental burden of a product.
Technical Paper

An Experimental Study of Piston Skirt Roughness and Profiles on Piston Friction Using the Floating Liner Engine

The piston skirt is an important contributor of friction in the piston assembly. This paper discusses friction contributions from various aspects of the piston skirt. A brief study of piston skirt patterns is presented, with little gains being made by patterning the piston skirt coating. Next the roughness of the piston skirt coating is analyzed, and results show that reducing piston skirt roughness can have positive effects on friction reduction. Finally, an introductory study into the profile of the piston skirt is presented, with the outcome being that friction reduction is possible by optimizing the skirt profile.
Technical Paper

The Theory of Cost Risk in Design

In a recent paper (Hoult & Meador, [1]) a novel method of estimating the costs of parts, and assemblies of parts, was presented. This paper proposed that the metric for increments of cost was the function log (dimension/tolerance). Although such log functions have a history,given in [1], starting with Boltzman and Shannon, it is curious that it arises in cost models. In particular, the thermodynamic basis of information theory, given by Shannon [2], seems quite implausible in the present context. In [1], we called the cost theory “Complexity Theory”, mainly to distinguish it from information theory. A major purpose of the present paper is to present a rigorous argument of how the log function arises in the present context. It happens that the agrument hinges on two key issues: properties of the machine making or assembling the part, and a certain limit process. Neither involves thermodynamic reasoning.
Technical Paper

Modeling Costs and Fuel Economy Benefits of Lightweighting Vehicle Closure Panels

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

Developing Design Guidelines for an SCR Assembly Equipped for RF Sensing of NH3 Loading

The Cu-zeolite (CuZ) SCR catalyst enables higher NOx conversion efficiency in part because it can store a significant amount of NH3. “NH3 storage control”, where diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) is dosed in accord with a target NH3 loading, is widely used with CuZ catalysts to achieve very high efficiency. The NH3 loading actually achieved on the catalyst is currently estimated through a stoichiometric calculation. With future high-capacity CuZ catalyst designs, it is likely that the accuracy of this NH3 loading estimate will become limiting for NOx conversion efficiency. Therefore, a direct measurement of NH3 loading is needed; RF sensing enables this. Relative to RF sensing of soot in a DPF (which is in commercial production), RF sensing of NH3 adsorbed on CuZ is more challenging. Therefore, more attention must be paid to the “microwave resonance cavity” created within the SCR assembly. The objective of this study was to develop design guidelines to enable and enhance RF sensing.
Journal Article

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

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.