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Technical Paper

An Innovative Bicycle Roof Rack Using Sliding Rail Technology

The modification of the Talon Roof Carrier, by E-Z Load Technologies, into a bicycle carrier, simplifies the loading and unloading of bicycles onto the rack. A modification of the slide rail system decreases weight and bulkiness, allowing easier installation. A redesign of the attachment method of the rack to the roof improves compatibility with the manufacturer-installed roof rack. Mounting the bicycle to the rack is less challenging with the addition of a bicycle carrier platform. The ease of raising and lowering the rack is increased with a more reliable and user friendly locking mechanism. Added paralleling plates eliminate binding, ensuring smooth motion.
Technical Paper

Non-Destructive Evaluation for High-Pressure Composite Tubes using a Hybrid Approach

Recently, composite materials/structures are getting increasingly used in the automotive and aerospace industry. Defects issue is commonly associated with the use of composite materials/structures. Reliable Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) of composite structures is still challenging due to the existence of small size defects. In this research, a hybrid approach is used to accurately determine small size internal defects. In this hybrid approach, X-Ray Computed Tomography is used as a reference to accurately determine all defect locations, then a digital shearography method is used to conduct fast NDE for in-line testing. The critical shearographic NDE parameters such as shearing angle, shearing distance and loading amount are determined and optimized based on the X-ray CT scan result. From the comparison of X-ray CT scan results and digital shearography NDE results, the detection rate of digital shearography for defects with a size of larger than 1mm is from 91.91% to 97.30%.
Technical Paper

Numerical Design of a Low Mass Differential Housing

Lawrence Technological University's 1998 SAE Formula car needed a high performance differential assembly. The performance requirements of a competitive SAE Formula car differential are as follows: Torque sensing capabilities Perfect reliability High strength Low mass Ability to withstand inertia and shock loading Small package Leak proof housing Ability to support numerous components With these requirements in mind an existing differential was selected with the capability for torque sensing. This differential lacked the desired low mass, support, internal drive splines, and proper gearing protection. The differential was re-engineered to remedy the deficiencies. The internal gearing from the selected differential was used in an improved casing. This casing and it's position in the car, reduce the number of side-specific parts required as well as improving the performance. The new design significantly reduces the size and mass of the assembly.
Technical Paper

Optimizing the Rear Fascia Cutline Based On Investigating Deviation Sources of the Body Panel Fit and Finish

A vehicle’s exterior fit and finish, in general, is the first system to attract customers. Automotive exterior engineers were motivated in the past few years to increase their focus on how to optimize the vehicle’s exterior panels split lines quality and how to minimize variation in fit and finish addressing customer and market required quality standards. The design engineering’s focus is to control the deviation from nominal build objective and minimize it. The fitting process follows an optimization model with the exterior panel’s location and orientation factors as independent variables. This research focuses on addressing the source of variation “contributed factors” that will impact the quality of the fit and finish. These critical factors could be resulted from the design process, product process, or an assembly process. An empirical analysis will be used to minimize the fit and finish deviation.
Technical Paper

Redesign of an Assembly Line Stop Mechanism for an Automated Palletized Transport System

A description is provided detailing the results of the quality function deployment process used to identify customer needs and requirements. Through this process two primary project goals were developed consisting of integrating an electrical-solenoid actuated device into existing space constraints and providing cost reduction alternatives. A static and dynamic analysis was initially required to find the boundary conditions of the external forces imposed on the existing pneumatic device while being subjected to multiple pallets impacting the stop block assembly. Further static analysis was conducted to find the internal forces imposed on the stop arm subassembly in order to properly size the electrical solenoid. Subsequent research into various solenoids led to two solenoid manufacturers evaluated by means of a design evaluation matrix.
Technical Paper

Simulation and Approximation are Effective Tools for Products Development

To stay competitive, new products require faster development time at low cost and good quality. Defense as well as commercial industries are forced to use analytical tools to stay competitive in a tough market. The use of simulation tools and approximation techniques in evaluating product performance during the early stages of the product development has a major impart on the product development efficiency, effectiveness, and lead time. Building physical prototypes of complex systems is expensive and it is difficult and time consuming to develop them. It is extremely beneficial to know as much as possible about the product performance and to optimize its dynamic characteristics before the first physical prototype is built.
Technical Paper

Spherical Beamforming and Buzz, Squeak and Rattle (BSR) Testing

Control of annoying noises such as buzzes, squeaks and rattles (BSRs) is particularly important for complex products such as automobiles. This importance has become even more significant as electric vehicles become more popular, eliminating much of the ambient background vehicle noise. A customer's perception of the durability and solidness of a vehicle is based largely on sensory responses such as sound. Recent advances in beamforming technology have the potential to change the way BSR audits and vehicle development testing are done. This paper introduces the application of spherical beamforming technology to BSR testing and provides test results showing the localization accuracy of a rigid spherical array system in a vehicle cabin.