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Process automation, Automotive industry, Design for Manufacturing

Automotive product development and manufacturing processes

29 November 2022

Modern automobile manufacturing process is very different from the processes used just a few decades ago. The first assembly lines and the concept of supply chain management were developed as early as the beginning of the 20th century by Henry Ford, but today such operations are much more complex. Developments in technology and increasing customer demands constitute significant challenges for automotive companies. To meet them, it is worthwhile to ensure that vehicle development processes and manufacturing are streamlined.

What are the stages of making a car? 

The car making process consists of many phases – each stage is of considerable importance in terms of the quality and usability of the final product. At the very beginning, it is necessary to obtain the right raw materials so that the various components can meet the requirements for strength, comfort and driving performance. Nowadays, recycled materials or plastics that can be recycled in the future are increasingly used. 

The next step in the car manufacturing process is the preparation of the design, which not only needs to meet the requirements of potential customers, but also comply with the strict requirements for such constructions. Aesthetics must also be taken into account – both the interior and exterior of the vehicle should be attractive to users; in many cases, this is one of the main criteria for choosing a model. 

Once the design is ready, one should move on to testing the design, aerodynamics, safety, fuel consumption, electrical functionality and cost analysis. For this purpose, smaller-scale models of cars – both two-dimensional and three-dimensional – are used. If the tests provide a positive outcome, the assembly line can be started and automotive product development can begin. 

Feasibility study and cost analysis 

A very important stage in the car manufacturing process is the feasibility study and cost analysis. These are the processes that make it possible to estimate the expenses involved in producing a vehicle, as well as to answer the question of whether the implementation of such a project is even possible. In the automotive industry, a feasibility study should be conducted before the technical analysis of individual components. It covers both technical issues and economic aspects. 

Feasibility studies and cost analysis are of great importance in any project. They should be considered by any company that cares about minimizing production risks At Knauf Industries Automotive we use this approach to eliminate problems that can arise during the manufacturing of automotive components and injection molds. Implementing a feasibility study is also an opportunity to facilitate further procedures for analyzing the technical condition of components, and to significantly reduce the cost and time required to bring a product to market. 

Streamlining production processes in the automotive industry 

Automobiles manufacturing processes in the automotive industry can be improved in a number of ways. One of the methods used for this purpose is DFM or Design for Manufacturing – a set of processes that constitute an integral part of the technical analysis of a manufactured product. DFM makes it possible to examine the most important parameters and determine whether the design actually meets the real needs of the construction. The most important advantage of using DFM is the ability to identify serious problems in the development and implementation of a new solution still at the design stage. Keep in mind that with subsequent stages, the cost of changes and elimination of problems increases dramatically – for this reason key challenges should be identified as early as possible. 

Another solution that significantly improves and speeds up car manufacturing processes in the automotive industry is CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) simulation software. With its use, precise, detailed technical and financial analyses are performed first. Using advanced simulation methods, it is possible to accurately plan the optimization of processes for example related to injection molding already at the initial stage of a project. In the context of improving car manufacturing processes, the field of reverse engineering is also worth mentioning. This is a variation of computer-aided design that involves creating a material object that is measured and then transformed into a model. In this case, technical documentation is recreated by other methods. 

Plastic car parts development and production process 

Series production of automotive parts requires precision, accuracy and repeatability. For this reason, automation of individual processes is increasingly common – this makes it possible to achieve even greater manufacturing efficiency and effectiveness. We take advantage of such solutions at Knauf Automotive, producing plastic automotive parts such as bodywork, engine covers, bumpers and cockpit elements. These components are manufactured from thermoplastic foamed materials, which are characterized by excellent strength and performance properties. 

Knauf Automotive – car and automotive parts design 

Support in designing automotive parts as well as coordinating the production of injection molds is a specialty of the Knauf Automotive . In this branch of the industry, we have a considerable amount of experience, which we are happy to draw from in new projects. During the manufacturing of automotive components, we use only the highest-quality materials, employing advanced working methods, state-of-the-art technology and professional equipment. Our products combine the highest quality with attractive prices. If you are interested in cooperating with our company, we invite you to contact us. We provide professional advice and an individual approach to each customer. 

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