Die Stamping Our Way to Remarkably Better Automotive Parts

Two qualities of automotive parts have stood the test of time. The lighter and stronger the materials used for making a part, the better. Considering the integrity of the automobile as a whole, the quest for the right mix of metals for each particular component is ongoing. The process most relied upon for the manufacture of parts nowadays is die stamping because of its mass production advantage. Also known as pressing, this is the process of stamping shapes from sheets of metal.

High Strength Steels

Towards the end of the 1900s, increasing awareness of the human impact on our planet sped up the search for ways to reduce our energy use. This was most apparent in the automotive parts industry. Safety regulations became stricter. People increasingly want cars that are more environmentally friendly and that operate more cost effectively. Advanced high strength steels developed for the automotive industry are changing the way cars are made.

Steel versus Aluminium

There is constant debate in the automotive industry about whether to use aluminium or steel in the production of automotive parts. Essentially this is a quest for finding material strong enough to be safe for use in automobiles that is formable and cost effective. Most of the top car manufacturers are opting for decisions of which material to be used being made on a part by part basis.

History of Die Stamping

Dating back to 2000BC, with stone-age man beating iron with a hammer to make tools with heated metal resting on a bed or bolster, the idea of stamping metals is not new. Die stamping was first used to produce bicycle parts in the 1890s. Although die stamping produced parts with less durability than traditional forging, there was advantage in using machines to manufacture automotive parts more quickly. As demand for motor vehicles grew, faster production methods were welcomed.

Progressive Stamping

A variety of metalworking methods are incorporated into the die stamping manufacture of automotive parts. Beginning with simple methods like bending the metal along straight lines, there are nine other ways machines are working with metal during the stamping process. Flanging, embossing, blanking, coining, deep drawing, stretching, ironing, curling and hemming each allow progressively more detailed parts to be made.

Improving Automotive Parts Manufacturing

Along with developing steel sheets for die stamping that are thinner and more lightweight than ever while having increased strength, machining is becoming more technologically advanced. Modern control systems and computer aided design and machining along with improved mechanisms for spot-welding, riveting and door-latch making are transforming the automotive parts manufacturing process.

Overall Productivity

Computers are an integral part of numerical control at play in today’s component design and machining systems. Along with advances in automation using computer aided manufacturing, automotive parts can be more productively and cost-effectively produced than ever before. The precision possible through die stamping methods used in automotive part manufacturing going into this millennium is improving productivity and lowering environmental impact.

Automotive Parts – Important for the Daily Functioning of Industrial Equipments

With the development of modern technology machines have evolved as the rulers of the industrial world. It is impossible to execute many industrial processes nowadays without the help of machines and automated equipments. It is true that the use of machines have made our life easier and more comfortable. Automotive Parts play an important role in the day to day functioning of automobiles. Hence it is important to maintain these parts properly in order to have impeccable results for a long time. There are different kinds of parts that an automobile involves and each part requires a different type of maintenance. Therefore, it is important to take the help of experts in maintaining these parts.

The Use of Electronics

There have been huge developments in the field of science and technology in recent years. Like all other aspects of life, the processes in the automobile industry have been changed drastically through this development. Today, mostly electronic equipments are used in the day to day functioning of machines and automobiles are also not an exception. In fact modern cars and vehicles have evolved into intelligent and more sophisticated machines that truly understand the requirements of the passengers. Nowadays, electronic gadgets are principally used in most of the cars in order to make the journey comfortable. Literally all the major systems in a car including the brake system, the fuel injection procedure and the steering system are nowadays mostly controlled electronically. This has made the drive safer curtailing the probability of human error.

The Braking System

The braking system is one of the most important parts of a vehicle because it is responsible for bringing the moving vehicle to a halt. The failure of this system may lead to some serious accidents. Though previously the entire system used to work upon human intervention, nowadays sensors are being installed in cars so that the car itself can sense the necessity of braking and take the necessary action. However it is important to maintain these sensors properly so that they can deliver the desired performance for long.

The Necessity of Regular Servicing

Cars can perform properly if they are subjected to regular servicing and maintenance. The main advantage of servicing is that the cars are checked thoroughly and necessary repairs and replacements are made at extra cost. The whole servicing process is mainly conducted by expert professionals and so, clients can be rest assured about the quality of services that they get. With regular servicing automobile parts can perform for a longer period of time thus saving money and time of the user.

Automotive Parts are easily available nowadays. Most of the automobile companies sell their branded parts for their cars. These parts can easily be obtained at the dealership or other authentic stores. Some even cater to online orders and deliver the parts to the users at nominal cost. If users want to go for cheaper parts they can take the help of local garages and automobile shops. The parts that they provide may not be branded but they deliver impeccable performance for long.

Designing Next-Generation Automotive Center Consoles

With the trend of increased adoption of consumer electronics in the automotive industry, the design of the center console is undergoing a major shift. This article covers some of the emerging trends which are finding increasing adoption in the center console. These technologies not only provide a seamless human machine interface for when the passenger uses a cell phone or the car navigation unit, but also enable automobile manufacturers to save money, improve reliability, and create a shift in the aesthetics of the car.

With greater emphasis being placed on the user experience and an increased need for design differentiation, automotive human machine interface (HMI) has gone through a paradigm shift and is taking the user experience to a whole new level. The center console, located in the center of the front interior of an automobile, has a display and control switches for Infotainment, HVAC, communication modules, and other functions. It is an essential component of an automobile interior as it consolidates access to these systems and provides the user with all the relevant information required for an enhanced and controlled driving experience.

Traditionally center consoles have been a stack-up of Infotainment and HVAC modules with mechanical control switches on relatively flat plastic overlay. These modules work independently of each other, have different design formats, and utilize separate communication channels. To implement this architecture, there are dedicated companies supporting car manufacturers for one or more of these modules. Consumers also have the option of buying these modules separately from aftermarket distributors.

The emerging center console
With the availability of advanced technologies coupled with increased focus on the human machine interface aspect of center console design, a change is being ushered into the design model of center consoles. Technologies prevalent in the consumer space are being adopted for the automotive environment and are enabling engineers and designers greater freedom in design of the console.

Capacitive Touch Sensing:
Put simply, a capacitive sensor is composed of a pair of adjacent electrodes. When a human being (or any other conductive object) comes in proximity to these electrodes, there is additional capacitance between the electrodes and the object which can be measured to detect the object’s presence.

Using this technology, it is possible to build touch sensors acting as buttons, sliders, trackpads, etc. Alternately, capacitive sensing can also be used for proximity sensing where no contact is required between the sensor and the user’s body. Such technology becomes even more powerful in conjunction with programmable mixed-signal controllers. These integrated devices enable the measurement of capacitance intelligently to detect human proximity across range, direction of approach, gesture recognition, etc. They also enable the possibility of integrating other functions like controlling motors and LEDs to provide feedback to the user based on touch/proximity.

Evolving ecosystem:
Such changes in design methodologies require a changing role amongst each member of the value chain. Car manufacturers traditionally have focused departments for each component of the center console that are responsible for the complete design of the component, including what will show on the front panel. However, the integrated design methodology requires that the user interface be directly handled by a collaborative team focused on HMI. Such changes enable greater focus on the actual HMI design.

Such technologies also require greater cooperation between semiconductor and other technology companies with car manufacturers to enable creation of suitable devices and technologies. Such collaboration is resulting in greater dynamism in the ecosystem and providing a platform for accelerated technology development.

Availability of advanced HMI technologies like capacitive sensing and capacitive touchscreens with support for standard automotive communication protocols are ushering in a change in the design of the center console of the car which is now moving towards an integrated front panel. Such panels provide a number of advantages including better styling, uniform look and feel of front panels, lower number of grooves and mechanical components, lower tooling costs, and increased reliability.

With semiconductor suppliers and technology companies working even more closely with car manufacturers such improvements in panel designs will continue to evolve and enable a superior driving experience.