Saturday, August 30, 2008

Automotive sector related stories

Electronics in the developments of car engines 0
Leaders in the automotive electronics domain are already working onstand alone intelligent sensors, which consume minimum power and comply safety and emission requirements. These initiatives are key to the next generation power train and vehicle management system?

Automotive technology is rapidly moving toward increasing safety through driver assist systems like auto pilot. These advancements in the automobile industry have been largely due to the increasing amount of electronics going into today's cars. Since the advent of electronics and software in cars from 1980 onwards, electronic con-tent inside the car has increased over the years.

Author's Details
The author is 'Practice Head' for Power train Practice at Wipro Technologies' Automotive Electronics Group. He has more than 19 years of industry experience in Embedded Software System Development, with more than six years of working experience in Automotive Electronics focusing on core powertrain domain.

Manfacturing related Stories

Real-time collaborative manufacturing 0
With massive challenges confronting the factory floor operations across the extended enterprise, will real-time collaborative manufacturing technology fulfill the specific requirement

Spurred by the growth of e-commerce, a new manufacturing model has emerged in re-sponse to customers? needs for build-to-order products. The impact on shop-floor systems is compounded by the increasing need to outsource components or entire assemblies to external suppliers. To service their customers shop operations managers still need visibility and control of delivery, quality, and configuration records of outsourced components. Supply chain management is critical to the manufacturing process and new tools are necessary to keep pace with the needs of manufacturing.

Author's Details
Courtesy: Rockwell Automation

Lean production basics

In the past, man in his quest for better standard and quality of life has allowed all other consideration to take a back seat and this accelerated the process of environmental degradation and began to threaten the earth's delicate ecological balance through which life on this planet survives. All manufacturing activities necessarily generate some form of waste. The manufacturing process does not consist of 100 per cent of conversion of material and energy inputs into usable final products; some portion of the material and energy inputs inevitably ends up as wastes. When the waste generated exceeds the maximum assimilative capacity of the environment it becomes pollution. Lean productions aims at elimination of wastes thereby reducing the environmental degradation.

Lean is about doing more with less: less time, inventory, space, people and money. Lean manufacturing (also known as the Toyota production system) is in its most basic form the systematic elimination of waste, over production, waiting, transportation, inventory, motion, over-processing, defective units and the implementation of the concepts of continuous flow and customer pull. Five areas of drive Lean manufacturing / production includes cost, quality, delivery, safety and morale.

Author's Details
S Ilangovan is Senior Lecturer and N Saravanan is Lecturer at Department of Mechanical Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Deemed University), Coimbatore.

Design Related Stories

The Autodesk Inventor 3D series helps Hardinge reduce design time by40 per cent to compete in the new low-price band

Like many companies in the manufacturing industry, Hardinge Inc. is affected by the new global economy where exchange rates, competition from foreign markets, the U.S. recession, and the ability to create inexpensive, yet high quality products are critical business challenges. The ma-chine tool industry in which Hardinge competes is highly competitive, particularly the Japanese and German markets. In addition, due to complex nature of the machine tool industry, design times can be long, making it difficult to quickly create a product in response to an immediate opportunity.

The future of CAD driving revolution in three dimensions

3d CAd software will steadily improve engineering productivity by speeding the design process, suggesting options along the way, and identifying problems earlier...

We've witnessed dramatic advances in CAD usability, speed, graphics, 'intelligence,' and automation over the past few years, but even the best 3D mechanical design packages leave plenty of room for improvement. As with every area of computing, 3D mechanical design software still needs to be faster, easier to use, and more useful for communicating with non-engineers.

Author's Details
John J McEleney is the CEO of SolidWorks Corporation. SolidWorks Corporation (www. develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community.

Easy optimisation of design

Design Analysis with FEA is a technology that engineers use to simulate the physical behaviour of a design under specific operating conditions. in an exclusive interaction, Rajagopalan Varadarajan, technical Manager, Analysis Products, Asia Pacific Operations, solidWorks Corporation, explains its vital role to P K Chatterjee. Excerpts?

What is Finite Element Analysis or FEA?During the early 1990s, the product development process began evolving from the prototype-test approach to a new product development paradigm that is driven by comput-er-aided design (CAD) technology.

Crossing The Design Challenge Chasm

The role of technology in the design process is increasing by the day. to ensure success, companies need to prioritise development of deep domain expertise and understand the pain areas?

The world of products is becoming increasingly complex. Succeeding in today's competitive product markets requires firms to respond more quickly to changing market demands, to differentiate more product variations for rapidly segmenting markets. Manufacturers have em-barked on continuous product improvement, delivering more features, more innovation, and better looking products all while meet-ing increasingly stringent product quality and supply chain cost targets.

Author's Details
Ajay Chamania Author: the author is senior Vice president, product engineering services, patni computer systems.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Mercedes-Benz ML320 Bluetec – Green Diesel Car

Mercedes Bluetec is diesel that is less polluting than petrol cars.

The special equipment used on the car includes a particulate emission trap as well as the oxidation catalyst. The bluetec car gets its name from the Adblue or urea tank in the rear of the car, which helps in reduction of NOx emission. Liquid urea is added into the exhaust tract and stored in the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalyst in the form of ammonia. This ammonia combines with the nitrogen oxide released by the engine to produce harmless nitrogen.

The Adblue tank needs to be topped at service intervals.

Mercedes has a diesel Bluetec Hybrid on the way to better the performance of this vehicle on environment as well as fuel efficiency issues.

Mercedes is not selling this vehicle in India as it needs ultra-low sulphur diesel.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Machine Tool Installation or Consumption Across the World

The United States produced $3,578 million in its own machine tool factories; it brought in $4,254 million from Japan, Germany, Taiwan, et al., and it shipped out $1,660 million to customers in Mexico, Canada, China, et al. So the U.S. can be said to have consumed $6,172 million worth of products in 2007. That number, however, is down 3 percent from the previous year’s consumption.

Global output increased to $70,986 million in 2007, a percentage gain similar to that seen on the consumption side. That $71 billion, incidentally, was split into about 73 percent metalcutting machine tools including lathes and machining centers and 27 percent metalforming machine tools, such as presses.

Japan continues to lead the world in shipments of new machines, with Germany a not-so-far-behind second. Third-place producer, China, saw a tremendous surge in output last year as its domestic factories, which had been pressured by a ravenous local appetite, cranked up output more than 40 percent over the previous year. Italy, and Taiwan ar also in top ten.

The international statistics come from the 43rd “World Machine Tool Output & Consumption Survey” (“WMTO&CS”), conducted annually by Gardner Publications Inc., the publishers of Production Machining. The “WMTO&CS” measures shipments, trade and consumption from major industrialized nations.

Top ten countrie are:

1. Japan
2. Germany
3. China
4. Italy
5. South Korea
6. Taiwan
7. United States
8. Switzerland
9. Spain
10. Brazil

Recent advances in plasticity applications in metal machining

International Journal of Machining and Machinability of Materials
Issue: Volume 2, Number 3-4 / 2007
Pages: 347 - 360

Recent advances in plasticity applications in metal machining: slip-line models for machining with rounded cutting edge restricted contact grooved tools

Xiqun Wang and I.S. Jawahir

Xiqun Wang,TechSolve, Inc, 6705 Steger Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45237, USA.
I.S. Jawahir, UK Centre for Manufacturing, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, USA


This paper presents a summary of new findings on plasticity applications in metal machining, primarily covering the recent efforts on developing new slip-line models for machining with restricted contact grooved tools which involve a finite cutting edge radius. Extended application of the initially developed plane-strain, rigid-plastic slip-line fields to take account of strain, strain-rate and temperature effects is shown to provide non-unique solutions for machining with grooved tools which most commonly incorporate geometric features such as a restricted contact and a rounded cutting edge. Predictions of cutting forces, chip thickness, chip up-curl radius, temperatures and flow stresses at the primary shear zone and at the tool-chip interface, etc. are made for a range of input conditions in orthogonal machining. The practical impact of these new findings on tool-wear and cutting tool design are emphasised in this paper.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

GM Focusing on Production Engineering of Fuel Cells

June 2007

GM Aligns Fuel Cell Researchers with Company's Core Engineering Organizations

DETROIT – General Motors Corp. is moving more than 500 fuel cell experts from advanced development laboratories to core engineering functions to prepare this technology for future production.

More than 400 fuel cell engineers will report to GM's Powertrain Group to begin production engineering of fuel cell systems. Another 100 will transfer to GM's Global Product Development organization to start integrating fuel cells into future company vehicles.

Finally, more than 150 fuel cell scientists and program support will remain as part of GM's Research and Development center to continue advanced research in hydrogen storage, fuel cells and program commercialization.

The transition is aimed at expediting the company's efforts to produce vehicles that displace petroleum through energy diversity.

Said Larry Burns, GM Vice President, Research and Development. "Today's announcement signals another important milestone as we move fuel cell vehicles closer to future production."

GM shared details about its fifth-generation fuel cell system technology when it unveiled the fuel cell-powered E-Flex version of the Chevrolet Volt at the Shanghai Auto Show in April. This latest system is half the size of its predecessor, yet provides the same power and performance.

GM's fourth-generation system currently powers the Chevrolet Sequel and Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles. The Sequel recently went into the record books as the first electrically-driven fuel cell vehicle to achieve more than 300 miles on one tank of hydrogen, in and out of traffic on public roads, while producing zero emissions. The Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell will be launched later this year as part of Project Driveway, which will place more than 100 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with consumers in New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.

"Moving our fuel cell experts from advanced development laboratories to our core engineering organizations highlights our strong commitment to developing electrically-driven vehicles using diverse energy sources" said Tom Stephens, GM Group Vice President of Global Powertrain.

Leading the fuel cell engineering team is Dr. J. Byron McCormick, currently executive director, GM Fuel Cell Activities. He will report simultaneously to Dan Hancock, GM Powertrain Vice President, Global Engineering, and John Buttermore, GM Powertrain Vice President, Global Manufacturing. McCormick has been working on electric and fuel cell propulsion system research and development for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in the development of the EV-1 electric vehicle, and during the past 10 years, has led the GM fuel cell activities team.

This realignment is yet another initiative in GM's commitment to displace petroleum usage in the auto industry through a range of propulsion alternatives, including:

E85-capable biofuel vehicles – GM is a leading producer with more than 2 million on the road today

GM's 2-mode hybrid system for large city buses

GM's Hybrid System in the Saturn Vue Green Line and Saturn Aura Green Line Coming this fall,

GM's 2-mode hybrid system in the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs, which provides a more than 25-percent improvement in fuel economy to what is already the industry's most fuel-efficient large SUVs, with no compromises in performance or towing capability

Due next year, a front-wheel-drive 2-mode Saturn Vue Green Line that is expected to deliver up to a 45-percent improvement in combined city and highway fuel economy compared with the current non-hybrid Vue, based on current federal test procedures

Plans to produce a plug-in version of the 2-mode hybrid Vue Green Line that has the potential to achieve double the fuel efficiency of any current SUV

Additionally, GM provides more vehicles that achieve 30 mpg on the highway than any other manufacturer in the U.S. market.

GM is also the first automotive member to join the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a group of global companies and non-governmental organizations formed to support an economy-wide, market-driven approach to reducing carbon emissions.