4 Trends Driving Automotive Manufacturing
The automotive manufacturing Industry is the symbol of the industrial revolution and has remained the backbone of the global economy. 2017 was a profitable year (Schmitt) for the Big Three, in terms of growth:
- Renault Nissan 13.0% (10.6% expected)
- Toyota 4.4% (10.5% expected)
- Volkswagen 1.3% (10.3% expected)
Nevertheless, like all industries, automobile manufacturers worldwide may find themselves at a crossroad. Because consumer demand will bring changes that will transform automobile end product. Also, production and the industry as a whole is changing. Here are four particulars that could hold a significant factor for manufacturers in 2018.
Electric vehicles will be at the top of the list for the automotive manufacturing industry. EV sales rose in 2017 by 63% compared to a respectable performance the previous year (Bloomberg). Tesla, Chevrolet, are Nissan are the most recognized names in electric cars with Tesla setting the standards. However, it may be China that’s causing the automotive industry to pull up and take notice. China is the world’s largest EV market (Reyes). Industries attempting to position themselves as leaders in this segment must adhere to a management system that is recognized worldwide.
The basic assembly line remains the tradition in automotive manufacturing, but advancements have changed as demand and technology move forward. Take a look at BMWs assembly line in Leipzig, Germany where the production line is a maze that tracks the entire facility. Another great example is the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California which is one of the world’s most advanced automotive factories (Tesla).
As intelligent manufacturing evolves the demand for more skilled workers will increase. Robots already make up a large part of the automotive manufacturing Industry. As the automobile industry evolves, manufacturers will need to hire the best and the brightest talent in order to adjust. Furthermore, dealerships will also need to train salespeople on connected car technology as cars will be sold as a service, not just a machine.
Smart cars or connected cars offer one of the greatest changes to the automotive manufacturing Industry. The connected concept makes autonomous driving possible and goes far beyond cruise control. This technology offers benefits to drivers, manufacturers, insurance providers and industry participants in general. Look at Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay that intended to make the driverless car possible.
These big advancements will result in big data. These connected cars will generate petabytes of data per year causing investments in data analysis. It is possible that at different stages some data will fall under nonconformance. Furthermore, audit process improvements will be required.
Custom designs (via 3D)
Manufacturers that ignore 3D technology may find themselves stalled in the industry. Innovative companies that want to pull out in front are already experimenting with complicated engine parts and ramping up to provide 3D-printed accessories. This leads to customization.
Surveys show that customers want customized products and are willing to pay a premium for it. As Ben Perkins, Head of Consumer Business Research at Deloitte put it, “…, those businesses who do not offer an element of personalisation, risk losing revenue and customer loyalty over the longer term as customers increasingly demand personalisation.”
Most noteworthy auto manufacturers such as Ford (Smith) and Japanese carmaker Daihastu and Stratasys (Robarts) are already providing custom spoilers and “Effect Skins” panels. 3D printing also helps manufacturers deal with increased regulations. For example, rollover strength can be a challenge with traditional methods. This is built into most 3D/CAD printing programs and gauging calibration can be easily handled by most Gauge Calibration Software.
Gauge Calibration Software allows:
- Measurement System Analysis devices experiments such as RR ANOVA, RR attribute, RR range, bias and stability/linearity studies.
- Simplify notifications with color coded calibration status fields.
- Record calibrations for measuring devices and test equipment.
Electic, smart, custom and safe, the car manufacturing industry is on the move and faces many challenges. What a car was years ago is something different now. Consequently, consumers are looking for an experience. Therefore, industries are providing a service more than a product. This means new concepts and a break away from traditional approaches. For a more in-depth look into manufacturing checkout Linux for the Industry 4.0 era: New distro for factory automation(Stocker).