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Automotive Design & Production

Idle worship

Idle worship Christopher A. Sawyer Blue Heat? Isn’t that a movie about a super-silent police helicopter? No. That was Blue Thunder. Blue Heat is a line of auxiliary heaters from Webasto (www.webasto.com). Versions are increasingly common on diesel vehicles, which have a tough time producing adequate heat to get the cabin up to temperature on […]

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Automotive Design & Production

What you may not know about grinding—& ought to

What you may not know about grinding—& ought to So far as metal removal operations go, grinding could be one that has greater applicability at operations at both OEMs and suppliers–with beneficial consequences. To learn more, we put a few questions to Nelson Beaulieu, automotive accounts manager, United Grinding Technologies (Miamisburg, OH; www.grinding.com–with a URL […]

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Automotive Design & Production

from prams to Pontiacs; Designing automobiles wasn’t at the top of the consideration list for Michael Simcoe, but his influence will be felt for years to come

Michael Simcoe: from prams to Pontiacs; Designing automobiles wasn’t at the top of the consideration list for Michael Simcoe, but his influence will be felt for years to come Kevin M. Kelly “I wanted to be an architect, but I remember talking to someone early on and they said there’s not too much money in […]

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Automotive Design & Production

Japanese Robots save U.S. jobs?

Japanese Robots save U.S. jobs? In a twist on the workings of the global economy, a Japan-based company is leading an initiative to keep American manufacturing jobs from going overseas. FANUC Robotics America, Inc. (Rochester Hills. MI: www.fanucrobotics.com), a subsidiary of FANUC Ltd., of Japan, is spearheading an effort called “Save Your Factory” which is […]

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Automotive Design & Production

how long before you can order an entire assembly line from a catalog?

Assembly: how standard can you get? For assembly equipment, standardization is becoming the standard. Which leads us to ask: how long before you can order an entire assembly line from a catalog? Kermit Whitfield Once upon a time in the automotive industry, every plant had its own way of doing things. Lines were laid out […]

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Automotive Design & Production

8 Rules for getting things done through people – On the Management Side

8 Rules for getting things done through people – On the Management Side – Brief Article Ted Pollock A manager’s job is to get things done by other people. That’s axiomatic. But how, precisely, is that accomplished? Here are eight practical rules that will help any manager get more accomplished by his people and, in […]

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Automotive Design & Production

Old rubber, better parts: this year, a new material developed in Detroit, its maker says, recycled 18,500 tires, removed five million pounds from seven domestic platforms, and saved one customer $185,000 annually—all from one plant – cumulative

Old rubber, better parts: this year, a new material developed in Detroit, its maker says, recycled 18,500 tires, removed five million pounds from seven domestic platforms, and saved one customer $185,000 annually—all from one plant – cumulative – Materials Christopher A. Sawyer Recycled Polymeric Materials, Inc. (RPM; Detroit, MI) is located in a seen-better-days section […]

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Automotive Design & Production

MTI Systems

MTI Systems What do such things as machining, fabricating, and assembly (including, of course, labor) actually cost? The people at MTI Systems (www.mtisystems.com) think they can provide the answers. They’ve released Costimator OEM Software, which includes a program called “Shop Rate Calculator.” It’s said to permit determining what suppliers’ production costs really are. COPYRIGHT 2003 […]

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Automotive Design & Production

the centerpiece of Mercedes’ design strategy isn’t real. It’s virtual

Mercedes’ virtual reliance: the centerpiece of Mercedes’ design strategy isn’t real. It’s virtual Kermit Whitfield “Virtual reality is the backbone of engineering for us,” says Dr. Bharat Balasubramanian, vice president of development for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, while standing within the virtual reality (VR) center at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center in Sindelfingen, Germany, where all Mercedes-Benz […]

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Automotive Design & Production

No secrets – Marginal

No secrets – Marginal – automobile industry customer satisfaction Gary S. Vasilash What is the secret to success? If I had the definitive answer, it wouldn’t be a secret. What’s more, I’m not so certain that if everyone did have the secret, there would be such a thing as success. It is, after all, a […]