The digital and electric transformation is coming to the automotive industry—and it’s coming fast. How should manufacturing companies prepare for this? And which production solutions are most geared towards the future? Renowned experts will provide answers to these questions, and more, at the 2019 EMAG Technology Forum to be held on May 15 and 16 in Salach, Germany. Participants can expect an innovative event format that allows plenty of time for practical application examples.
In the past year, for the first time ever, more than 2 million electric vehicles were sold worldwide as reported by the Center of Automotive Management (CAM). With 60% of the worldwide demand, China is the main driver of this development.
In a traditional automatic transmission, a torque converter is installed between the engine and transmission. This core component contains an impeller, turbine wheel and a guide wheel. Driven by the engine, the impeller blade catch oil in the housing which creates a flow that will delayed drive the turbine wheel. This principle ensures a smooth startup and separates the drive train from the engine’s vibrations (referred to as engine irregularities).
Historically, the power of a car’s engine was dependent on the number and size of cylinders – today, that’s a thing of the past! Electronic engine control, turbochargers or compressors are responsible for the overall performance. The turbocharger has a particularly important role—a Swiss invention dating back to 1925, the turbocharger was used to considerably increase engine power. What distinguishes this component, why is it increasingly important and what are the benefits of using electrochemical machining? —Five interesting facts about turbochargers:
Which sector of industry is the most innovative in Germany? A very comprehensive answer to this question has been provided in the report entitled “Innovation in the German Economy” issued by the Center for European Economic Research (Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH, ZEW). The current issue rewards automotive manufacturing, among others, with a good score. According to the report, the automotive industry has the highest amount of innovation in its production (48.3%). Innovation is fundamental to the automotive industry’s economic success. Additionally, the industry’s “innovation expenditure” identified by the ZEW is increasing. In 2016, this was valued at 47 billion euros and, according to estimates; it should increase to nearly 55 billion euros by the end of this year.
Electric power steering has become standard in the manufacturing of automobiles. The technology guarantees very precise steering support for every type of vehicle, high-end driving comfort, and lower energy consumption in the steering system, which has a positive effect on the car’s CO2 consumption.
The revolution in car manufacture is happening subtly: Our cars are mastering an increasing number of situations without driver intervention. There is a large number of assistance systems which keep the vehicle on track or avoid obstacles. Recent models even park independently or drive into the garage. This requires the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel entirely. Experts divide the current development into phases: The assistance systems described above have already become a reality. As a partially automated system, parking assistance belongs to phase two. In a few years, fully automatic, driverless operation will follow as the last phase.
1. Why do cars even have differentials?
There are no cars that don’t have differentials in them—otherwise we would be driving through tight curves with the wheels spinning and tires screeching. This essential component is located in the center of the drive axle, where its function is to make sure that the two wheels can turn at different speeds when driving around curves, while nonetheless having exactly the same propulsive power. The torque of the motor is always divided in a fixed ratio.
By the way: All-wheel drive vehicles have a differential on each axle, plus a central differential that distributes the engine power between the axles in a given ratio.
Cylindrical grinding on driveshafts and transmission shafts has always been particularly demanding, as the parts feature a wide range of geometric details that are machined with high precision in the grinding machine. With the rapid pace of technological development in the automotive industry, which keeps increasing the functional density of many components, there are more demands than ever on the design of grinding machines today. Users require highly customized machines that can perform multiple grinding operations, including combined internal and external grinding.
Lightweight construction in the automotive industry is a fight for every pound. Every single part is investigated for whether it could be made even lighter. This is typically accomplished by using new materials of changing part geometries. Laser welding offers a surprisingly simple strategy, e.g. by enabling a stable connection between differential gear and ring gear. This saves screw connections and reduces weight by 1.2 kg – quite an accomplishment by the standards of the field.