How will car connectivity change the automobile industry?

04/13/2015 - Oliver Hagenlocher

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A recent study from McKinsey & Company looked at how self-driving cars will affect both the automobile industry and our daily lives. The results were multifaceted, including altering everyday tasks such as parking, where cars would automatically drive themselves to overflow lots outside of crowded downtown areas. The study also anticipates that crashes and accidents will significantly decline, which would also impact the insurance industry. One question that lingers, and must be answered sooner or later, is whether self-driving automobiles are really safer than those driven by a human?

The changing economy

It is already clear, however, that connected cars will have an enormous economic implication. Companies such as Apple or Google, with their rapid innovation rates and economic strength, will enter a market that doesn’t yet exist. This fusion created by connected cars will not only change the automobile industry, but will impact others such as service deliveries and logistics, as they participate in this new economy and develop new business models.

Technological challenges

For the developer, self-driving cars still present the challenge of modifying designs and promoting standards, also with the goal of reassuring both users and politicians of their reliability and safety. EMAG, as a supplier of manufacturing systems for key automobile components, belongs to this group of developers, providing solutions today for the challenges of the future.

Electromechanical steering

Due to the numerous advanced driver assistance systems already on the market, one current requirement is the manufacture of high precision elements for electromechanical steering systems.  Steering pinions are an important component in such a system, requiring top precision not only in the main turning operation, but also the subsequent gearing and hardening processes, which only allow a surface finish with strict tolerances. EMAG developed a manufacturing system to cost-effectively produce these important workpieces at the required quality and quantity.

Manufacturing system for pinions

The successful modular machines from EMAG offered the perfect platform for such a production line. Turning of the raw parts is completed on the VTC 100-4 shaft turning machine, a customized version of the well-known VT 2-4 lathe. The vertical pick-up VLC 200 H offers hobbing technology for the next operation, followed by the VLC 100 IH for the inductive hardening of the component. Finally, for the perfect surface finish and quality, the VTC 100 GT combination turning and grinding machine is utilized.

Regardless of the direction the automobile industry advances, EMAG’s products and solutions have proven it is prepared for the challenges of both today and the future. The broad spectrum of EMAG technologies not only allows the company to flexibly react to industry developments, but also to continue to offer complete manufacturing systems that can rarely be matched.

More on steering pinions here...


Oliver Hagenlocher

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