Present and Future of Precision Auto Components

Posted on Sep 16, 2020

Auto Components

Since its establishment 150 years ago, the development of innovation and manufacturing processes in the automotive industry has been highly reliable, which has boosted the development of the industry. In the past few decades, advances in robotics, design, and manufacturing have led to significant improvements in the production of auto components, vehicle design, and product performance.

Speaking of forever changing the technology in the automotive field, CNC machining has in fact become one of the three major innovators in the industry. CNC processing is a technology that can manufacture high-precision plastic and metal auto parts. This includes activities such as drilling and milling and has full functions of machine control and automation. In this blog post, we want to take a look at the current state of CNC Machining of precision auto components.


CNC and Precision Automotive Components

To create finished automobile components through CNC technology, first of all, the digital model of the part needs to be converted into machine instructions. Then, the instructions are sent to the CNC machine tool, on which the power tool (drill, milling cutter, lathe, etc.) is cut from a piece of raw material until the final product is carved. CNC machine tools have higher precision than traditional machine tools and have a variety of configurations.

As we all know, the automotive industry is highly dependent on CNC machinery. In the following paragraphs, we will discuss the application of this technology in the automotive field and the foreseeable future processing trends. Precision automotive components manufacturing is a multi-step, complex process that requires high performance and extremely high precision. Therefore, automobile companies are using a variety of processing technologies to produce various automotive parts, such as windshields, door panels, body panels, and many other interiors and exterior automotive parts.


CNC in Precision Automotive Components Production

Auto components giants are vigorously adopting CNC technology to manufacture efficient precision automotive components faster and more accurately. In the automotive field, the use of CNC machinery is usually called CNC cars, which are widely used to manufacture a large number of key automotive parts. Let’s take a closer look at some of them: 

  • Car Engines
    CNC is commonly used in creating the main components of internal combustion engines for automobiles. CNC, for instance, is widely used for the development of cylinder heads and engine blocks. Such main components are constructed of solid blocks of aluminum which is a metal that is fairly easy to use. However, while CNC machine tool programming is a time-consuming process and requires a high level of programming skills, once programmed, the machine tool can continue to execute its instructions without human assistance. Thus, thousands of engine blocks can be built without major labor increases.
  • Drive Axles
    The drive axle is an auto component that consists of two half axles connected to the wheels by a universal joint at constant velocity. The part of the car allows the wheel assembly to move freely when rotating and to pivot accordingly. Many components, such as bevel gears and the drive axle mechanism hypoid gears, are manufactured using CNC machining.
  • Interior Panels
    Internal precision automotive components such as dashboards are usually manufactured using CNC machining because it provides the necessary precision to mill the dashboard frame with raw plastic. The technology can also ensure that the manufacturer aligns the cutouts of the gas meter, speedometer, and indicator light perfectly during assembly.
  • Car Lighting
    CNC machining of materials such as acrylic glass and PPMA enables automakers to produce headlights and interior lights. Although these acrylic materials require polishing and grinding after processing, the entire process is still quite fast.
  • Gearboxes
    The transmission system of a vehicle is an important auto component that consists of multiple shafts and gear assemblies. Due to the high precision and efficiency provided by CNC technology, these parts are almost always produced using this method. Smaller parts of usually cast gearboxes can also be finished with CNC drilling and milling tools.

:: Read more: Precision made car engine parts

AI in CNC Automotive Components Production

Because of the continuous activity of CNC machines, faults often occur which are difficult to detect, reducing the machine's productivity. The computer will now self-diagnose faults and save hours of system downtime by integrating artificial intelligence tools into the CNC machines. Furthermore, with the new implementation of AI in CNC auto components manufacture, manufacturers can now produce auto parts of higher quality by ensuring the accuracy of finished parts. Continuous monitoring and inspection of the final product through automatic machine adjustments. AI also supports applications that span the field of automobile manufacturing. Carmakers can use AI-driven systems to create schedules and manage workflows, enabling robots to work safely with humans on factory floors and assembly lines and to identify defects in parts entering cars and trucks. These features can help manufacturers reduce costs and downtime while providing consumers with high-quality auto components.


What's Next?

For over a century, the car industry has been with us, and over the years, it has changed considerably. Whereas several earlier models concentrated on style and speed, the car or truck of the 21st century is redesigned to meet fuel economy standards, safety specifications, and customer preferences. New technology has progressed to the point that these vehicles are not just a means of transportation, but something you might describe on wheels as a communication hub and device, tailored to the customer's demands. Self-driving cars, electric and environmentally-friendly vehicles, and other market trends are ushering in a new era of automotive manufacturing. To keep up with the pace of innovation required by this highly competitive and innovative market, manufacturers release new models and redesign existing ones at a faster rate than ever before.

As such, the automotive manufacturing industry is transitioning from a high-volume/low-mix to a low-volume/high-mix production cycle, with specialized tools now required for individual precision automotive components. In response, the tool manufacturers must boost their efficiency to meet increased demand. While some basic principles of the automotive production lines have remained the same since the beginning, recent innovations have changed many processes. Automotive manufacturers have incorporated new approaches and resources into their design and production processes, including artificial intelligence and robotics-based automation of repetitive movements. Increased automation in the assembly process of auto components achieves greater precision and quality and reduces workers’ exposure to dangerous hazards.


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