The automotive industry constantly pursues innovation to satisfy customers’ demands. In general, customers oftenask for more safety and better performance. Recently, comfort and functionality have been added to the list of demands.
Carmakers invest a lot of funds in the development of technology to meet these demands. Automation technology has been the key.It has created different solutions to enhance the safety, performance, and functionality of vehicles. Many of these solutions have been possible thanks to lifting columns. To learn more about such devices, click here.
On the other hand, automation has an important role in car manufacturing too. Even though automation in car production lines has existed for decades, new technologies are emerging. There are clear automation trends in the automotive industry. Some are for end-users’ satisfaction, whereas others are for manufacturing needs. Here, we provide a review of these trends.
Automation for Enhanced Functionality, Safety, and Performance
There is a clear trend to be more inclusive with all the sectors of society. This trend has impacted vehicle functionality also. More and more features are added to facilitate the disabled and elderly to use a car. Among the different automation solutions for this population, the wheelchair lift is quite useful. It helps a person in a wheelchair to board a vehicle much more easily. This type of solution is possible through the use of lifting columns.
Another possible use of lifting columns is for loading cargo on a truck bed. Such a solution reduces the number of people needed for such maneuvers. Moreover, loading and unloading are performed more safely for operators. Lifting columns are powered by linear actuators. These devices have many applications for car automation.
Full Automation of Car Manufacturing
Car manufacturing has used advanced technological solutions for several decades. As a result, this industry has reached a high level of automation. However, recent technologies can improve production lines by making them more efficient. Three clear trends will contribute to this transformation:
- The use of Cobots;
- 3D printing;
- Autonomous vehicles.
Robots in the automotive industry usually perform one or two tasks that humans cannot (or should not) perform. They are generally tasks that involve some danger. However, a new trend calls for the use of smarter robots that can collaborate with humans. These collaborative robots (cobots) can perform more tasks. They can assist their human counterparts when needed. As a result, workers are exposed to fewer dangers in the production lines.
The other trend, 3D printing, has found a niche in the automotive industry. The use of this technology allows the fabrication of parts and components in shorter times. Moreover, this type of manufacturing reduces the need for welding. The result is a significant economization of time. This will eventually translate into reduced costs of final products.
Finally, autonomous vehicles will be a reality in a few years. This will allow manufacturers to focus more on self-driving systems. Engineers won’t need to pay attention to ergonomics for the driver. Hence, the full automation of all the manufacturing processes will be possible.