Although the engine behind automobiles was first invented in the year 1769, automobiles were mass produced only from the year 1913 onwards. Since then car manufacturing technology has gone through massive changes. The last 2 decades has seen the most changes, with plenty of new methods being adopted by the industry in the hope of reducing material costs and labor while improving productivity at the same time.
Many manufacturers were initially hesitant to update their technology because of the huge costs involved. However, as time went by, they have started being more open to the numerous advantages offered by upgrading to the latest technology it eh automobile industry. According to the leading experts in the automobile industry, automation dons many hats in the vehicle manufacturing industry.
Interestingly, robotics has been around for a long time. However, it was only with the integration of software and robotics that they were able to be implemented in different industries in the hope of reducing labor and improving efficiency. Automobile manufacturing companies use assembly lines to speed up the manufacturing process. It was discovered that welding was required in 5000 spots in the assembly line. In order to speed up the process, welding robots were introduced. The Deformation Resistance Welding or the DRW technology has proven to be a major game changer in the automobile industry. This technology is actually based on passing current with the help of two electrodes through the metal that has to be welded together. The heat that is generated as a result of the current causes the two pieces to get welded together. This process has become very useful in welding similar materials together in the automobile industry.
Another important task taken over by robotics in the car manufacturing industry is painting the vehicle. In order to save space, most automobile manufacturing companies have tight spaces for painting the vehicle. In earlier days it was extremely difficult to get the job done, along with plenty of health hazard issue to the employees of the company. The introduction of industrial robotics for paint application has overcome all of these issues. These robots have the ability to move in tight spaces as well. These robots can be mounted on the wall, floor or ceiling depending on its particular requirement. Interestingly, the latest industrial robots for paint application come with turntables and backward bending option, making it even more useful than ever before.
Rapid prototyping technology is another technology that is fast gaining importance in the automobile manufacturing industry. This process helps design new vehicle parts with the help of particular software. The specifications generated by the software are then used to create an actual physical model with the help of the 3D printer. In earlier days, designing a prototype used to take many days and many trial and error sessions. The introduction of rapid prototyping has eliminated this long drawn out process, making it possible for better and newer models to be created faster than ever before.
Since new models of automobiles keep coming out every year, it is necessary for automobile manufacturing companies to be flexible enough to switch between the production of one particular model to another without too much of a hassle. This is possible with the introduction of flexible production lines. This makes it possible for the manufacturing company to keep up with the latest trends and to actually cater to the current demand on the market. Collaborative robots or “cobots” is another technology that has been adopted by the car manufacturing industry in recent times. They perform different tasks and help the human employees in getting the job done faster and in a more efficient manner.