Saturday 4 September 2021

Automotive Essentials Overview

 The Automotive industry-

The automotive industry is an extremely large, diverse, globalized organization encompassing many business facets, employing hundreds of thousands of people all with one goal: to produce a world-class vehicle. This complex structure must always stay one step ahead of its competition with quality, customer satisfaction, and continued excitement built into its products. Automakers conduct marketing studies and host consumer clinics where the public analyzes and tests new vehicle engineering options and styling. Engineers and designers then incorporate this critical information into a vehicle's design. Another important area considered is government safety standards. Most automakers design beyond these safety standards creating safer, stronger, and more reliable vehicles. Designing a vehicle that meets customer satisfaction creates customer enthusiasm and loyalty.

Automotive Design Basics-

The automotive industry is large and complex, making it impossible to cover in one course. This course focuses only on the basics of CAD engineering design in the automotive business.

The 'basics' consists of:
  • Designing for manufacturability:- 
    This is a critical area when engineering a part. The part must fulfill its operational responsibility, but not be over- engineered to the point that it needlessly increases production costs. The design must easily integrate with surrounding components in the vehicle. It also must be designed for manufacturability, making sure that draft and surface quality meets or exceeds the standards.

  • Choosing the right material:-
    An engineer understands that a stronger part is better, but cost and weight are also critical factors in choosing the right material to produce a quality part. One major aspect of vehicle design is understanding material properties; knowing which material type allows a part to be functional and manufacturable, and to maintain its strength under operating conditions. The most common material types used in the manufacture of a vehicle are steels, plastics, glass, cloth, and liquids.

  • GD&T:-

    Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing is used by the global automotive industry to communicate the design and engineering specifications under which a produced part is acceptable. Engineers use this to define and then verify (through inspection) the tolerances of their part for manufacturing in an unambiguous way. This is an important area when designing a part for production and assembly.

  • Sheet Metal:-


    The vast number of parts that make up a vehicle take on many forms, from thin sheets to heavy castings to tubes, etc.; a significant percentage of those parts are created from sheet metal. Sheet metal is a uniform- thickness material that is used to create brackets and structural support on a vehicle. It is also used for the body panels, chassis frame, electrical harness support brackets and more. Sheet metal is a widely used material that requires an understanding of how to shape it to produce a part. Draft, Form Depth, Bend Radius, Thickness, and Trimming are just a few areas to consider when using this material.

  • Electrical:-


    The Electrical system is sometimes thought of as the 'brain' of the vehicle. It is used to transmit electricity for powering units such as lighting, engine components, computers, gauges and more. This very intricate system must interact with and relate to most other vehicle systems. Wires, relays, clips, support brackets, conduit connectors and more are routed or attached throughout the vehicle structure and must take into consideration any moving or heated components. Clearance and ease of installation is essential when designing a wiring harness and other electrical components.

  • Casting:-
    Castings are parts that are formed with molds. Cast parts are created using metal and plastics. Many varied components in a vehicle are produced from castings, such as large engine components or interior panels. Some castings are produced as a finished product while others may be further machined for specific surface quality. Understanding the casting process is essential to correctly designing a casted part in any CAD system.

Some suggested videos:-


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