In the beginning, constructing an automobile was a painstaking process, with the majority of the assembly of a new vehicle done completely by hand and by an actual person. Basic machines, tools and materials were used to construct these early vehicles, many of which are still driving the highways and byways of the country today.
As technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, so have the methods for manufacturing cars. Vehicle production today is almost completely done by computer-controlled machines. The precision with which these machines carry out the repetitive tasks on the assembly line, and the speed with which these tasks are accomplished, have revolutionized the car production industry and allowed incredible developments to take place in car design.
Vehicle production goes high tech
In addition to the decrease in human power and the surge in machine-powered assembly, many other high tech advancements have been made in vehicle production, advancements that continue to impact the industry and push it forward toward newer and more revolutionary innovations. The driving force behind these advancements in the manufacturing of vehicles is the constant need for accuracy and precision in the construction of the vehicles. As more and more high-tech computer gadgetry is integrated into cars, the need for advanced measuring tools, such as those from Transducer Techniques, painting methods, sophisticated electronics and other advanced elements has steadily increased, with the industry racing to satisfy the need safely and effectively.
Decades ago, cars were extremely limited in paint choices. For the most part, cars were finished with a dark oil varnish or an amber stain. Today, a factory paint job is a true work of art – and technology. Paint factories are kept completely sterile and decontaminated to protect the finish from even a speck of dust or dirt. Using electrically-charged paint dips and baking, the paint is bound to the surface of the car.
Driving green means, for many, driving an electric or hybrid vehicle, reducing or eliminating emissions from the car. Car production has also “gone green” with many factories finding ingenious ways to reduce their emissions and decrease their carbon footprint.
Future tech in the vehicle industry
Reducing fuel consumption is a major goal in the automotive industry. One of the major issues with electric cars is the battery, not only the length of charge they will hold but also the risk of the battery pack catching fire. The industry is moving from the standard nickel batteries to more advanced lithium batteries and are also finding ways to shrink the size of the battery packs. Though larger battery packs require fewer cells, they decrease the weight in the vehicle as well as decreasing the risk of fire. Densely-packed, small cylindrical cells appear to be the future of battery-powered cars. Another important safety innovation that may also prolong battery life are liquid cooling systems that disperse battery heat quickly.
As technology continues to advance, car manufacturing and design will follow suit, taking innovative technologies from the world of computer science, electrical and mechanical engineering, making a degree of precision and accuracy in construction achievable that early car makers could have only dreamed of.