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Hartford Technologies Blog

Three Trends in Auto Parts Manufacturing and Design

Posted: Mar 22, 2017 3:20:12 PM

The manufacture and design of auto parts relies heavily on the use of technology. Innovations and trends within the industry continue to push the envelope for change as key elements are delivered to the market. Pivotal trends -- including the ones noted below -- signal changes that are poised to disrupt both automotive manufacturing and auto parts design.

1. 3D Printing

While manufacturers like iconic auto maker Ford have been using prototypes designed with 3D printing capabilities for more than 20 years, this advance still has a great deal of room in which to expand within the industry. Utilizing technologies like CAD and 3D automation provides engineers with the ability to refine the development of prototypes to deliver parts such as custom bearing assemblies that meet the precise needs of customers. These capabilities also support specific grinding and machining operations that aid in the delivery of custom parts quickly and accurately.

2. Innovative Materials

Materials such as advanced composites, carbon-fiber epoxy, magnesium and high-strength steel can be found on the shop floor of many companies who design and manufacture auto parts. In fact, these are just a few examples of the innovative materials that are showing up within the industry. In the majority of cases, these materials didn't even exist a decade or two ago.

While many of these materials came about in response to governmental regulations that mandated better fuel economy and occupant safety, others emerged as a way to meet the unique needs of specific subset industries such as auto racing. Others were first developed for industries like aerospace before being implemented in automobile manufacturing and design.

Today's ball bearings can be manufactured using a variety of materials including stainless steel, chrome, carbon steel and brass. Even precision glass and plastic can be used to make ball bearings that exactly confirm to the customer's specifications.

3. Software Integration

The integration of software is an area that continues to evolve. With a targeted goal of improving a customer's experience, for example, customized software offers the opportunity to apply a robust set of options to reach benchmarks such as reduced lead times and top-notch quality control mechanisms.

Utilizing software as an aid for managing inventory management gives companies the ability to instantly alert a customer to the availability of a particular part such as a bearing retainer. This ability -- coupled with forward-thinking mechanisms like an advantageous warehousing strategy -- means that lead times can be significantly reduced.

The latest technological advances in software also ensure that manufacturers can accurately adhere to the industry's standards in a timely manner, greatly reducing lead time. These standards include DIN 5401 Finished Steel Balls for Rolling Bearings, ANSI/AFBMA Standard for 10 Metal Balls, ASTM F2215-08 and others.

As an industry, automobile manufacturing and design continues to evolve to meet the needs of customers who need custom parts quickly and efficiently. Accuracy and an ability to deliver exactly what the customer needs continue to be mechanism that spur innovation. Hartford Technologies is a leading manufacturer of custom bearings and precision balls for industries worldwide. Fast and accurate quotes on custom bearings or assemblies, precision balls, pins rollers can be obtained by filling out our Quote Request Form or by calling 860-571-3642.