Go Back   Team-BHP > Under the Hood > Technical Stuff


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd June 2009, 15:34   #1
BHPian
 
irdevanand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: chennai
Posts: 90
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Do they hand assemble all car engines or just the race cars?

Fellow bhpians, help me with this. I need to know if all car engines are assembled by hand or is it only the race cars?

note1 - been following dream machines program in nat geo channel and saw corvette and ferrari 559gtb engines being hand assembled. also i think the narrator said all race car engines are hand assembled. been tyring to put this into a quality related presentation (for work) and stuck at this point - is it only race car engines that are hand assembled or is it all cars ??

note2 - and why in the hell would someone hand assemble such a crucial component? the ferrari engine is a v12 with 5999cc and has 800 parts to assemble .... why cant they automate ??

moderator: do we have a forum like "bhp answers" like yahoo answers ? didnt know where to put this...

dev
irdevanand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd June 2009, 15:46   #2
BHPian
 
Nitronium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chennai
Posts: 391
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

The answer lies in the query

These engines are far more complex than regular cars and require the fine skills of an engineer to perfect the assembly.
The components maybe machined separately, but final assembly is always by hand.
Ask yourself this. Why aren't high precision Swiss watches made by an army of skilled robots?
Sometimes, a robot just cannot achieve the levels of precision that the naked eye can. Back to the case at hand, engine assembly of say a 599 simply CANNOT be comprehended by a machine. It is far too complex

And maybe not as important a factor- The clients of major car brands want exclusivity and the knowledge that their car isn't 'another one on the road'
Nitronium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd June 2009, 15:58   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
jeepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: MH24 aka LATUR
Posts: 1,528
Thanked: 983 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by irdevanand View Post
I need to know if all car engines are assembled by hand or is it only the race cars?

note1 - been following dream machines program in nat geo channel and saw corvette and ferrari 559gtb engines being hand assembled. also i think the narrator said all race car engines are hand assembled. been tyring to put this into a quality related presentation (for work) and stuck at this point - is it only race car engines that are hand assembled or is it all cars ??

note2 - and why in the hell would someone hand assemble such a crucial component? the ferrari engine is a v12 with 5999cc and has 800 parts to assemble .... why cant they automate ??

dev

hi dev,
in india all the engines are hand built but the main difference is that all the assembling of the engine is done on assembly line by hundreds of workers not a single person for single engine.
Quote:
about Ferrari , it is Ferrari , they make only 300 to 500 horses a year not like 100000 marutis a year.
the main reason is the history or exclusiveness of Ferrari how it is different from other.
most of the work is automated but when you pay 300000 grand ,you expect some human touch.

its not only Ferrari following are few examples hand built wonders
Harley-Davidson , indian , maybach , Aston martin

best of luck for your presentation.
jeepster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd June 2009, 16:18   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sgiitk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kanpur
Posts: 7,162
Thanked: 3,757 Times
Default

The manual component on Engine assembly is quite big. FIAT tried to use more automation in the FIRE (Fully Integrated Robotised Engine). A racing engine has higher skill levels and finer tolerances. Most rally engines are hand built with blueprinting (i.e. making sure that all tolerances stack up in your favour).
sgiitk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd June 2009, 16:19   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 573
Thanked: 49 Times
Default Robots cost tons of money to design

Even if its technically feasible to have a robot assemble a limited production engine (read - the complex race car engine) - it may not always make economic sense.

The key word being - "limited production". Setting up an automated assembly line takes a big investment and is not viable for cars/engines that are built in small numbers (even with a price tag that's higher than Jack's beanstalk).
CrackedHead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd June 2009, 17:02   #6
BHPian
 
irdevanand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: chennai
Posts: 90
Thanked: 17 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
Sometimes, a robot just cannot achieve the levels of precision that the naked eye can.
that was a great line ... thanks... will use it in the presentation !!

note: thank you everybody for the replies... even half a day of googling didnt give me what 5 mins of bhpians could give !

dev
irdevanand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2009, 16:47   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
kuttapan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1,155
Thanked: 12 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by irdevanand View Post
that was a great line ... thanks... will use it in the presentation !!

note: thank you everybody for the replies... even half a day of googling didnt give me what 5 mins of bhpians could give !

dev
Sorry, but that line was plain rubbish. Robots are used because of their precision(What is precision??? - First we need to understand that). A robot would do the same job with the same accuracy(for which it was built) day in day out, where, with humans, you can expect some error.

Swiss watches are not made using robots(I am assuming this statement to be correct - I personally have no info either way) because producing such a robot who can handle such minute parts may not be possible with current technology/not feasible economically.
kuttapan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2009, 20:32   #8
BHPian
 
Nitronium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chennai
Posts: 391
Thanked: 19 Times
Default

Alrite. First up you need to understand the context of the line, instead of blindly switching to flame mode.

If the job at hand is to craft or design a machine element with an accuracy of +/- .000001 mm, a robot is required. In matters of dimensional accuracy, humans cannot hope to achieve consistent measurements.

I on the other hand was merely refering to the process of assembling all these parts. That requires a great deal of accuracy too, but not of the type mentioned above. Most V12s are hand assembled of their complex nature and visually inspecting every stage of it's construction is necessary. The hands of a skilled engineer are required for this.
Nitronium is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd June 2009, 21:07   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 573
Thanked: 49 Times
Default

Guys - You don't go about building a robot to do a complex engine assembly if you are only going to build (say) a 100 engines. You will not recover the investment made in designing the robot - human labor will get the job done for a lower price.

Now - if you were planning to build a million engines of the same design - investing in the design of a robot would make sense.
CrackedHead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2009, 01:37   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,606 Times
Default

Interesting thread.

I guess a one word answer would be - cost.

For example, take a simple process :
1. Pick up 6 nuts
2. Place them on the threaded studs
3. Start by tightening the outside 4 nuts and then the middle 2.
4. Tighten all to 100lb/ft
5. Place plastic cover and ensure it snap-fits at the 8 specified clip locations

Now, any human with 1/2 a brain, a decent checklist and 1 hour of training could do this successfully for $10 an hour or less.

However, to develop a robot that can do something as "simple" as this, would cost upwards of a few hundred-thousand $s, at the very least.

(Luckily humans come pre-programmed with a lot of basic functions and abilities, unlike robots!)



A parallel that comes to mind :
- Why are most of a car's mechanical components cast and not forged or entirely machined (which would be lighter/stronger/less restricted by the process) ?

One word answer again - cost!

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 24th June 2009 at 01:39.
Rehaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2009, 02:29   #11
Senior - BHPian
 
deepclutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Muvattupuzha
Posts: 1,120
Thanked: 109 Times
Default

Just see how Airbus A380's parts are assembled by robots which in human terms will be very tough.

watched 2 days back in NGC .

Last edited by deepclutch : 24th June 2009 at 02:31.
deepclutch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th June 2009, 07:29   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
madan80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Posts: 1,356
Thanked: 73 Times
Default

Exclusivity is one reason that machines are not doing the work at the ferrari's, mclarens etc. Most people who pay top dollar want to know that someone (not something) has taken the effort to make it. A similar stream of thought exists in restauranting as well. A customer at a fine dining restaurant will not be happy to learn that you have used a maching to slice the tomatoes, even though the cut is perfect and evenly spaced.

Cost is another reason, if i look at an assembly line with robots, i have to look at scale. swiss watches are not mass produced, hence the probability of robots is low. However, automation might be another viable option to reduce the operational lag - this need not necessarily translate to machines, but one person doing one job and passing it to another person can also qualify as automation.

When it comes to race engines and for that matter high performance engines in itself, they do not have scales, secondly, race engines require a different setup for every engine, hence you cant afford to have robotized assembly lines for each engine.

So to answer your question - only race engines and HPEs are assembled, the mass engines are produced.

Last edited by madan80 : 24th June 2009 at 07:31.
madan80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2009, 15:25   #13
BHPian
 
Mr_Bean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 844
Thanked: 130 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Interesting thread.

I guess a one word answer would be - cost.

Now, any human with 1/2 a brain, a decent checklist and 1 hour of training could do this successfully for $10 an hour or less.

However, to develop a robot that can do something as "simple" as this, would cost upwards of a few hundred-thousand $s, at the very least.

(Luckily humans come pre-programmed with a lot of basic functions and abilities, unlike robots!)


R
Spare a thought. Nowadays we have robots which are intelligent enough to observe things & understand emotions... If I had a robot with me, I would program-me the robot to observe what a human is doing (e.g. fixing a punctured tyre). Then after an hour it is all set to do the job.

I might sound silly, but these are sign of things to come. Probably the robot should be running with a FPGA chip and not the ASIC's.
Mr_Bean is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2009, 23:28   #14
Team-BHP Support
 
Rehaan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 22,381
Thanked: 22,606 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Bean View Post
....Nowadays we have robots which are intelligent enough to observe things & understand emotions... If I had a robot with me, I would program-me the robot to observe what a human is doing (e.g. fixing a punctured tyre). Then after an hour it is all set to do the job....
Surely, but chances are this would still cost a lot more than hiring an employee to change a punctured tyre....atleast for the next many years.

Its not that robots are not used in automotive manufacturing, its just that they have been used for processes where the advantage (in terms of quality, accuracy and speed) far outweigh what a human could do.


Man, dog, machine.
A man to feed the dog. A dog to make sure the man doesn't touch the machine.

cya
R
Rehaan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Force Motors to assemble engines for BMW volkman10 The Indian Car Scene 0 29th April 2014 21:38
Force Motors to assemble engines for Mercedes S-Class Y@SH The Indian Car Scene 6 27th September 2011 17:43
Wise decision-First hand car or second hand car Surprise Hatchbacks 51 4th October 2009 20:04
How they assemble engines: moralfibre Technical Stuff 2 23rd September 2008 12:51
Porsche to assemble cars in India. lurker The Indian Car Scene 13 22nd September 2007 01:31


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:00.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks