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