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What Is Precision Engineering and what does it mean for your car

Precision Engineering is a specific subdivision of mechanical, electrical, software, electronics and optical engineering. As the word precision entails, this type of engineering practice is used for designing and building mechanisms and components with the highest degree of accuracy. Although utilised by numerous different industries, it has become integral to the modern automotive industry. By assessing the key objectives of precision engineering you will understand just how extensively it is used within the car manufacturing industry.

Precise movements

The ability to create very precise movements allows engineers to use much more intricate mechanisms in their designs. As a result, they can greatly increase the efficiency and even more performance from their machines. 

Miniaturisation

By creating smaller components with the same functions it is possible maximise space and fit more into any given area. Car electronics can be neatly tucked away and hidden behind dashboards and plastic panels. This also allows for more complex electrical circuits to be integrated into cars, previously these would have been too bulky to fit.

Increased life

Component life can be increased as less wear and tear takes place between parts. Now that parts do not need to be replaced as often, the service schedules can be increased. As a whole, the car will be able to stay in service for much longer than before.

Fitting/assembly

Components would usually need to be carefully fitted by hand but now they can fit together much easier. Robots and machines can now be utilised for the most part which greatly increases the efficiency of the production line. With lower manufacturing costs, it allows for lower prices for the end customers.

Quality control

By using higher accuracy machines and equipment less mistakes take place during production. This results in much less scrap, waste and rework during the manufacture of cars. More money saved during the production stage means the cars can then be sold at more competitive prices.

Interchangeable

Precision engineering practices ensure that car parts are built to set specifications with very little deviance. Parts can be simply mass produced, virtually identical to each other.  Other manufactures can create replacements parts which can be dropped straight into place of the originals. Quite often these are actually cheaper than the genuine parts from the original manufacturer.

The easiest way to demonstrate the application of these principles is to closely examine a single component from a car, for example a turbocharger. This is a great example as precision engineering is integral to the design and build of a turbocharger. It requires a highly efficient design with minute tolerances otherwise it simply wouldn’t be effective for its job. The unit houses a small fan which must spin up easily but can maintain very high velocities without failing. The entire unit must also be quite robust as it will regularly be subjected to high temperatures. As this is a fairly major component to change the unit must have a long service life. When the unit eventually does fail a drop in replacement identical to the last can be swapped in its place.

 


published: 02/09/2014 14:25:44

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