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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report 2 Goals 1 and 2 This chapter provides a brief overview of PNGV activities and discusses general progress toward goals 1 and 2. As noted in the committee's second report, goals 1 and 2 have no quantitative objective; therefore, the committee is providing only qualitative comments on its brief review of these PNGV goals. Goal 1 is to improve significantly national competitiveness in manufacturing by improving the productivity of the U.S. manufacturing base by significantly upgrading U.S. manufacturing technology. Goal 2 is to implement commercially viable innovations from ongoing research on conventional vehicles. As part of this goal, technological advances that can improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions of standard vehicle designs, while maintaining safety standards, are being pursued. Achievement of goals 1 and 2 forms an important enabling base for Goal 3 technologies, such as establishing commercially viable manufacturing methods. The projects pursued for goals 1 and 2 will supplement Goal 3 technology development and will provide useful supporting information for subsequent actions by the USCAR and the federal government. GOAL 1 In the first two years of the PNGV program, progress toward Goal 1 included (1) forming a manufacturing team to monitor joint projects, (2) completing a comprehensive review of potential projects, and (3) identifying 16 high-potential projects for joint action by the USCAR and the federal government. Cost is a major area of competition among the automotive companies; therefore, most companies invest in technology and its implementation independently, and the results are not shared. Under the auspices of the PNGV, precompetitive technology-
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report development projects can be pursued jointly, presumably at a lower total cost than if they were conducted individually by an automotive company. Joint programs are also attractive investments for government and suppliers because of their broad potential application when all three U.S. automotive companies are committed to a technology. The PNGV presentations to the committee indicated that 10 precompetitive projects have been selected. All three automotive companies will work together on these projects through the PNGV (Hartfield, 1996; Joseph, 1996). However, USCAR funding is currently still being sought for one of the projects. Plans for 1996 The manufacturing team planned to solidify its relationships with outside suppliers and initiate work on the 10 projects selected in 1996. The projects were chosen for their potential to satisfy manufacturing needs with major cost reductions and productivity increases. The team planned to make progress on data generation and validation for a number of projects and to complete experimental designs and model evaluations for other projects. Three projects were to be identified and initiated by the end of 1996. Progress in 1996 The PNGV Goal 1 projects are managed by various organizations outside of the PNGV. The manufacturing team monitors and "mentors" these projects. Four projects are managed by the National Center for Manufacturing Systems, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Three of the projects are partially funded by the government under the National Institute of Science and Technology Advanced Technology Program (ATP); the other seven are self-funded by industry, including the automotive companies, suppliers, and others. In at least one case, an ATP proposal that was not selected for government funding was of such great interest to the PNGV that it was fully funded by industry. The 10 Goal 1 projects include a broad range of topics, which are briefly described below: Springback predictability. Develop and validate a three-dimensional computer code for accurate springback prediction for high-strength steel and aluminum sheet forming. Intelligent resistance welding. Improve the quality and consistency of resistance spot-welding for steel and aluminum. Feature-based modeling. Develop a standard feature definition for exchange among different computer-aided design systems. Powder paint. Develop a powder clearcoat-paint material technology to reduce paint material costs and emission-abatement system costs.
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report Laser welding of aluminum. Develop the fundamentals of a process to produce good joint integrity for automated laser welding of automotive components with high aluminum content. Aluminum die casting. Improve aluminum die-casting process efficiencies. Dry machining of aluminum. Develop a process for dry machining of aluminum without the use of coolants. High-throughput hole making. Improve tool holders for high-speed cells and develop new tooling materials and designs to improve machining productivity. Leak-test technology. Evaluate four technologies for leak detection and location. Ergonomics for hand tools. Establish comprehensive ergonomic-based techniques, information, rules, and guidelines for powered hand tools that support their selection, use, and design (funds are currently being sought). Of the nine active PNGV projects, three were initiated in the fall of 1996. Experimental designs and model evaluations are being completed for three others. The remaining three (powder paint, laser welding of aluminum, and aluminum die casting) are at the data-generation and validation stage. Plans for 1997 The manufacturing team will continue to pursue plans for the 10 projects. No additional projects are currently planned. At a minimum, all of the projects will generate data from designed experiments in 1997. Some projects will be completed in 1997, and the data will be validated. Assessment The committee believes that the ATP provided an excellent focus for projects of value to the PNGV. The proposal process defined promising development programs for a broad range of technologies to allow competition for up to 50 percent funding by the government. Teams of users, suppliers, and technologists were created during competition for these awards. If additional government funding is invested in Goal 1 projects, the ATP approach, which includes flexible project solicitation and selection, would be a good model. The committee believes the projects currently selected have a high potential for contributing to the Goal 1 objectives. The committee commends the work of the manufacturing team and encourages its continued progress. The committee also recognizes that 7 of the 10 projects are being self-funded through the USCAR because of a lack of government support. Ultimately, the three USCAR partners will be strongly motivated to implement these technologies to achieve the cost reduction and productivity
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report they will make possible. However, the high initial cost of tooling to demonstrate these new production technologies could be a barrier to their introduction. Recommendation Based on its review of Goal 1 plans and progress, the committee makes the following recommendation. Recommendation. For the technologies that will contribute cost and weight reductions for Goal 3 vehicles, a cost-shared approach between industry and government should be used to fund the initial tooling for proof-of-concept demonstration to reduce the financial risk to any one company. Investments for subsequent tooling for larger production runs would be made by individual companies. GOAL 2 The committee indicated in its second report that some progress had been made in pursuit of Goal 2 through the USCAR consortia and cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) with the national laboratories. The committee considers continuation of this progress essential for determining the viability of several Goal 3 technologies. Plans for 1996 The intent of the Goal 2 program is to pursue advances that can lead to increased efficiency in standard vehicle designs prior to Goal 3 schedules. Throughout the research program, the USCAR partners have committed to apply those commercially viable technologies resulting from this research that would be expected to increase vehicle fuel efficiency significantly and reduce emissions. As various components or subsystems are determined and validated as part of the Goal 3 effort, they can be programmed into earlier production release by the USCAR partners. Progress in 1996 The number of projects defined and in various stages of implementation give evidence that significant progress was achieved in 1996. The technology sources for these projects derive from a variety of efforts, including collaborative industry—government developments, R&D directed towards Goal 3 and early breakthrough technology, proprietary R&D by individual companies, USCAR projects, and relevant government R&D. The committee reviewed details of 29 projects currently under consideration or development by all of these sources. Sixteen
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report collaborative R&D projects relate to engine-support systems, and 13 relate to automotive materials. The projects that are purported to have a benefit of ''breakthrough enabling technology" are discussed here because they should impact both near-term and Goal 3 product needs. PNGV stated that projects dealing with "engine-support systems" have breakthrough benefits; five of these projects deal with vehicle system components, and two deal with manufacturing process improvements. The following projects relate to vehicle system components: Lean NOx catalyst. Develop catalyst technology to reduce NOx (nitrogen oxides) in lean-burn exhaust gas. On-board diagnostics (OBD-II) subsystem analysis. Develop a methodology to assess and improve the performance of the OBD system. Exhaust-constituent sensor. Develop exhaust gas sensors capable of measuring future low emission levels. High-durability spark delivery. Develop improved sparkplug and insulator materials for increased life at higher firing potential and power and on increased dielectric strength. Plasma treatment of the exhaust. Determine the feasibility of plasma-based technologies using catalytic material to achieve simultaneous hydrocarbon (HC) oxidation and NOx reductions under lean-burn conditions. The following projects are related to improvements in manufacturing processes: Super-plastic formed stainless steel. Design exhaust components for unique energy conservation designs using super-plastic stainless steels. Rapid prototyping using spray-formed tooling. Develop a cost-effective, commercially viable spray-forming process for rapid production of net-shaped dies and tooling and demonstrate the process with both simple and complex model fabrication. Eight projects deal with automotive materials that are designated as having technology-breakthrough benefits. These projects combine manufacturing methods and processes, as well as material types and characteristics, as briefly described below: Low-cost aluminum-sheet production. Develop a continuous-cast process to reduce the cost of aluminum sheet alloy by 25 percent by the year 2000. High-volume composite manufacturing. Develop and demonstrate high-volume, low-cost liquid molding technology for large, lightweight components. Crash energy management of composite structures. Develop the technology to apply structural composites for crash and energy management and on associated design tools.
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report Adhesive bonding technologies. Develop attachment technologies for composite structures. Slurry preforming. Establish a water slurry process for high-volume, low-cost, fiber preforming for liquid molding of large complex structures. Manufacturing methods for fiber preforms. Develop and demonstrate high-volume, low-cost, fiber-preforming technology for liquid molding of large complex components. Full-field nondestructive evaluation (NDE) testing. Develop and demonstrate production-capable, full-field, NDE test methods for bonded composites. Low-cost powder metallurgy for particle-reinforced aluminum. Develop a process to manufacture powder metallurgy components using particle-reinforced aluminum composite materials. Plans for 1997 Plans for 1997 for the 15 breakthrough technology projects described above fall into two categories: (1) working with industrial partners to commercialize and continue R&D activities; and (2) continuing the testing, evaluation, and validation of the process technology inside the PNGV. The latter category involves the projects on exhaust-constituent sensors, high-durability spark delivery, plasma treatment of exhaust, low-cost aluminum sheet, high-volume composite manufacturing, crash energy management of composite structures, and adhesive bonding technologies. The former category includes the projects on lean NOx catalyst, OBD-II, super-plastic process improvement, rapid prototyping, slurry preforming, full-field NDE, and low-cost powder metallurgy. Activities for the other 14 projects for Goal 2 are primarily aimed at the progressive development of the individual original equipment manufacturer (OEM) product and manufacturing plans. The engine-support systems projects on fuel/combustion optimization, NDE testing for part integrity, intelligent welding, in-cylinder air/fuel mixing, sensor- and actuator-manufacturing process, and powder metal machining are well under way. Feasibility has been confirmed for virtually all of them. In the automotive materials area, projects on rapid tooling for metal-mold processes, laser welding of aluminum sheet metal, deformation and environmental degradation of structural composites, optimization of cast light metals, and environmentally friendly free-machining steel will be incorporated in the product process within two years. As of now, feasibility is confirmed for all projects except the free-machining steel project. Assessment The PNGV evaluated more than 80 projects. Those selected are achieving significant progress under the mentoring of the manufacturing team. The committee
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report reviewed the individual product plans and accomplishments of the OEMs and found significant calculated cost and weight savings for near-term products. As substantial as they appear, however, the projected aggregate benefit of the near-term, competitive actions might be about 10 percent of the total weight and cost savings required to make any of the proposed Goal 3 technologies feasible. Since goals 1 and 2 will produce an important enabling base for Goal 3, especially in manufacturing, the breakthrough technologies must result in the necessary cost and weight reductions. This requires ensuring efficient use of the optimum combination of materials in the PNGV vehicles, using the most productive manufacturing process and creative approaches for concurrent development of product designs, and implementing required manufacturing methods for production (concurrent engineering). It appears that all the important areas are currently being addressed; however, year-to-year progress and plans for 1997 do not indicate much improvement in the pace of development. It is expected that more resources will be directed toward the critical projects as technologies are selected for incorporation into the concept vehicle and projects are re-prioritized. Recommendation Based on its review of Goal 2 plans and progress, the committee makes the following recommendation. Recommendation. PNGV should evaluate and prioritize its Goal 2 projects to identify projects that would contribute the most to near-term improvements in fuel efficiency and reduction in emissions and would enhance the manufacturing base needed to meet the cost goals of the Goal 3 technologies. Based on this prioritization of potential improvements, resources and funding should be appropriately reallocated. REFERENCES Hartfield, S. 1996. Achievements and Progress on Goal 1 and Major Manufacturing Development Needs Inducing Resource Requirements, Presented to the Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., November 12, 1996. Joseph, G. 1996. Achievements and Progress on Goal 2. Presented to the Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., November 12, 1996.
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