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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report 5 Major Manufacturing Considerations for Goal 3 The manufacturing team is working with the PNGV technology teams to ensure that the manufacturing R&D meets the near-team and long-team needs of the PNGV. As addressed in Chapter 2, the near-team goal (Goal 1) is to improve significantly the manufacturing competitiveness of the USCAR partners. In the longer term Goal 3 R&D program, the manufacturing team is working with the technology teams to develop viable concept vehicles by the year 2000 and cost-effective preproduction prototypes by the year 2004. PLANS FOR 1996 The objective of the 1996 plans was to mobilize the USCAR partners' manufacturing community through the formation of teams, propose projects, and develop a manufacturing technology road map. The objective for the latter part of the year was to identify manufacturing technologies that would improve the global competitiveness of the partners and would meet the technology needs of Goal 3 vehicles. PROGRESS IN 1996 The manufacturing team has been firmly established and will play a substantial and critical role in meeting the cost, weight, performance, productivity, and other requirements to make any of the proposed Goal 3 technologies viable. Near-term projects have been defined that can improve the partners' competitiveness in manufacturing, the objective of Goal 1. A manufacturing technology road map has been formulated, but it will have to be refined as new manufacturing technologies
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report are identified to meet the challenges of Goal 3 product technologies. The manufacturing team members are active participants in the product technology teams and, as needs arise, are able to communicate them to government representatives, other consortia, universities, and suppliers. The manufacturing team believes it has identified all known product technology needs at this time; it is still identifying needs for improvements in specific manufacturing processes. The highest priority manufacturing needs include the following: Fuel Cells. New or improved processes are required for metal bipolar plates, injection molding or graphite/polymer plates, catalyst application, and sealing and adhesives applications. Modeling high-speed, automated manufacturing and assembly and evaluating of real-time quality control/nondestructive evaluation methods for all components are also required. Gas-Turbine Engines. Significant producibility and affordability issues must be addressed. In this last year, the PNGV has made significant progress in fabricating precision ceramic components suitable for the extremely high inlet temperatures required for the Goal 3 turbine-engine application. Most recently a new gelcast technology was developed that allows parts to be made in 2 percent of the traditional time. Proof of length of life at high temperatures is still required. Another manufacturing goal is to demonstrate high-volume manufacture of a low-cost, high-yield product that can be reliably joined to other ceramic or metal materials. Furthermore, the targets for raw-material (silicon nitride) cost at acceptable availability levels is a significant challenge. Demonstration of a high-volume engine assembly that takes precision, balance, and material handling into account is also needed. CIDI Engine. Fuel-injection-system performance is critical in support of engine efficiency and emissions control. Machining of small injector holes at a high-volume rate, as well as affordably producing other precise injector pump components, are the significant tasks. Improvements in the process for aluminum cylinder head and cylinder block, bore and valve seat treatment, are also required. Flywheels. A low-cost process for carbon-fiber fabrication with excellent and consistent quality characteristics is essential. Low-cost bearings, design of a method to evacuate the high-speed housing, and a means to balance the high-speed flywheel are other requirements. Electrical and Power Electronics. Refined manufacturing processes will be needed, and lightweight materials will be mandatory. Casting and machining processes for ultimate structural weight reduction must be achieved. The use of rare-earth magnets will challenge manufacturing forming and handling processes. High electrical power levels will require sophisticated designs for lead attachment and bonding for which manufacturing processes will be critical to reducing costs. Cooling
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report requirements will require the machining and casting of complex cooling packages. New motor construction designs and integrally casting a copper squirrel cage for induction motors are also significant areas to be addressed. Very little progress has been made in producibility and affordability. The PNGV team estimates that the cost for the electrical and electronic components for driveline and power control are 50 to 300 percent higher than Goal 3 target levels. Simultaneous design for performance optimization and manufacturing cost reduction must be achieved. Battery and Ultracapacitors. New processes are required for thin-film coatings of large battery plates, carbon manufacturing to reduce costs and improve energy densities, and reliable and affordable sealing. Vehicle Systems. Modeling and simulation of the entire vehicle assembly process will be performed to improve logistics, flexibility, and operator variability and to improve the cost of all manufacturing phases (for example, individual, subassembly, and assembly operations). Improvement in manufacturing of both composite and aluminum materials is required. Computer models are desired for composites to predict manufacturing variability effects on material performance. Reduced cycle time and the use of intelligent process controls are also required. Improvements required for aluminum relate to joining methods (for example, adhesive bonding, welding, or mechanical), aluminum forming methods to reduce cycle time and achieve predictability and reliability, and developing different approaches for reducing the feedstock cost of the aluminum. PLANS FOR 1997 During 1997, the PNGV will initiate projects to address the needs identified in 1996. The formation of specific project teams will be completed, and funding will be obtained. Close communication will be maintained with the product technology teams so objectives can be adjusted in response to new developments. ASSESSMENT The manufacturing team is now clearly organized and is making progress. Each USCAR partner has assigned at least one full-time, dedicated person and one full-time equivalent (several part-time people) to this goal. Many more individuals are involved on a part-time basis, and there is substantial support from suppliers, government, and universities. It is unlikely, however, that significant cost reductions and efficiency improvements will be available during the technology downselect process at the end of 1997. Critical manufacturing proofs, however, may be achieved in time to validate the feasibility of technologies, such as high-temperature ceramics for gas-turbine engines or precision injectors for diesel engines.
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Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles: Third Report The cost reductions required to offset the likely higher cost of the new product technologies currently assumed as candidates for the Goal 3 vehicles seems to be well beyond what can be achieved through the current projects in Goal 1 and those currently forming for Goal 3. It appears to the committee that the work in progress and work planned will not be sufficient to meet the very demanding requirements of the Goal 3 objective. A major portion of the effort should be directed toward ''clean-sheet-of-paper" approaches rather than what seems to be incremental process improvement. One example of this would be engine construction in a mono-block configuration. This is quite different, but not radical, from today's construction. Although there is a possibility that the mono-block configuration would require one-third fewer parts and result in lower costs, the PNGV seems to have relegated this configuration to the periphery; that is, the manufacturing needs assessment for the CIDI suggests only tentative support for a mono-block approach. The committee believes that the manufacturing team needs to take a stronger initiative in identifying and pursuing new approaches to manufacturing technologies to accomplish the significant cost reductions that are going to be needed to achieve Goal 3. The committee fully supports the funding requests associated with initiating and continuing the efforts of the project teams. RECOMMENDATION Based on its review of the manufacturing team's progress and plans for 1997, the committee makes the following recommendation. Recommendation. A major portion of the manufacturing efforts for the Goal 3 vehicle should be directed toward identifying new manufacturing approaches for lowering costs significantly in all key system and subsystem areas.
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