Lightweighting in Manufacturing Processes
The Weight of Old Concepts
Before the auto industry began adapting to more advanced and cost-effective material manufacturing concepts, vehicles were predominantly made of the same one material – steel. This heavy material not only hinders the performance of vehicles but also contributes to fuel inefficiency. Steel-made automobiles are restricted from having additional features embedded, such as safety devices or integrated emission and electronic systems, because of the considerable weight the steel carries. In only the last 25 years, auto manufacturers have gradually shifted towards using advanced materials to replace steel in vehicles.
The Advantages of Lightweighting
Lightweighting is a modernized concept in the auto industry focused on building less heavy passenger vehicles that are less heavy in order to achieve maximized performance, fuel efficiency, and handling. Instead of steel, carmakers use lighter, advanced materials such as aluminum or magnesium alloy and carbon fiber composites in their mass-produced passenger cars. These materials provide a range of benefits without compromising safety or durability:
- Increased fuel economy
- Maximized vehicle performance and handling
- Reduced oil consumption and carbon footprint High strength-to-weight ratio
- Extreme temperature tolerance Improved range of hybrid and electric cars
- Ability to include additional safety features, emission systems, and customized accessories without overloading the vehicle
Advanced sealants and adhesives are used in the vehicle assembly process to join dissimilar substrates, either used in conjunction with mechanical fastening processes or replace them altogether. Placement and performance requirements dictate material chemistries, which in turn dictate dispensing equipment requirements.
Traditional adhesive application equipment utilizes a pump that feeds a shot meter or dosing system, which controls and delivers the placement of adhesive. These devices can be quite accurate under controlled conditions but are expensive and difficult to maintain when implemented in the plant, where conditions can vary widely. This performance variability can also lead to issues in subsequent mechanical fastening processes, or compromise the bond itself. Modern systems such as the Graco E-Flo iQ dispense system eliminate the need for a shot meter and provide advanced control to precisely dispense material. Additionally, our systems dispense accurately and efficiently to optimize the material application for more reliable beads and stitches.
Lightweighting processes can offer abundant material savings, improved safety, and increased vehicle performance. Graco equipment can provide a smooth transition in embedding this concept within your automotive assembling operations. Our systems offer a clean, accurate, and efficient dispense to advance your lightweighting process.
Contact an Expert
Comparing 1k Metering & Dispensing Systems
Shot size, flow rate, material properties, and manufacturing style should be considered when to choosing a one component (1K) dispensing solution.
Automotive Structural Adhesives Application
Accurate bead placement is critical for a properly bonded system. Learn more about how E-Flo iQ delivers sustained in-plant performance, lowers maintenance costs, and drastically reduces system complexity for structural adhesive application.
Anti Flutter Application for Body Shop Closures
Designed to protect the exterior of vehicles and reduce noise during operation, anti-flutter applications are an important step in the automotive assembly process.
Have Questions? Let's Talk.
7 a.m.–4 p.m. Central Time
Contact an Expert
We'll help you choose the right product for your use.