Monthly Archives: October 2016

Achieving Cleanliness Reliably

Component cleanliness is a quality criterion in the motor vehicle industry. Requirements are becoming stricter and stricter with each vehicle generation – with simultaneously increasing cost pressure. And thus for the automotive industry and its suppliers it’s becoming more and more important to exploit optimisation potential in the area of parts cleaning.

Global emphasis is being placed upon reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, as well as increasing safety and comfort within the vehicle manufacturing industry. Downsized engines are in demand which run more efficiently with high power output, as are components that are capable of withstanding extreme loads and are distinguished by tight tolerances. However, this is only possible with high precision components – and this is associated with increased sensitivity to contamination. If they end up in the wrong place, even particles with sizes down to 500, 200 or even just 100 µm can cause damage and failure in the field. This is why, in the meantime, the automotive industry has started defining particle size distributions for certain parts in functional modules such as the power train, steering and brakes, for example no more than 1,000 particles between 100 and 200 µm, 500 particles between 200 and 400 µm etc. In order to fulfil and document these requirements, large investments in industrial parts cleaning technology are required in some cases. For example, based on calculations, the outlays required for cleaning technology which fulfils a specified requirement of “no particles larger than 1,000 µm” are two to three times higher than for systems in which cleaned parts are contaminated with larger particles.

Minimising Contamination

The issue of potential for economic optimisation in the parts cleaning process is pursued despite, or perhaps precisely due to the large investment sums involved in some cases. One approach is component design, because the geometry of the workpiece and the individual steps of the manufacturing process, for example turning, milling and assembly, as well as cleanability, are determined during the design stage. The latter usually plays no role at all, for which revenge is taken during the subsequent production process: The parts have corners, edges or drill holes from which particles and processing residues can only be removed with considerable effort, or not at all.

Due to the fact that material is removed during the course of chip-forming machining processes, contamination can never be entirely avoided. The quality of cooling lubricants and machining fluids influences the quantity of chips, burrs and particles on the workpieces. Suitable purification/filtration prevents previously washed away contamination from being returned to the component once again.

A special rinsing step with the tool in the machining centre – perhaps even with more finely purified fluid from a separate tank – can also make a contribution to reducing the number of chips. At first glance, this represents an additional expense. But it pays for itself later on in the manufacturing process thanks to shorter cleaning times and/or a longer bath service life, as well as better component quality. And residues which are removed after machining by means of mechanical pre-cleaning based on vibration, shaking, spinning or vacuum blasting the surfaces of the part do not place any unnecessary load on the cleaning agent.

In the case of multi-stage machining processes in metal forming and machining applications, intermediate cleaning steps prevent the accumulation of contamination, as well as any mixing or drying out of media on the workpieces.

Ideally Laid Out Cleaning Processes

Modern cleaning systems are capable of fulfilling even very high demands for component cleanliness – assuming the cleaning process has been ideally matched to the contamination to be removed, part geometry, the utilised material and the cleanliness specification to be complied with.

The limit value of “smaller than 1,000 µm” for components in engines and gearboxes can only be adhered to with a cleaning process which has been laid out specifically for the respective part. The current state-of-the-art makes use of a multi-stage procedure to this end. The workpieces are thus usually subjected to mechanical cleaning during the first step, which removes some of the adhering machining fluid. The second step involves immersion flooding: Water is injected into the cleaning chamber below the surface of the bath at a pressure of 10 to 15 bar. The resulting whirlpool effect rinses chips and contamination out of hollow spaces such as threaded blind holes. Water jet systems which are aimed at openings in the component, and lances which advance into holes, allow for optimised results within short periods of time. This applies as well to subsequent high-pressure cleaning or deburring. Rinsing is followed by a drying process.

Innovative automotive solutions

Windows Embedded Automotive has spent more than 15 years enabling vehicle-based infotainment systems that let drivers control their car stereos, mobile phones and other devices with voice commands. Consumers have since come to expect that they can access and share information — even while they’re driving. They have traded the legacy driving aids of the AM radio and road atlas for entertainment, navigation and communication services.

The in-car infotainment systems are now one of the top selling points and are helping the automotive industry create what it calls the “connected car.” Depending on the system they’ve selected, drivers can listen to text messages, connect to social media, receive driving directions and more, all without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel. The connected car is one more example of what Windows Embedded calls intelligent systems.

Windows Embedded Automotive 7 includes state of the art hands free phone control including address book and calendar download with secure simple pairing.

New in Windows Embedded Automotive 7 is SMS Reply by voice. Drivers can reply to text messages using voice controls where the system matches the drivers reply to stored messages like “Running late” or “See you in 10 minutes.”

Support for media devices like iPod and Zune, a cornerstone of past Windows Embedded Automotive platforms, have been upgrade and improved including iPhone/iPod Touch Firmware 3.x support, Bluetooth 2.1 and the latest DLNA.

 

Additionally Microsoft provides regular device updates to car makers so that the platform always works with the latest devices keeping your solution relevant for years.

What’s New for Microsoft Auto Customers?

Those familiar with Microsoft Auto can enjoy the new tools that the Windows Automotive development environment (the Automotive Adaptation Kit [AAK]) brings to Windows Embedded Automotive 7:

  • Next-generation Automotive System Tools

The AST tools support the stable integration of advanced, high-performance systems. They include improved test modules and easy-to-use product engineering guidelines to help simplify the development process and increase reliability.

  • A wider selection of middleware components

These include Windows Internet Explorer and Windows Media technology, required for the development of an automotive multimedia system.

  • Significantly improved middleware

Updated Bluetooth profiles, enhanced media and phone modules and application cores all to make sure that Windows Embedded Automotive continues to be the preferred and leading in-car infotainment platform.

  • Microsoft Tellme speech technology engines and Silverlight for Windows Embedded

Ford Motor Company also used Windows Embedded Automotive to power the award-winning Ford SYNC, SYNC with MyFord Touch and SYNC AppLink.

Multilanguage functionality in Ford SYNC was unveiled with the all-new Focus available now in China. With the introduction of the Focus, SYNC will feature Mandarin as its interfacing language, recognizing wide-ranging accents from 13 provinces, while also responding to English commands. Spoken by more than 1.2 billion people, the Mandarin language has subtleties that necessitated extensive research to allow for the differences in the pronunciation of the same word.

How to detect behind you

According to Infiniti America’s Vice President Ben Poore ,

“The system can detect vehicles approaching from either side when you back up. If a vehicle appears to be entering your path, it provides three layers of warning – visual, audio and gas pedal force feedback – and ultimately can apply brake pressure to help you avoid a collision if you don’t take action yourself.”

Not only does it enhance one’s driving experience, it also ensures in more than just one way, that drivers enjoy a safety feature which can prevent a lot of accidents.

When an approaching vehicle is detected, the driver hears an audible alert and witnesses a flashing light indicating its oncoming direction. Next, as the vehicle gets closer, the driver hears three beeps and sees a red frame indicator on the in-dash display as an additional warning.

If one fails to act, at this point, the system counteracts by pushing back on the accelerator. If one continues to back up, the system will engage the brakes momentarily to draw attention, in a matter of few seconds.

When in reverse, BCI helps detect crossing traffic as well as large, stationery objects behind the vehicle.

The BCI system is bundled with the $1,900 Driver Assistance Package and also requires the $3,000 Premium Plus navigation, traffic info and voice recognition package.

However, since the system is aimed at parking lot and driveway assistance, it is only active below 5 mph. Drivers are hence advised to look back while in the reverse as an extended safety measure.

So, no more missing while trying to back up!