Henry Ford is the father of the automobile mass production assembly line. He began the production of the Model T automobile in 1908. The Model T was based on Henry’s original Model A design that he manufactured five years earlier. It took him five years, from 1903 to 1908, to develop the Model T. The creation of this model marked the beginning of the mass production assembly line.
The mass assembly line is basically manufacturing different components separately and assembling them on the production line. Before this, vehicles were built by hand in small numbers by specialized craftsmen who rarely reproduced the same unit. With Ford’s design, the number of parts and the extent of manpower needed were tremendously reduced. Here is the basic process of car manufacturing.
The components of the car are brought in by more than 4,000 outside suppliers for assembly. The parts that will be used in the chassis are taken to a specific area, and those for the body to another. It’s made even easier these days because there are not dealers of industrial parts like Trimantec that offer engineered and electromechanical mechanical manufacturing solutions.
The chassis is the frame on which the body and other components rest. The process starts by laying the chassis on the assembly line and clamping it on the conveyer. The conveyer moves it around the assembly line where front and rear suspensions, gas tanks, steering wheel components, gearboxes, rear axles and driveshafts, wheel drums, and braking systems are installed.
- Engine and Transmission
The engine and its transmission are installed at this stage. Because they are heavy, they are installed with the aid of robotic arms. Other components such as the radiator are also installed at this stage.
It is at this stage that a multitude of panels and braces will be either bolted or welded to the frame of the car. When the assembly of the body shell is complete, it is moved to the paint section by overhead conveyers where it will receive different coats of paint. The body is then inspected, and if it passes the inspection, it moves to the next section.
- Door and Panels
Side panels and the front and rear door pillars are assembled at this stage. This process is carried out by articulating arms. The assembly of the body and chassis is done on different lines. Welding of the various parts is done by robots.
- Final Assembly
At this stage is where the body shell, doors, chassis, trunk lids, lights, door panels, glass, and interior components such as the seats, steering wheel, and dashboard among others are installed. The complete body shell and chassis are then joined together in a process called mating. Other components such as anti-freeze, batteries, and gasoline are also installed.
- Quality Control
The now complete car is driven to an area where quality control will be done. It will undergo water-leakage test among other tests. If it passes, the car is then up for distribution.
The manufacturing process of a car has greatly evolved. From the days of Henry Ford where human labor is highly needed to the current day where robots do most of the work. We hope that this article has expanded your knowledge on the car manufacturing process.