Robots have become a common fixture in most automotive manufacturing plants over the past few years.
These automated workhorses have helped streamline the production process, churning out increased volumes of offerings over a shorter time span.
Yet for all their technological wonders, robots to have their limitations—one of these being their single-minded approach to processes.
In other words, they only perform a single task in the name of efficiency.
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, however, may have found a way to make them more efficient while performing new tasks as well.
Case in point is the dual-sided dieless forming process.
Utilizing two robots placed at opposite sides of a steel sheet, it involves diamond-coated tools that enable the robots to form more complex shapes.
And some re-programming, of course.
In the past, a single-sided forming technique was used, which only allowed for a limited number of shapes to be formed out of steel or other metals.
With this new technique, robots can come up with shapes that are out of the ordinary, making for more innovative creations from one sheet of steel.
One cool benefit this has for the automaker is coming up with replacement parts for models that have been discontinued.
Notice how today’s cars are usually slab-sided, with merely a crease here and there to break up the monotony.
This is a far cry from models of yore that had more evocative shapes.
Nissan hopes to bring these old shapes and designs back to life, even in small volumes at lower costs.
With this new technology, we can expect to find parts that many a car restorer could find useful in building their project car, for instance.
And who knows? Maybe even more emotional designs for future models.
It’s all part of Nisan’s thrust to innovate the vehicle manufacturing process.