In 1908 Henry Ford started production of Model T car. Based on its original Model A design first manufactured in 1903 the model T took five years to develop. Its creation was initiated what we know today as the mass production assembly line. This revolutionary idea was based on the concept of simply mounting interchangeable components. Before this time coaches and buggies had been handed in small numbers by specialized craftsmen who rarely duplicated any particular device. Fords innovative design reduced the number of parts needed and the number of skilled fitters who had always formed the bulk of assembly work giving Ford a huge advantage over its competition.
When the T model was developed Ford had decided to use several mounting points with mounting devices moving from stand to stand each performing a specific function. This process reduced the assembly time for each installer from 8.5 hours to just 2.5 minutes by making every worker fully acquainted with a specific task.
Ford soon acknowledged losing time and creating jam ups in the production process as faster workers took over slowly. In Detroit in 1913 he solved the problem by introducing the first moving assembly line a carrier that passed the vehicle past a stationary fitter. By eliminating the need for workers to move between stations Ford sets up the assembly task for each worker from 2.5 minutes to just under 2 minutes The moving assembly carrier could now fit the stationary worker. Fords mass production ran the automotive industry for almost five decades and was eventually adopted by almost all other industrial manufacturers. Although technical progress has made it possible for many improvements to todays car assembly operations the basic concept of stationary workers who install parts of a vehicle when passing their workplaces has not changed dramatically over the years.
Introducing a new car model usually takes three to five years from start to assembly. Ideas for new models are developed to respond to rude management needs and preferences. Trying to predict what the public wants to drive in five years is no small achievement but car companies have successfully designed cars that fit the public taste. With the help of computer aided design equipment designers develop basic conceptual drawings that help them visualize the appearance of the proposed vehicle. Based on this simulation they construct clay models that can be studied by styling experts who are familiar with what the public is likely to accept. Aerodynamic engineers also examine the models study airflow parameters and conduct feasibility studies at crash tests. Only after all models have been reviewed and approved tool designers are allowed to start building the tools that will make component parts of the new model.
All components that enter the car are manufactured elsewhere. This means that the thousands of components that make up the car must be manufactured tested packed and sent to assembly facilities often on the day they will be used. This requires no small amount of planning. In order to achieve this most car manufacturers require that external component suppliers expose their components to rigorous testing and inspection audits similar to those used by assembly plants. In this way the assembly facilities can expect that the products coming to their receiving docks are approved for statistical process control SPC and free of defects.
The development of the electric car will be due to more innovative solar and aeronautical technology and advanced satellite and radar technology than traditional vehicle design and construction. The electric car has no engine exhaust system transmission silencer radiator or spark plug. It will not require resolutions or truly revolutionary gasoline. Instead power from AC motors AC comes with a brushless design that can rotate up to 20000 rpm. Batteries to power these engines come from high performance cells that can generate more than 100 kilowatts of power. And unlike past and present lead batteries future batteries will be environmentally friendly and recyclable. Integrated with the vehicles braking system will be a power converter that converts DC to the battery pack system when the accelerator pedal is turned off thus serving as a generator for the battery system even when the car is driving far into the future.