Automotive Engineering Jobs

Knowledge Requirements
Automotive engineering encompasses mechanical and structural engineering and requires those working within the field to apply the principles of several scientific disciplines. These include physics, structural design, and materials analysis. Automotive engineering jobs also require a strong understanding of manufacturing principles and mechanical system design and operation methods.

These engineers may also need to be knowledgeable in several other areas of engineering, including safety, power, electronics, and software. Many engineers working in the automotive field will specialize in a particular area, allowing them to become experts in their realm. This often results in higher pay and better job security.

Project Leaders
Some of the most well educated, experiences, and skilled automotive engineers are those who are able to oversee projects in new business or product development. These automotive engineering jobs are responsible to leading a design, engineering and manufacturing team that take new products from conceptualization through production. Such engineering roles are highly compensated in the marketplace and also require candidates to have strong “soft” skills in addition to technical know-how.

Communication and leadership are among the soft skills necessary for engineers to be successful in overseeing team-based automotive engineering development projects. While the job market is jam packed with highly skilled technical engineers, it is a wide open playing field for those with a more well-rounded skill set.

Specialties in the Field
There are a number of specialized automotive engineering jobs to be found in the field. These positions may focus on a particular kind of system, structure or function of vehicles, or it may be a certain subset of vehicles.

For example, an automotive engineer may specialize in the design of vehicle bodies, in which case he or she would be required to possess superior knowledge of structural design principles. Or, the engineer may specialize in the development of guidance or navigation systems, in which case he or she would need to be quite knowledgeable in computer science and software applications.

Those engineering jobs that specialize in vehicle subsets may include the design, development, and manufacture of passenger or commercial, land-based transportation vehicles. The engineer may be an expert on passenger or transportation trains, motorcycles, school or public transit buses, passenger cars, or military transport vehicles.

Regardless of the area in which the engineer specializes, he or she may also be an expert within that particular subsector of the automotive engineering field. This means that there are highly knowledgeable engineers who are able to design and develop new components, structures and systems for a specific kind of vehicle. For example, there are automotive engineering jobs that work only with the guidance systems found in military transport vehicles.

Die Stamping Our Way to Remarkably Better Automotive Parts

Two qualities of automotive parts have stood the test of time. The lighter and stronger the materials used for making a part, the better. Considering the integrity of the automobile as a whole, the quest for the right mix of metals for each particular component is ongoing. The process most relied upon for the manufacture of parts nowadays is die stamping because of its mass production advantage. Also known as pressing, this is the process of stamping shapes from sheets of metal.

High Strength Steels

Towards the end of the 1900s, increasing awareness of the human impact on our planet sped up the search for ways to reduce our energy use. This was most apparent in the automotive parts industry. Safety regulations became stricter. People increasingly want cars that are more environmentally friendly and that operate more cost effectively. Advanced high strength steels developed for the automotive industry are changing the way cars are made.

Steel versus Aluminium

There is constant debate in the automotive industry about whether to use aluminium or steel in the production of automotive parts. Essentially this is a quest for finding material strong enough to be safe for use in automobiles that is formable and cost effective. Most of the top car manufacturers are opting for decisions of which material to be used being made on a part by part basis.

History of Die Stamping

Dating back to 2000BC, with stone-age man beating iron with a hammer to make tools with heated metal resting on a bed or bolster, the idea of stamping metals is not new. Die stamping was first used to produce bicycle parts in the 1890s. Although die stamping produced parts with less durability than traditional forging, there was advantage in using machines to manufacture automotive parts more quickly. As demand for motor vehicles grew, faster production methods were welcomed.

Progressive Stamping

A variety of metalworking methods are incorporated into the die stamping manufacture of automotive parts. Beginning with simple methods like bending the metal along straight lines, there are nine other ways machines are working with metal during the stamping process. Flanging, embossing, blanking, coining, deep drawing, stretching, ironing, curling and hemming each allow progressively more detailed parts to be made.

Improving Automotive Parts Manufacturing

Along with developing steel sheets for die stamping that are thinner and more lightweight than ever while having increased strength, machining is becoming more technologically advanced. Modern control systems and computer aided design and machining along with improved mechanisms for spot-welding, riveting and door-latch making are transforming the automotive parts manufacturing process.

Overall Productivity

Computers are an integral part of numerical control at play in today’s component design and machining systems. Along with advances in automation using computer aided manufacturing, automotive parts can be more productively and cost-effectively produced than ever before. The precision possible through die stamping methods used in automotive part manufacturing going into this millennium is improving productivity and lowering environmental impact.

Automotive GPS Units – Practical Technology

Prior to the invention of automotive GPS units, traveling to unknown areas had to be done through reading a map and/or asking for directions. Both methods had problems. For instance, how can one effectively read a map while driving? Map-reading is only best if there is another passenger in the car, which isn’t always possible. Asking for directions can also be annoying, at least if the person giving the directions does so in a manner that is not as clear.

Fortunately, with the emergence of automotive GPS units the process of map-reading and getting directions has never been easier as each can be done either through voice activation, touching the screen, pushing buttons or a combination. Maps pinpointing the exact location pop right up on the screen, while directions can be given through a computer-generated voice. Nothing could be easier or better. The only issue is deciding which automotive GPS unit should be purchased. This article will serve as a guide telling consumers what they should be on the lookout for when choosing automotive GPS units.

The first area of consideration when buying automotive GPS units is seeing how accurate the device is. One way to determine this is by how many channels the GPS unit has. This is because more channels means the unit will be able to communicate with a larger number of satellites, resulting in more coverage. Another way to determine the accuracy of most automotive GPS units is through how its antenna is designed. Make sure the antenna is placed in an area of the unit where it will be able to stand freely.

The next thing to think about when looking at automotive GPS units is size. There are some automotive GPS units that will not be portable. Onstar, which has to be installed in one’s car, is an example of an automotive GPS unit that can not be moved from car-to-car. Many other automotive GPS units vary in portability.

Thirdly, perspective buyers of automotive GPS units should take notice of a unit’s interface. More expensive automotive GPS units will contain voice-activation and/or touch-screens, while cheaper ones can only be used through a series of buttons. If another person is in the car, using buttons is not as bad, but if only the driver can use the unit, it is important that it be as hands-free as possible. It is also important to try to get an automotive GPS unit that has the capability to give directions through a computer-generated voice. Doing so is another way to ensure that the driver of the car keeps their eyes on the road and nowhere else.

The software that the automotive automotive GPS unit uses is also critical. Most top of the line units have very good mapping software included with the unit. However, as time passes the mapping software becomes out of date. You should make sure that you automotive GPS units software is updated at least once every 6 months. Frequently there is cost for this service but if you live in fast growing urban environment then it is a good investment. Your automotive GPS unit is only as good as its operating and mapping software.

When looking at automotive GPS units one should consider: ease of use, accuracy, size and interface. Keeping these elements in mind ensures that a buyer obtains an automotive GPS unit that is reliable and will best assist them when they are on the road.