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Driving Innovation: How Machine Tools Are Revolutionising Automotive Engineering

Innovation has emerged as a driving force in the rapidly growing automotive engineering space. 

Machine tools are the backbone of every manufacturing sector, including automotive. And innovation and machine tools go hand in hand.

This blog looks at how machine tooling is central to automotive engineering and how the machine tools manufacturing industry is addressing its demands through innovation.

Automotive manufacturing: background

Challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant slowdown in the automotive industry. In the recent past, the automotive manufacturing industry has faced challenges such as high pressure on supply chains, high inflation rates and an increase in raw materials prices. These have impacted auto manufacturers’ production costs and profits. However, the auto manufacturing sector has addressed these challenges with strategic steps.

Industry statistics. The global automotive industry will see significant transformation over the next decade. By 2030, global new car sales will include 26% electric vehicles. The sale of autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars will reach 58 million by 2023 (Statista). 

India is among the top five countries in the world in automotive production volume (Statista). With the launch of the Make in India campaign, the automotive engineering industry is experiencing a revitalised , vibrant environment supported by robust infrastructure, government support, and advanced technologies. By 2026, the automotive industry in India is forecast to grow up to four times its current value, to USD 260 bi – USD 300 bi (Make in India).

Bharat Fritz Werner (BFW) has been among the top contributors to machine tools in the Indian automotive engineering industry for 50 years, meeting the needs of auto manufacturing companies within the country and internationally.

Opportunities. With an increase in demand from automotive manufacturers, machine tools solutions companies that can stay agile, provide advanced technologies and hybrid solutions tailored to manufacturer needs, and scale will be able to meet the evolving needs of the auto manufacturing industry in the coming years.

What does automotive manufacturing excellence involve?

The making of automobiles—from concept to road—involves numerous steps. These include designing, selecting raw materials, welding, engine building, painting, assembly, and testing, among others.

Some of these steps require different types of machining, such as drilling, turning, and milling. These processes are integral to automotive manufacturing for cutting, shaping, assembly, and more. 

However, machining requirements in automotive manufacturing are highly demanding—necessitating precision, accuracy, speed, agility and efficiency—key demands that will keep increasing year-on-year. 

The machine tools industry continuously responds to these advanced needs through innovation. 

How BFW’s machine tool excellence supports the automotive engineering industry

Some of the current key innovations and trends applied in BFW’s machine tools solutions manufacturing are:

Smart manufacturing: BFW’s ‘Smart Factory Program’ prioritises intelligent machines  that provide shop floor employees access to real-time data and analytics,boosting efficiency via informed decision-making and collaboration.

Automation and robotics: BFW cannot emphasise the importance of automated and intelligent machines. As the skills gap grows, the demand for automated machines is expected to keep increasing. 

Human-machine collaboration: Apart from ‘biomimicking’ — using human intelligence as the guiding principle for creating intelligent machines,- BFW’s shop floor integrates advanced technologies such as robots and cobots, leveraging human and machine capabilities in tandem.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Helping shop floor managers predict the needs and demands of machines, allocate resources on time, and reduce risks and wastage, among other factors. 

Digital twins: Enable automotive manufacturers to increase productivity and avoid problems by creating model machines and processes in virtual environments. This proactive approach aids in identifying and addressing issues before they escalate.

Sustainability and green manufacturing: With the increasing concern and need for climate control measures, BFW has adopted sustainable practices to reduce waste, improve energy consumption, and minimise the ecological footprint of the production processes.

Revolutionising automotive engineering one machine at a time

Technological advancement and innovation go hand in hand with machine tools and machining solutions. The automotive engineering industry emphasises the quality and value provided to auto manufacturers. 

BFW machining solutions applicable to automotive manufacturing

BFW’s ORION series of horizontal machining centres (HMC) competes with the best imported machines because of the machines’ specifications, performance, precision, and reliability. 

Another BFW solution that  rivals global brands is the Dhruva Vertical Machining Centre (VMC). Some of the machines that BFW manufactured were formerly imported but now compete with global machine tools manufacturers.

BFW’s Front Axle Beam Machine, a fully automated solution for machining metal fabrication, has proven to be an efficient substitute for imported machines. 

BFW – enabling progress in automotive engineering

Automotive manufacturing companies seeking cutting-edge machining solutions trust BFW for providing agile, flexible, tailored solutions to meet their specific needs. Reach out to our experts to understand how we can deliver the best machine tools solutions for your company.

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