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Automobile engineering, along with aerospace engineering and marine engineering, is a branch of vehicle engineering, incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering as applied to the design, manufacture and operation of motorcycles, automobiles and trucks and their respective engineering subsystems. It also includes modification of vehicles. Manufacturing domain deals with the creation and assembling the whole parts of automobiles is also included in it. The automotive engineering field is research -intensive and involves direct application of mathematical models and formulas. The study of automotive engineering is to design, develop, fabricate, and testing vehicles or vehicle components from the concept stage to production stage. Production, development, and manufacturing are the three major functions in this field.
Automobile Engineering Glossary
A-Pillar - Pillar that joins the windshield to the front-most side windows
Automatic Transmission - Automatic transmission system within a vehicle will automatically change gears within the transmission in response to the vehicle speed.
AWD (All-Wheel Drive) - All wheel drive vehicles have a percentage of power sent to all wheels on the vehicle for propulsion.
Axial - Forces or direction that is applied along the axis. If you picture a wheel on a car, axial would be the direction the axle is running, though the center of the wheel.
Axis to dash - The relationship between the front wheels and the windshield of a vehicle which varies depending on whether the vehicle is front or rear wheel drive.
Backlash - A reaction or recoil between parts that do not fit together properly, slop in mechanical system usually in gear that results in parts not fitting together as they should. (Usually a negative effect) Beltline - Line from the hood that runs below the bottom edge of the windows and ends at the trunk. Body - Outer portions of a vehicle (excluding the chassis) including, fiberglass, metal, etc. that form the outer shell of the vehicle.
Body In White (BIW) - This is an industry term that describes the metal body of the car prior to any assembly or paint job applied.
The Body in White is the product that comes directly from the body shop in an automotive assembly plant.
Body wide line - Lateral lines where the maximum width of the vehicle can be measured (mirrors excluded).
Bone line - (similar to swage line, feature line or character line) - A hard, positive only, linear peak in the body of a vehicle that even though it is not a structural feature, can impact the performance of a vehicle.
Boss - A Boss is a piece of material that protrudes from the surface of the work space and is used to precisely locate another part so that they operate together correctly.
Bottleneck - A bottleneck is the slowest station in the assembly process that determines the overall production rate.
B-pillar - pillar next to the front seat occupant’s heads broken edge-broken edge describes a condition where the
Edge of a sheet of metal contains cracks or splits and is generally uneven.
Burnishing - A machining process that polishes a material down until the surface is smooth and shiny in appearance.
Burr - A rough edge on a part that is a by-product of the machined part. Sometimes called a sliver or a chip, burrs are usually sharp and undesirable.
Cabin - The interior portion of the vehicle where the driver and passengers sit.
CAD (Computer Aided Design) - The use of a computer and specialized software to design, modify, simulate and analyze the design of a vehicle and its subcomponents.
CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) - The use of specially configured computers that monitor manufacturing process automation and can make adjustments to avoid bottlenecks and optimize production throughput times.
Camber - A convex curve in a structure or design. For vehicles this also means where the vehicle's wheels are slightly more slanted at the bottom than the top to make the vehicle easier to steer.
Casting - Casting uses molds to make solid objects from glass, plastic or metals where the material is heated until it's in liquid form then allowed to cool until it hardens into the shape of the mold.
Chamfer - A chamfer is formed by beveling a sharp edge such as a comer typically at a 45 degree angle.
Change Management - A process to coordinate change to a design or production process where all areas of the change are evaluated and a comprehensive plan put in place to implement the change to avoid quality defects.
Chassis - The framework within the vehicle that supports all the components that go into the vehicle.
Clay - Clay modeling is used to build early versions of prototype vehicles to allow designers to assess the overall build of a vehicle.
Clutch - Mechanical device in manual transmission vehicles that disengages the power transmission from the drive shaft and allows the driver to switch gears.
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) - Computer numerical control is used in programming a process to complete specifically designed instructions and commands during manufacturing.
Compilation Drawing - A compilation drawing combines multiple levels of detail of a design into one top level drawing to model how a top level assembly will be built and is used to review the fit of the parts as a whole.
Countersink - Countersink is when an edge is created at the lip of a hole to allow the screw to be flush to the surface.
Cowl - The term for the base of the windshield on a vehicle.
Cp (Process Capability) - Process capability is the statistical measurement used to determine if a production process is capable and sustainable. Process capability is expressed as a capability index Cpk or Cpm or a process performance index.
C - Pillar - Located in the rear portion of the vehicle before the trunk
Crease line - Lateral lines which travel down the main body section of the vehicle.
Critical Feature - A critical feature on apart or drawing describes a feature that without which the part will not function as designed.
Customer - A customer is a person or a company that purchases a product or service.
CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) - Automatic transmission system where the transmission ratios are constantly adjusted to provide the best performance and fuel economy
Cycle time - The time required to complete a specified activity or process; for example - final assembly test requires twenty minutes to complete.
Deburr - Deburr is a machining process that removes the rough edges or "burrs' from a machined part.
Deck - The horizontal surface of typically the back of the vehicle or the trunk lid.
Defect - A defect in the automotive industry is a fault or imperfection in the design or as a result of the production process.
Design for Manufacturability (DFM) - The process where automotive design engineers design parts that can be easily manufactured without requiring specialty equipment.
Deviations - A temporary change in the design tolerances for production. A deviation is used when incoming material is not meeting all the required specifications.
Die (tooling) - A die is a tool used in the manufacturing process that is used to cut a material using a mechanical press of some sort.
Drag (aerodynamic) - The atmospheric resistance to forward movement
Drilling - A machining process that uses a rotating head in a variety of shapes and sizes to cut a hole in a part.
Drivability - Drivability is the smoothness and steadiness of a vehicle when it is being driven on the road. Drivability takes into account how the vehicle accelerates, brakes and handles.
Drivetrain - The components of a vehicle that produce power and deliver it to the surface of the road. This includes the engine, transmission and other components that assist in transferring power.
Durability - The ability of a material to resist decay, wear and tear during it's useful life.
Electric Vehicle (EV) - An electric vehicle is a vehicle that uses electric motors as the primary source of propulsion.
Engine Displacement - The volume that is displaced from all the pistons inside the engine cylinders, volume does not include the combustion chamber and is measured in both metric cc/L and English units cubic inches.
Ergonomics (customer) - The study of how humans interact with the vehicle or human engineering. Automotive engineers will look at the design of the cockpit and how humans will interact with all the necessary controls of the vehicle to make it as comfortable as possible for the driver and the passenger.
Ergonomics (worker) - Ergonomics is the study of workplace design and how people interact with the tools and equipment so that they work in the most efficient, safe, comfortable and productive manner to reduce the occurrence of injuries due to repetitive more or stress.
Factor of Safety (FOS) - Factor of safety (safety factor) is the ratio of the stress required to break a material to the calculated maximum stress the material can endure without breaking during ordinary use.
FEA (Finite Element Analysis) - A method that analyzes the structural integrity of a part by breaking it down to the elemental structure to look at the discrete elements it is composed of at the atomic level.
Feed rate - The speed that material is fed into a process.
Fender - The area above the vehicle wheels or the portion of the body panel that starts at the front bumper and end at the first door.
Firewall/ bulkhead - The firewall is located between the engine compartment and the passenger compartment and helps to prevent fire from entering the cabin.
First Pass Percentage - First pass percentage refers to the percentage of products produced that pass all inspection screens and final acceptance tests on the first try.
Fixture - A fixture is a specially designed piece of tooling that assists in the manufacturing process that performs a special function such as press fit a terminal on a wire, check length or hold a component for assembly.
Forging - The manufacturing process where metal is heated till it softens and then is formed into specific objects by hammering.
FWD (Front Wheel Drive) - Front wheel drive vehicles are where power is primarily applied to the front wheels for propulsion.
GD&T (Geometrical Dimensioning and Tolerances) GD&T - The system for designing and defining geometrical dimensions. characteristics and tolerances using a standard symbolic language
Gear cutting - Gear cutting uses a variety of processes such as milling, broaching and abrasive water jet cutting to create the pan-
Gill - Vent located on the side of the vehicle near the fender that is sometime used for hot air outlet by primarily is decorative in today's designs.
Greenhouse - Greenhouse refers to the top portion of the cabin of the body of the automobile that is primarily glass/windows.
Grinding - Grinding is a method to shape materials that are too hard or misshapen to process with conventional tools.
Header - The structural roof beam located above the windshield or a section of exhaust piping that is attached to the cylinder heads.
Histogram - A Histogram is a graphical display of statistical information that uses bars on a graph to represent the frequency of occurrence of data items in successive numerical intervals of equal size.
Hobbing - A machining milling process for cutting gear teeth. cutting splines, cutting sprockets.
ID (Inner Diameter) - The diameter measured inside of a hole within a part. Example - when the inner diameter is subtracted from the outer diameter you can determine the thickness of the wall of the part.
IP (Instrument Panel) - The instrument pane is located within the cabin of the vehicle and houses all of the electronic controls within the vehicle including the instrument cluster which houses the speedometer, odometer and other controls specific to the engine and power-train functions.
JASO (Japanese Automotive Standards Organization) - The Japanese Automotive Standards Organization is part of the Japan Society of Automotive Engineers and is responsible for developing and maintaining standards used by the automotive industry in
Kaizen - Aphilosophy that is used in the automotive engineering world that promotes continuous improvement and making positive changes that will increase productivity.
Kanban - A method used to control inventory in automotive manufacturing factories that was developed by the Japanese and provides just in time inventory control.
Laser cutting - Laser cutting uses a concentrated beam of light that is transmitted and focused using lenses and mirrors to cut through materials and produce the desired end product from a computer controlled plan.
Lathe - A lathe is a piece of manufacturing machinery that machines round stock, a lathe is computer controlled and this process is also known as turning.
Lead Time - Lead time is the time required for a part to be delivered once and order is placed. Lead time takes into account the time for production, acceptance testing, packing and shipping.
Lean Manufacturing - Lean manufacturing is a production philosophy that means any time resources are used they should result in creating something of value and not be wasted.
Machining - Machining is the general term for a process of shaping, cutting or changing the physical properties of a material.
Manual Transmission - Transmission that requires the driver to manually shift the gears while driving the vehicle using a clutch.
Max Horsepower (HP) RPM - Max horsepower RPM is the RPM when the automobile operates at its max power. Below or above this RPM will decrease power. Usually specified in a specific gear as well.
Max Torque RPM - Max Torque RPM is the RPM when the automobile operates at its max torque point. Below or above this RPM will decrease torque. Usually specified in a specific gear as
Mechatronics - The combination of mechanical, computing and electronics when designing and developing a new vehicle.
Milling - A machining process that removes materials from specific areas on a part using rotary cutters and a wide range of machine tools
Mold (or casting) - Arnold is the container that molten materials are poured into to form the desired shape and allowed to harden.
MRP (Materials Resource Planning) - Materials resource planning is the function of the manufacturing planning department to ensure that sufficient quantities of raw materials are available to support manufacturing operations.
Nominal - An accepted condition or measurement which is accepted as an approximation rather than a measured exact value, a 'nominal' value.
NVH (Noise Vibration & Harshness) - NVH is one of the biggest challenges in the automotive engineering design. Automotive engineers work to eliminate exterior noise and create a peaceful environment within the vehicle additionally they work to create a smooth ride, free from vibration and harshness.
OD (Outer Diameter) - The outer diameter of the part is the diameter as measured to the outermost surface of a circle.
OEE (Operation Equipment Effectiveness [or efficiency]) - Operation equipment effectiveness is a calculation based on three important factors including availability, performance and quality of the equipment used in manufacturing.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) - Original Equipment Manufacturers or OEMs in the automotive industry are the companies that manufacture the vehicles using the components and subassemblies that Tier 1 supplier provide to them.
Overhang - The portion of the vehicle that lies in front (A) of the center point of the wheel or for the rear of the car lies behind (B) the center of the wheel.
Oversteer - Oversteering occurs when a driver is turning a vehicle and the vehicle turns more sharply than the driver intended.
Pillar - Structural components found within the body of the vehicle.
Pitch (rotational direction) - Rotation around a lateral axis within a vehicle that changes the vertical direction of the front or rear of a vehicle.
Pitch (thread) - Pitch is the distance between two threads on a screw or bolt or the distance between the tooth on a gear.
Plenum - The base of the windshield of the vehicle where the windshield wipers are located or the location of the intake manifold.
Powertrain - The components of a vehicle that produce power and deliver it to the surface of the road. This includes the engine, transmission and other components that assist in transferring power.
Pre- Series - Pre-series automobiles are vehicles produced that help test out the production processes and ensure that everything is prepared for start of production.
Preload - Preloading is when a portion of the load apart is designed to bear is applied and then the part is tightened or adjusted so that it is prepared to bear the full load it was designed for.
Product Development Cycle - The defined steps within an automotive company to develop a product from the initial concept phases through design and development all the way to production.
Pull System (manufacturing) - A pull system in automotive manufacturing is when inventory is produced when it is needed and there is an order available.
Punching - A machining process that puts holes in a part using a die and punch tooling.
Quarter panel - Describes the metal components in the front or rear comer of the automobile.
Radial - Radial describes forces or directions that move, out from a common center.
Rake - The angle between the vehicle and the horizontal axis of the ground, if the back is higher than the front it is a positive rake or if the front is higher it is a negative rake.
Redline - The process where a drawing is marked up with changes that must be made to a design, the process is called 'redlining' as typically a red colored pen is used so that all the changes can be easily seen.
Rocker (rocker panel) - The metal portion on the body of the vehicle between the doorsills and the passenger compartment.
Rockwell Standard Hardness Testing - A test to determine how hard the surface of a material is using a scale from A to G with G being the hardest.
Roll-Steering effect that occurs when load within the vehicle transfers from side to side allowing the axles to move from their normal parallel relationship.
Roughness/Surface Finish - The measurement of the amount of vertical deviations in the surface of a texture, small deviations mean the surface is smooth, large means the surface is rough.
RP (Rust Preventative) - A material, usually liquid that inhibits rust on a part. An example is an oil coating that prevents parts from being exposed to direct humid air.
RPM (Revolution per Minute) - Engine RPM represents (he revolutions per minute for the engine crankshaft.
RWD (Rear Wheel Drive) - Rear wheel drive vehicles apply power to the rear wheels primarily for propuision.
Scoop - An opening or a surface that is intended to direct airflow in a specific direction to assist or improve vehicle propulsion.
Series Production - Series production or batch production is the manufacture of a product in a series or group of operations that ensures each product goes through each operation.
Setup time - The time required to set up tooling and fixturing, bring up customized programming and load materials to changeover a manufacturing process.
Shift Quality - A subjective assessment for how the transmission of an automobile moves from gear to gear. Shift quality is used to assess drivability and overall experience with the automobile.
Shoulder line - The line on an automobile that is formed where the top and side surfaces extending from the hood to the quarter panel shoulder.
Shut line - The line that is formed between a car door and the body of the vehicle when the door is closed.
Six line - A line that extends from the C-pillar to the rear wheel well.
Six Sigma - Six Sigma is a quality process that was developed by Motorola in the 80s to improve manufacturing quality and provide a method for quality monitoring and control. The six sigma goal for manufacturing is to drive quality to less than 4 defects per million parts built.
SPC (Special Part Characteristic) - An item on a drawing or in an automotive design that is determined to be critical to the form, fit or function of the end product or function critical.
Stamping - Stamping is a material process that uses a formed die or stamp and then sandwiches a material within the die changing its form.
Standard Deviation - A measure of the dispersion of a group of values and is calculated by determining the square root of the mean of the differences of the squares of the values in the group.
Supplier - A supplier is anyone who sells materials or components to a company, suppliers are classified as Tier I, Tier II, Tier III depending on whether they sell raw materials or assembled components who they supply.
Surface Hardness/Surface Hardness Depth - Surface hardness is a measurement of how difficult it is to penetrate the surface of an object and the surface hardness depth is how far this extends into the material.
Suspension - The springs, shocks and related parts between the wheels and the frame of the vehicle that support the frame and help to reduce shock and vibration from the road.
Takt Time - Takt time comes from the German word Taktzeit which translates as 'meter' and is the process for setting the pace for a manufacturing assembly line to match the production demand rate.
Tangential - A stress or direction that is applied at 90 degrees to the radius of the object.
Tapping - A machining process that creates threads inside a hole in metal, plastic or wood to all a screw to be twisted in.
The Big Three - The Big Three refers to the top three automotive manufacturers in the United States and Canada which are General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
Threading - A machining process that creates a multi-spindle effect inside a hole in metal, plastic or wood to all a screw to be twisted in.
Tolerance - The allowable variation in a machined or manufactured part, for example a cut wire will be \[120\,\,mm+/-10\,\,mm\]means the wire can measure \[110-130\,\,mm\]in length and still be accepted.
Tooling - Tooling is custom designed implements that perform a specific job during the assembly process.
Tumbling - A type of deburring process that places the part inside a container of finishing pieces and then the container is rotated.
Turn under - The shape of the rocker panel of the vehicle as it curves inward at the lower edge.
Turning - Turning is when a material is held between two plates and then the cutting tool is rotated to form the desired shape.
There are variations on turning including: step turning, chamfering, facing, roughing or finishing.
U-Joints (Universal Joints) - Flexible, double pivoted joint that allows power to be delivered through two shafts at an angle to each other and delivers power to the wheels.
Understeer - Understeering occurs when the vehicle turns less sharply than would be indicated by the motion of the steering wheel.
VSL (Upper Statistical Limit) - The upper statistical limit for a variable is the highest value within the acceptable range for the variable. Once the variable exceeds the upper statistical limit it is said to be out of control.
Valves - Valves are located within the crankcase ventilation system of the engine and routes blow by from the crankcase to the intake manifold and then back to the engine as part of the fuel air mixture and helps to cut emissions and improve fuel economy.
Variance - The numerical value that shows the largest difference in the range of values within a group.
VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) - A vehicle identification number is a coded series of numbers and letters that is used to identify motor vehicles, trailers, motorcycles and mopeds and is defined and controlled by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) specification number 3833.
Waste (quality term) - Waste in a manufacturing process is material or processes that do not result in production of something of value that can be sold to a customer.
Wheel arch - The opening in the side of the vehicle that allows access to the wheel.
Wheelbase - The wheelbase of a vehicle is the distance between the center of the front and the rear wheels.
Wire EDM - Wire electric discharge machining is a process that uses electrical sparks to shape a piece of metal by electric discharge across two electrodes.
X bar - The numerical average of a data set is call X-bar and calculated by adding all values and then dividing by the total number of values.
Yaw - Rotation around a vertical axis that passes through the car' center of gravity.
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