Precision design and engineering – the foundation for happiness with any product!
But, have you ever put a bed or bookcase together, only to have it sway back and forth when you pull up the covers or actually load it with books? If you have, then you’ll appreciate just how important yesterday’s announcement was for Elio Motors.
We recently released the body framing and engine cradle design to our suppliers. The body frame is a critical part of the entire development process as it provides the foundation from which the entire vehicle is built. A strong foundation yields a strong vehicle.
Design and alignment are supremely critical when you’re developing a highly complex consumer product — such as an Elio! Unlike assemble-yourself furniture, which comes from one company, vehicles like the Elio are assembled from components that will be made by a variety of different specialized supplier companies. Their interior trim, chassis components, electrical wiring harnesses, and other widgets must align with much more precision than the parts in your typical nightstand or bookshelf project. When you consider that in today’s auto industry, the typical gap between doors, fenders and other body panels must be as small as 3 millimeters, precision is crucial to producing a quality product.
That’s why Elio Motors’ design and engineering team has pushed so hard to complete the design release of our vehicle’s body framing and engine cradle module this week. This body framing and engine cradle module is the core or backbone upon which the rest of the vehicle is assembled and is a major milestone in being able to manufacture the vehicle. One of the best explanations of why this component is so critical comes from Gino Raffin, Elio Motors’ Vice President of Manufacturing and Product Launch.
“In design for manufacturability, we have all of our suppliers ‘tune’ the design of their products to the body framing and engine cradle,” said Raffin. “Chassis, interior trim, electrical, and all other suppliers that provide systems and modules for the vehicle must engineer, and ultimately manufacture their products, in terms of dimensions, tolerances, attachment points, and fit and finish to this critical core component.”
Raffin went on to explain that, just as your home is built on a foundation, all of the other elements that make up your home, such as the floor structure, walls, staircase, electrical system, and plumbing are either attached to the foundation or use it as a reference point in their design and fabrication. That’s why the Elio’sbody frame must be so precisely engineered and manufactured – to ensure that all of the sub components that must be attached can be assembled to the vehicle with perfect fit and finish, and provide flawless performance for the life of the vehicle.
So the next time you’re in the market to save a little cash on a strategic purchase, remember how important proper design and engineering are to its quality. It could be the foundation to your happiness and satisfaction in both its looks and performance over its lifetime.