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Significantly Reduce Automotive Assembly Capital Expenditures & Operating Costs

Coherix has developed technology that could save automakers millions of dollars in the manufacture of cars and light trucks over the next 10 years.

The Ann Arbor-based company’s 3D inspection systems and adaptive process control software for the application of adhesives can reduce the number of rivets and spot welds used to assemble vehicle body structures and generate significant cost savings.

A 25 percent reduction in welds for the annual assembly of 100,000 vehicles could deliver variable design-cost savings of $30 per vehicle and save $2.5 million more with a reduction in the need for welding equipment.

Auto Manufacturing with Adhesives

Michael J. Lee, the president of MJ Lee Technical Insight, notes that the aggregate savings for a 25 percent reduction in welds over five years could amount to more than $17 million. In addition to reductions in design and capital equipment expenses, operational cost savings could approach $20 million over a similar period.

Lee adds that a reduction in the use of rivets could save $150 million or more on high-production-volume vehicle lines spread across multiple assembly plant locations.

“Leveraging the increased usage of structural adhesive in automotive body structures has many proven benefits,” writes Lee in a 2023 SAE paper titled Invest in Adhesive Dispensing to Reduce Design, Capital and Operational Costs. “It is a well-known method to enable weight reduction in vehicle design.”

Lee expects the use of adhesives to significantly increase as manufacturers transition to electrification and seek to reduce weight, improve fuel economy and increase range.

“Automakers can only achieve maximum savings by doing design and engineering work in advance and securing commitments to invest in manufacturing equipment required to move away from welds and rivets very early in the vehicle development cycle,” he explains.

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Download the SAE Paper “Invest in Adhesive Dispensing to Reduce Design, Capital and Operational Costs”

February 29, 2024