Automotive

Teaching robots new tricks

Older replacement parts made available

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Technology has played a big role in automotive production. In the past, body panels were made by hand — by hammering sheet metal into a mold to get the desired shape. It required individual skills and craftsmanship to produce quality parts and took time to finish.

Today, these parts are all made by machines (or robots) in a process called die stamping which only takes seconds to finish. Thanks to them, car manufacturers can now produce quality products with minimal manpower.

This also allowed car brands to come out with new models with short intervals in between. And with every new update, these robots had to be reprogrammed and replaced — leaving old stamps decommissioned. The result? Owners of older car models are running out of replacement parts.

To address this, Nissan has come up with a process to program robots to create phased out parts. They call it dual-sided dieless forming.

The technique involves two robots working from opposite sides of a steel sheet with perfect synchronicity. Using diamond-coated tools to gradually shape the steel, this technique is cost-effective and can make a wide variety of replacement parts available for discontinued models. Previously, this was not possible due to high costs and limitations on equipment.

Dual-sided dieless forming had previously been considered too difficult to commercialize but thanks to Nissan’s Production Engineering Research and Development Center, the brand made three major breakthroughs.

  • The development of advanced programs capable of controlling both robots with a high degree of dimensional accuracy, enabling the formation of detailed convex and concave shapes.
  • The application of a mirrored diamond coating to tools, reducing friction while eliminating the need for lubrication. This has numerous benefits, including consistency of surface quality and low-cost, environmentally friendly operation.
  • The generation of optimized pathfinding logic for robots, drawing on the ample expertise and press-forming simulation techniques ordinarily used by Nissan’s production engineering teams. This enabled Nissan to achieve high quality results early in the development process.

Nissan plans to continue with this development and pursue mass production.

Automotive

MG is the official mobility partner of 30th Southeast Asian Games

A special partnership for the company

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MG or Morris Garages has signed an agreement with the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) and Mediapro Asia to be the official mobility partner of the 30th SEA Games and the 10th ASEAN Para Games.

There will be 80 MG vehicles to feature the 30th SEA Games logo and these will be used to transport athletes and teams to and from games. These special edition MG 30th SEA Games edition vehicles will be scattered and seen in various parts of the country during the much-awaited, multi-sport biennial event.

The full lineup of MG vehicles including the MG 5 sedan, the RX5 SUV, the ZS Crossover SUV, and the MG 6 Fastback Sedan will be featured during the entirety of the 30th SEA Games.

This partnership is part of MG wanting to channel youthful energy as well as celebrate the pursuit of excellence. According to the company, the same values that drive MG forward: discipline, honesty, innovation, hard work, character, and fun are mirrored in each and every SEA Games athlete.

MG Philippines President & CEO Atty. Alberto B. Arcilla, says: “To be part of the 30th Southeast Asian games—an edition that features so many milestones and firsts—is a distinct honor for us at MG Philippines. As the Official Mobility Partner of the 30th SEA Games, we are grateful to provide meaningful assistance to all local and international athletes and teams by equipping them with safe, comfortable, and stylish rides for the duration of the games.”

 

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Automotive

There’s a new MX-5 Miata built for the track

Offering the joy of car racing at a reasonable cost

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A favorite sports car of many, the Mazda MX-5 just got a serious upgrade as a track car.

This coming 2020, RaceGAS Dynamics will be introducing a new one-make sports car racing series called the Miata Spec Series. It’s the country’s only rear-wheel-drive sports car racing championship that features the latest edition of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Latest edition of the 4th-gen MX-5 Miata

Developed for the track, the updated MX-5 is designed as an affordable car that will be equipped with custom competition parts to bring out its on-track full potential while still being street-legal.

We were able to review the MX-5 RF Club Edition roadster a few months back, and the performance of the stock MX-5 is already impressive enough.

There is an array of new upgrades including brand new Cusco coilovers and sway bar suspension components, a Sparco steering wheel, racing seat and racing harness, a six-point roll cage that allows operation of the soft top assembly, a full cat-back exhaust system, one set of 17×7.5-inch Concept One wheels and 215/45/ 17 Nitto tires, and finally, a full set of apparel which includes racing suit, shoes, and gloves.

Major engine, drivetrain, and electronic components will be sealed by the organizer prior to customer handover to ensure the cars’ conformity to the one-make racing formula.

President of RaceGAS Dynamics Allan Uy shares, “Ever since I began my racing career, I have always wanted to create a sports car series that allows the cars’ owners to enjoy their rides whether on the track or on the road. With the Mazda MX-5, we are able to realize this dream.” He further adds that the Miata Spec Series offers its participants the enjoyment of sports car racing at a reasonable cost.

Set to be released in May next year, Interested buyers may reach out to RaceGAS Dynamics through email ([email protected]) for inquiries about the cars and the upcoming 2020 Miata Spec Series season.

The expected introductory price is at PhP 2,500,000 for the brand new MX-5 Soft Top Manual Transmission unit by RaceGAS Dynamics.

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Automotive

Honda introduces its new and affordable City variant

Ready to take on any urban challenge

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has just introduced its new and affordable Honda City. The Honda City 1.5 S CVT is currently the most affordable model in its family that comes with an Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission.

This series has been known as the brand’s best-selling nameplate in the Philippines and this time, the new City has a Euro-4 1.5-liter SOHC four-cylinder i-VTEC engine with Eco Assist System. Together with its CVT configuration, this subcompact sedan delivers 118hp and 145Nm of torque which produces a powerful yet efficient powertrain ready to take on any urban challenge.

To give a quick rundown of some of its features, the City 1.5 S CVT aims to give customers one of the best value for money propositions in its class. At this price point, you still get features such as front and rear windshield defoggers, power windows, power door locks, security alarm with immobilizer, LED daytime running lights, and keyless entry as standard.

Plus, since Honda makes no compromise when it comes to safety, the new City also offers dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Priced at PhP 820,000, the Honda City is available in four different colors such as Lunar Silver, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal, Black Pearl, and Taffeta White. Units are already available in Honda dealerships nationwide.

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