U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership Recommends Increased Nondestructive Evaluation
February 26, 2007
On February 26, the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP), a consortium of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), publicly issued a Strategic Plan for Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Development in the North American Automotive Industry report that calls for increased development and application of nondestructive evaluation tools in the automotive industry.
USAMP was established in 1993 as part of the broader R&D portfolio of USCAR, and is focused on developing materials and processes that enable the high-volume production of vehicles that are lighter, more recyclable, of equal or better quality and durability, and just as affordable as today's cars and trucks. The U.S. Department of Energy works closely with the USAMP, including co-funding projects.
Founded in 1992, the USCAR is the umbrella organization for collaborative research among DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Corporation. The goal of USCAR is to further strengthen the technology base of the domestic auto industry through cooperative research and development.
The document represents a consensus between researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the domestic automotive industry in suggesting that greater NDE use would advance energy and environmental goals while improving production efficiency and reducing waste. The objective is to assist automotive manufacturers in staying competitive by reducing development times and containing costs while introducing new materials, manufacturing processes and vehicle technologies..
The report identifies the greatest near-term NDE needs in the areas of body materials (including sheets, castings and joints), chassis and powertrain components and assemblies, which typically compose 80 percent or more of total vehicle weight.
The report goes on to say that successful NDE technologies must work well in a high-volume production environment by being easy to use, swift enough to meet high production rates, automated and intelligent, and able to withstand demanding plant environments.
To view the Strategic Plan for Nondestructive Evaluation Development in the North American Automotive Industry, visit the USCAR Web site.