How Car Manufacturing has Changed Over the Decades
- March 13, 2017
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Car manufacturing has been one of the most changing and evolving industries out there. This has been a very diverse and changing industry, with each year bringing some changes, and each decade bringing major leaps forward and entire evolutions of cars. To a degree, car manufacturing often changes in some small way almost overnight, and the industry definitely does change significantly every year. Every ten years, the industry is practically unrecognizable as to how it was ten years prior. The truth of the matter too is that the leaps and bounds that are being taken now, when compared to the types of leaps and bounds that were occurring decades ago. The car manufacturing process and industry is changing so quickly and has been evolving so fast since the turn of the century that there is no telling what kinds of cars we will be driving even just another few years from now.
Off the top of our heads there are three major factors in the car manufacturing process that have changed tremendously since cars were first being produced, and that have continued to change over the course of the decades. These three will be discussed in this article, but there are others worthy of mention too.
The Amount of Work Done by Humans
Back in the day, when cars were first being introduced, every part of the car making process was almost completely taken care of by humans. Now, the exact opposite is the case. Almost the entire process is taken care of by machines. For the first several decades of auto manufacturing, almost the entire process was done with human hands. It wasn’t until 1961 that General Motors got the first “robot” in their factory to help with the process. Nowadays, like in the Kia factory for example, the welding shop has just a mere 62 humans and a whopping no less than 242 robots which can fuse a car together in under 90 minutes or so.
Painting the Car Itself
It used to be so simple back in the day… Back in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, really only two products were used: oil varnish made from linseed oil, or another option was amber varnishes obtained from liquid amber resins too. From 1963 on, the first polyester paints became available. But even in the 1960s the process was very, very simple. Nowadays painting a car is a feat of engineering itself, and there are entire factories dedicated entirely to just painting cars. Car shells once they are finished first undergo a series of chemical washes and dips to prepare the surface for paint to begin with. Then, in a process called electro-deposition, the car shell is dipped into a tub of electrically charged paint (crazy right?) and the paint particles bind themselves to the car surface through cohesion and electricity. Then, the car goes through a series of painting and baking to solidify the color and to make it more stable, not to mention using many double checks and triple checks to ensure that it is perfect.
Adopting an Eco-Friendly Attitude
This is essentially revolutionary. For the first several decades of car manufacturing, there was little to no thought granted to the environmental impact of mass car production. Now a lot of attention is placed on this subject. In fact, according to the EPA, emissions from factories and automobiles in the United States today are less than half of what they were in the year of 1970.
Looking to the Future
For those of us who love cars, it is exciting and fun to see how cars used to be made, and to look to the future of car manufacturing. Who knows, in just a few decades maybe our cars will fly!