Even under new ownership, Chrysler is still on track to sell China’s hot new world car, the Chery. Look for the car in Latin America by the end of next year. Introduction to the United States and Europe will be later, sometime in 2009, as the car is fitted with required safety and pollution controls. The car is heavy with parts from Visteon, but the fit and finish is poor, particularly for interior components. The plastic alloy cover for the air bag compartment, for example, isn’t quite flush with the dashboard. The car sells for $7,000 in China, and is assembled in a rural plant by workers who earn less than $2 an hour.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.