Software is a bigger factor in automotive design than steel or glass, exceeding more than a third of total auto production costs, according to a survey by VDC (www.vdc-corp.com/embedded/press/03/pr03-82.html). Software development costs now average 38 percent of production, up from 26 percent in 1999. The rise of electronics to control fuel economy, safety, and other aspects of driving push up labor costs and software licensing costs.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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