HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Page 1/4  >  >>
mtripoli3
User Rank
Gold
Look for substitutes
mtripoli3   3/14/2013 9:49:37 AM
NO RATINGS
I owned a VW Passat. The plastic window clips (the ones that actually hold the window to the track) kept breaking. After the second time I got online and did some research. As it turns out, this is a very common problem with this vehicle; an Audi part (made by VW) was virtually identical except made from metal. I bought these and they fit perfectly. Never had the problem again. Being a design engineer myself, it hurt my brain a bit on this one; if both autos were using the same part, buying twice as many (simplifying the obvious here) should bring the part to a cost point where a plastic one wouldn't be needed. Never underestimate the bean counters...

LarryB
User Rank
Iron
regulator slider
LarryB   3/11/2013 3:53:17 PM
NO RATINGS
I had a similar issue issue with a 76 Datsun B210, the plastic had cracked vertically, fortunately the plastic piece was square so I removed the now two piece part rotated them 90 degress and reinstalled back in the sliding channel, as far as I know this lasted through my ownership and the two years my sister had it as well.

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
Re: You get what you pay for!
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 11:42:13 AM
NO RATINGS
Oh yeah...and then they want to screw you for the parts!

Cadman-LT
User Rank
Platinum
You get what you pay for!
Cadman-LT   3/9/2013 11:41:12 AM
NO RATINGS
No wonder Saturn's are so cheap....they fall apart!

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
Re: On the bright side...
bobjengr   3/4/2013 2:29:28 PM
NO RATINGS
 Zippi--excellent point.  I do work with "additative" manufacturing and the choices for materials and processes expands each year.  This technology is truly moving and moving quickly.   There are still limits relative to component size but those are beginning to fall by the wayside also.  You thoughts about minimal inventory are quickly coming to pass, which will be a boon for the automotive parts industry.

 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Plastic in all the new cars
Elizabeth M   3/4/2013 5:05:52 AM
NO RATINGS
That's a really interesting insider perspective and not surprising, nyeng. I am sure that is a story repeated across many industries. Engineers do their job by thinking about what would work best and design products (cars, devices etc.) according to what would be the best material for the application. Then the number crunchers give them a budget and instructions for what materials are cost effective for the job. I am sure they often don't match up and you have to make do with what you can get! It must be frustrating sometimes.

nyeng
User Rank
Gold
Re: Plastic in all the new cars
nyeng   3/3/2013 9:28:32 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree with Elizabeth.  Plastic isn't necessarily 'bad' but it needs to be  done properly.  My personal opinion is that steel would be a better choice for that application giving the cyclical and shock loading as well as the temp extremes  (windows are more difficult to move when the temp is below freezing). 

As I've written before I worked as an engineer in the auto industry.  It's all about cost.  I didn't engineer parts to do the job at the lowest cost.  Instead purchasing gave me a low cost part that fit their material cost reduction target and we had to engineer to work (as best we could).


Since you had to buy the window part it's obvious that the OE part lasted longer than 3 years or 36,000 miles.  That's all GM cares about.  In fact they don't want your car to last too long - they want you to buy another one.  It's all short term thinking.  I think the desire for fuel economy today might make this more of an issue.  The desire for EPA number could drive more compromises in duraibility for the sake of light weight.  About 3 years ago we were told GM would pay $1 per pound for weight reduction.  Since we sold them a couple hundred thousand units per year it definitely got the bean counters' attention.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Failing plastic parts: They usually do!
Dave Palmer   2/28/2013 8:52:28 PM
NO RATINGS
Plastic parts fail for the same reasons metal parts do: poor design, poor manufacturing, or improper use.  Avoid these three things, and plastics (or metals) will perform just fine.

Of course, that's much easier said than done.

Tool_maker
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Failing plastic parts: They usually do!
Tool_maker   2/27/2013 1:05:11 PM
  I view this from two sides. Since I make my living producing things from metal, mostly steel, I am somewhat amused when plastic parts fail. My industry lost thousands of parts, dollars and jobs to molded plastic parts so when they fail I can be smug about it.

  On the other hand, I am a fisherman and have many reels with plastic gears that have never given me a moments grief, so I know properly engineered and manufactured, plastic can be a great substitute for metal. Some of the most expensive tackle is made from composites rather than aluminum, but I do not know if that qualfies as plastic.

zeeglen
User Rank
Gold
Re: CAFE and materials
zeeglen   2/27/2013 12:36:18 AM
NO RATINGS
A few years ago a plastic part broke in the mechanical timer of our old dishwasher.   Took it apart and with my Dremel reworked the broken area and made it work again.

In spite of my technical repair skills, the wife was not pleased - what she really wanted was a new da*n dishwasher.  A year later, when the top rack started falling off its rails and no parts available, I gave in.

Now the "new" (2 yrs old) diswasher is already losing broken plastic rack clamps. 

Way to go, KitchenAid!

Page 1/4  >  >>


Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Bigger than an iPhone 6 Plus, but smaller than an iPad Air 2. What am I? If you answered iPad Mini 3, you are correct.
Here are 10 robots that are designed to work effectively and safely with humans.
The data breaches at Target, Home Depot, and elsewhere have inadvertently highlighted a separate and unexpected problem: bad user interface design.
What if you could recharge your mobile device using the movements you make all day? That’s the promise of Ampy, a new device by a Chicago-based startup of the same name.
Peter Riendeau of Melexis shows how a time-of-flight sensor can be used for gesture recognition in a vehicle.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
10/7/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
9/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Nov 3 - 7, Engineering Principles behind Advanced User Interface Technologies
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Last Archived Class
Sponsored by Littelfuse
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service