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Tech discuss: Why engineers love shared car architectures | Autocar India

Written by Raghav

We check out how the MQB structure has optimised manufacturing for the Volkswagen Group.

Printed On Aug 29, 2022 07:00:00 AM

The VW Group has made greater than 32 million autos utilizing the MQB structure since its arrival in 2012.

Final month, the Volkswagen Group celebrated the 10th anniversary of its package of elements for constructing automobiles extra effectively.

Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB), which interprets as Modular Transverse Matrix, wasn’t the primary platform-led method taken by a producer, but it surely marked the start of a development. Now it has grow to be a daily prevalence for brand new platforms to emerge with the approaching of the BEV.

Usually,  ‘structure’ might be a greater descriptor than  ‘platform’, and there’s a refined distinction. Strictly talking, a platform shares a number of physique underframes, chassis and powertrain programs with completely different bodystyles, whereas an structure shares the identical element design, technique and manufacturing course of. So an structure can spawn multiple platform, similar to for sedans and SUVs. The advantages are apparent, as a result of though standardisation of parts like physique panels doesn’t make all of the automobiles the identical measurement or give them the identical character, it does make the manufacture of particular person frequent elements and their meeting extra economical and higher suited to automated meeting with out creating fully new manufacturing strains.

That is what MQB did for Volkswagen, and likewise, the D7a aluminium intensive structure on which Jaguar Land Rover based mostly the XE, XF, F-Tempo and Velar. In manufacturing automobiles or every other complicated equipment, radical mechanical adjustments contain shaking out bugs in the identical method as a brand new model of software program. So with the ability to assemble automobiles utilizing a toolkit of tried and examined main parts isn’t a cop-out however relatively the sensible and chic method ahead. In idea, it also needs to keep away from utilizing up engineering assets from turning into task-saturated, so groups can deal with new concepts relatively than fixing issues in previous ones.

In Volkswagen Group’s case, automobiles may be structurally improved in areas most prospects don’t see and aren’t inquisitive about. As an illustration, what number of homeowners care (and even know) that the engine of their MQB automotive is tilted to the rear by 12 levels, similar to in each different automotive within the vary, or that the consumption aspect is all the time on the entrance and the exhaust on the rear? They don’t, however they may respect the truth that the flexibleness of the structure allowed extra deal with ring-fencing its particular person character and recognise {that a} 50kg discount in weight from its pre-MQB ancestor will contribute to gasoline saving.

As EVs relentlessly march forth, the expertise gained prior to now decade with new modular light-weight architectures combining each aluminium alloys and light-weight high-strength steels is paying dividends.

The Volkswagen Group has put all of its learnings from MQB into its modular electrical drive matrix, MEB, which can do for its EVs what MQB did for its ICE automobiles.

EV architectures are designed to take environment friendly packaging of the electrical drivetrain to the utmost, squeeze essentially the most out of the inside area and offset as a lot of the battery’s additional weight as doable. With out taking this method, it’s arduous to think about making EVs as environment friendly as they must be.

Ammonia to interchange diesel

Mahle is researching the usage of ammonia as a diesel alternative in heavy autos. This may be ignited in a combustion chamber like diesel, and Mahle has tailored its progressive jet-ignition system to do exactly that in a single-cylinder engine. Within the close to time period, it plans to transform diesel engines to dual-fuel-injecting ammonia as the primary supply of energy.

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Raghav