Multivariate Analysis

Behind The Scenes In The Automotive Industry

By |2014-01-10T10:09:30-05:00January 10, 2014||

Multivariate Analysis for the Automotive IndustryThe North American International Auto Show in Detroit is marking their 25th anniversary in 2014 and it’s expected to be even “bigger, brighter and better” than last year. As manufacturers from around the world unveil their new vehicles with more than 800,000 people in attendance, will ProSensus be there?

Let’s just say we won’t be exhibiting a concept car that runs on statistics, but our multivariate analysis technology goes into formulating and manufacturing many automotive inputs to improve product quality starting with steel, aluminum and rubber, to paints, adhesives and even engine oils and transmission fluids.

Multivariate Analysis Benefits for Steel Production

Multivariate analysis is used to predict key properties in the desulfurization stations and basic oxygen furnaces, to monitor casting operations and to troubleshoot the causes of costly disruptions in the finishing process. Way back in 1997, ProSensus founder Dr. John F. MacGregor worked with Dofasco, now ArcelorMittal, to implement multivariate monitoring of a continuous casting process. It quickly became an early warning system that operators depend on, and has saved several million dollars per year by reducing breakouts and increasing throughput.

Demand for aluminum is on the rise as it moves from wheels and engines to body panels and frames. Multivariate monitoring detects faults in rolling processes (aluminum and steel), and major aluminum manufacturers have recently attended ProSensus courses with plans to implement multivariate analysis in new applications.

Multivariate Analysis for Rubber Manufacturing

Rubber manufacturing is a mature industry, but dramatic changes are in progress.BaleGuard, a multivariate vision system we developed, provides a complete 360° surface inspection of rubber bales and detects defects, contaminants, and impurities as small as 1mm2.

The first BaleGuard system was installed in 2010 to improve product quality, but it does more than just reject bad bales. The number of defects detected indicates the state of the upstream process, making BaleGuard a key component for process monitoring and control in rubber manufacturing.

Benefits for Adhesives & Sealants in Vehicles

Adhesives are increasingly important in the automotive sector as they replace rivets and bolts, making vehicles lighter, quieter, and safer. We have helped clients use multivariate analysis to troubleshoot production of automotive adhesives, rule out potential root causes and determine additional sensors needed to implement real-time multivariate monitoring.

Formulating the Perfect Paints & Coatings

Automotive coatings have the important jobs of:

  1. Making a car look great, and
  2. Protecting it from the elements.

Formulating a coating system (primer, basecoat and clearcoat) that excels in both areas is a challenging design problem, and colour trends are constantly changing. With ProSensus’ ProFormulate technology, development times for new coating formulations have been reduced from years to months, and raw material costs savings are as high as 30%.

Design Goals in Engine Oils & Transmission Fluids

There are many design goals for engine oils and transmission fluids; fluids must perform across very wide temperature ranges as lubricants, liquid seals, corrosion inhibitors and more. Increasingly, they are also expected to have low viscosities to deliver better fuel efficiency.

Fuel efficiency is so important to the industry that Ford and GM announced in April 2013 that they would work together on designing nine and ten-speed transmissions. As the hardware evolves, the fluids must change too. ProSensus ProFormulate technology is being used to rapidly reformulate automotive fluids, and has achieved combinations of fluid performance characteristics that were previously considered infeasible.

Exciting innovation is happening in the automotive supply chain.

Multivariate analysis is increasingly being used in product formulation and manufacturing to speed innovation and improve product quality, which means vehicles that are lighter, safer, and more fun to drive!

We’d love to help your team create a next generation product, troubleshoot a critical production issue, or implement systems for real-time monitoring. Contact us for more information.

About the Author: Emily Nichols

Emily Nichols
Emily Nichols, MASc
Project Leader
Emily was a project leader at ProSensus from 2011-2015. Emily holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Systems & Computing and a Master’s Degree in Applied Science from McMaster University. During her time at ProSensus, she was involved in many client projects using multivariate analysis to solve challenging problems.