Fast assembly belies manual tasks

The assembly line for an electric pump the size of a coffee mug at the heart of a new power steering system has more manual than automatic operations, but a cycle time of just 36 seconds.

Supplier Modular Automation installed the line for Automotive Motion Technology. The pump is part of a technically advanced electro-hydraulic steering system fitted to Vauxhall Astra cars that cuts 5% off fuel consumption.

The line assembles and balances the pump rotor, fits the wound stator and printed circuit board and carries out electrical tests and a pressure test on the pump casing. Manual work involves, for example, fitting and crimping the connectors to nine wires.


Microchip’s Keeloq code hopping decoder has been developed for highly secure remote access and control applications.

The maker says the device has a small package outline and is low-cost, making it ideal for applications such as automotive alarm equipment.


Cosworth, developer of performance car engines, says it is saving time and money by using a coordinate-measuring machine capable of handling the bigger V8 engine blocks such as that fitted to the new Bentley Arnage.

The Mitutoyo Euro-C CMM has a measuring volume of 200012001000mm, allowing all the features of a block to be inspected in one setup.


Engine test specialist Schenk Pegasus has developed eight new machines for steady state and dynamic testing of car and commercial vehicle engines as well as complete powertrains.

The Dynas2 dynamometers include models developed in accordance with the requirements of pending FTP 75 regulations, covering Euro 3/4 heavy duty transient cycle and road-load simulation tests as well as general development and emissions cycles.

When used as a generator (as opposed to a motor) the machine recovers up to 95% of the developed energy back to the mains.