With the rapid rise of electric vehicles, integration of smart technologies and increased sustainability efforts revolutionizing the automotive industry, we sat down with JVIS experts Remon Jiddou, Director of Industrial Design, and Scott McKnee, Director of Engineering, to get insights on how these trends are impacting the design process for automakers and their manufacturing partners.
How is technology playing a role in the design process for vehicles (and components)?
Remon: In the creation of automotive products and parts today, there’s a great deal of technology that goes into the process, from design to manufacturing. For starters, design models used to be clay sculptures back in the day, and now we use computer-aided design software for designing and modeling products.
Scott: We also use finite element analysis (FEA) to digitally simulate how a product will react to heat, vibration, fluid flow and real-world conditions before our engineer teams bring them to life.
Remon: Nowadays, with devices like Oculus and the metaverse, VR is becoming something that is tangible that people can just buy at the store and use at home, so VR headsets are also making their way into our industry. We are able to view complete assemblies, see a whole car in real time and collaborate with our partners remotely. It’s really exciting, but there’s still that need for real-world interaction to see and touch a physical part.
In addition to technology, what advancements have there been in the materials used to make vehicles and parts?
Remon: There’s a big push for sustainability and light-weighting in the industry today to include more environmentally friendly and lighter materials to improve efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. While sustainability is something that everybody in the industry — including us at JVIS — are striving toward, there can be added costs with new materials, so we are always looking for partners to build relationships with here at home and overseas that can supply materials in a way that is cost effective.
We also make an effort to go to trade shows outside of the industry, from CES to furniture expos, so that we have a pulse on the latest trends and materials to see what is applicable to the auto industry. When we do find something outside of automotive, we conduct testing to determine what it would take to get it to auto-grade standards.
Why should automakers collaborate with partners in system and product development?
Scott: Automakers come to us because that’s what we do. We know it like the back of our hand, and we can jump in at any part in the process to help our customers with any challenge they are facing. We leverage years of gained knowledge and experience to come up with innovative solutions.
On the materials side, having a partner like JVIS that knows what new and emerging materials are manufacturable for automotive standards is key to ensuring that designs are built on what’s achievable, so automakers have a better designed, more cost-effective product at the end of the day. That knowledge and the relationships with suppliers along with our innovative and flexible approach is how JVIS brings value to our automotive customers through every step of the process.
With JVIS’ vertically integrated solutions, we do everything from designing complete vehicles or parts to engineering and tooling to verification, manufacturing and assembly. If a customer already has a design, we can help get them to the next step. If they don’t have a design, we can design it for them. We can jump in at any phase to help managing the whole project, leveraging all our resources and partnerships to get the product developed and into production.
Why is the design process so important? Can’t automakers do the design and production on their own?
Remon: It’s not that they can’t do it on their own. Many of our customers are startup companies with limited resources, so sometimes they need to look for an outside partner like JVIS.
Beyond our talented team, in-house design studio and vertical integration throughout the entire manufacturing process, our ability to deliver world-class services every time is rooted in our commitment to building strong relationships. Our team will provide renderings, animation and exploded views — and even create 3D printed parts to help bring concepts to life. Our design studio and engineering teams work hand-in-hand to turn ideas into tangible products. Regardless of whether it’s a new carmaker or established OEM, when a request comes our way, we go above and beyond to bring our proposal and expertise to life. Even if we don’t end up getting the business, we see it as an opportunity to develop a relationship that often turns into a partnership down the road
What is JVIS’ approach to engaging with partners to improve the design process?
Scott: Our team prides itself on being ready to help our customers with whatever they need, whenever they need it. So, when a company reaches out for design support, we make a point to do in-depth research and benchmarking to discover where the trends are heading; what materials and new technologies are being used to give the customer what they asked for; as well as new ideas and alternative, cost-effective solutions.
Another JVIS advantage is that our technologies and capabilities can be adapted to other industries, not just automotive. We develop electronics that go into medical equipment, injection molding for outdoor recreational products, and flocking and wireless charging technologies that are finding new applications beyond automotive vehicles. We are always growing and expanding our diverse portfolio of products and offerings to position JVIS as supplier for any company in any industry.
With the constant advancements in technology and engineering, what’s next for the evolution of the design process?
Remon: So many things are constantly changing; but from an industrial design standpoint, I feel that in the future AI will become more involved in the process and will be able to provide a number of iterations of a particular solution to a problem in ways that exceed our capabilities today.
While there will likely still be a need for the human insight to guide that process along, the rapid advancement and integration of smart technologies, automation and additive manufacturing suggests that AI is going to be major part of the automotive industry.
Ultimately, products in any market are made for humans and will require human feedback and interaction to make it functional and practical for people. That’s why at JVIS we are continuously integrating the latest technologies in product design and manufacturing to bring our customers’ visions to life and their products to market as fast and as cost-effective as possible.
Learn more about JVIS’ industrial design and vertically integrated solutions at jvis.us.