Culture, Manufacturing 4.0 May 26, 2021

Innovative Engineering and Manufacturing Under One Global, Digital Roof

In today’s automotive industry, innovation is not limited to the technologies that ultimately end up in our vehicles. Suppliers and automakers alike are innovating all along the way throughout the product development process to deliver the advanced safety and performance features that make their vehicles standout – and consequently increase sales, brand loyalty and profit margins.

At Nexteer Automotive, one of our key advantages to industry-leading innovation is our in-house ownership of the engineering process. From R&D to design, testing, validation and manufacturing – we do it all under one global, digital roof. This model enables us to meet industry demands for agility, responsiveness, quality and value – while also driving our technology and thought leadership in the evolving role of intuitive motion control.

Another advantage of this model is that our engineers experience a wide variety of roles and responsibilities from ideation to creation while also collaborating with global teams across three technical centers. According to many of our engineers, it’s a gratifying experience to create a solution to a tough challenge and then have that idea become a reality in production and then into millions of vehicles around the globe.

Technical Centers: Nexteer’s Technology Proving Grounds

Together, Nexteer’s in-house capabilities enable us to meet the growing demand for an increasingly electrified, automated and connected future. With our in-house building blocks for advanced motion control, we provide our customers with solutions for assisted/automated and connected driving, efficient and clean energy demands and evolving mobility needs.

Our technical centers in Saginaw, Michigan, Suzhou, China and Tychy, Poland are each home to regional engineering expertise and technologies for product development, testing and validation, such as:

  • State-of-the-art prototype facilities with flexible build-cell architecture that enable quick response to customer needs – including machining, heat treating, plastic injection capabilities and more.
  • State-of-the-art noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) facilities, which help customers solve complex NVH challenges by measuring acoustic and vibration performance at the vehicle, system and component level.
  • Electromagnetic interference and compatibility (EMI/EMC) testing, which works at the system/component level to reduce risk for our customers and allows vehicle level EMC verification to go smoothly.
  • On-site test tracks which offer a safe, consistent and controlled environment for durability and reliability testing, data acquisition, design development, audit and diagnostic testing, product demonstrations, competitive analysis and vehicle evaluations under a variety of road conditions.

Process Innovation through Virtual Engineering & Manufacturing 4.0

In several applications, Nexteer has also implemented Virtual Engineering initiatives to improve efficiency and effectiveness across all phases of product design, development, validation and manufacturing. Virtual Engineering offers several benefits, including:

  • Cost savings by reducing product life cycle cost & reduces prototype sample cost
  • Faster Design & Development Process by quickly evaluating design solutions and reducing or eliminating validation testing
  • Optimized Manufacturing Processes that enable us to build it right the first time

In addition, our Digital Trace™ Manufacturing (DTM) allows innovation to come to life throughout the design and manufacturing process – enabling ideas, advancements and improvements to be shared seamlessly. DTM is one of the most advanced, holistic approaches to design and manufacturing systems in the automotive industry. Using cutting-edge technology and data analytics within one common global architecture provides our team with real-time understanding of our operations across regions at any time and from any location.

Overall, our innovative engineering and manufacturing model and processes are testaments to the innovative, solution-oriented spirit that runs through our entire OneNexteer team globally. From concept all the way through to production and ultimately into vehicles around the world, our team of software, electrical and mechanical experts collaborate under one global roof to solve the toughest challenges at the forefront of intuitive motion control.

Jeff Zuraski
Jeff Zuraski is Executive Director of Research and Development at Nexteer Automotive, responsible for technology development for current product enhancements as well as new product development. He and his engineering team design and develop actuator systems including motors, sensors, electronic controllers, algorithms and mechanical components.