The automobile industry is one of the most comprehensive industries in our country. It cemented itself the 4th largest in the world on the basis of sales, rising 9.5 per cent year-on-year to 4.02 million units (not including two-wheelers) in 2017. Additionally, it went on to become the 7th highest manufacturer of commercial vehicles in 2017. The two wheelers segment is massive in the market in terms of numbers, primarily enhanced by a growing middle class and a comparatively young population. Also, the increasing interest of major brands in branching out to the rural markets has further assisted the growth of the sector. Over the years, India has also cemented itself as an auto exporter which has provoked strong export growth expectations for the near future.
With the ever-growing automobile industry, the demand for automotive design engineers has also grown in relation. Automotive design engineers combine innovative aesthetics and visuals with technical and practical aspects of engineering theory. Designers work in tandem with mechanical and industrial engineers to form new-age designs which are essentially feasible for production. It is vital to combine this creative sense with knowledge of raw materials, engineering methodologies and manufacturing processes. Automotive design engineers ideate by hand and then utilise to computer design software to automate the design.
While pursuing a career in automotive design, having knowledge of certain technical tools and software will benefit aspirants in the long run. These include –
CAD (Computer Aided Design) – Computer Aided Design is a tool implemented for estimating the applicability of how automobile parts perform and fit together. It is necessary to really know how to design and move a 3D model in order to create ideas and designs and evaluate its usability.
GD&T Expertise – GD&T in short, refers to the basics of dimensions and physics, and getting a hands-on experience with real drawings and understand how to control them. Understanding the features and controls of parts is of utmost interest to design engineering. Before venturing into complicated calculations, or properties of different materials, it is beneficial to comprehend how to read a basic engineering drawing.
Design For Manufacturability – As the automotive industry has grown, the role and duties of the design engineer pertains more and more into the realms of production and manufacturing. Until recent times, application or design engineers built the functional design of the product and then it was subsequently given over to the manufacturing plant to create the product. Nowadays, the design engineers are presumed to bolster the production throughout the life of the vehicle production. This essentially implies that any unforeseen problems with the manufacturability of different will always be the design engineer’s responsibility. These issues can vary from small deviations to a comprehensive redesign of a part.
Our country is well-equipped with education offerings related to the automobile industry – due to its presence across the country. The most common undergraduate course is BTech. in Automotive Design Engineering. One of the well-established institutes offering such a degree is University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. This programme is designed in order to develop students for the ever-changing business environment of technology and automation. UPES extensively prepare students on subjects such as design, manufacturing, and automobile maintenance. Some of the career choices after graduating from UPES are –
- Automotive Design Engineer
- Production Engineer at Automobile Plants
- Production Planning & Control Engineer
- Technical Consultant in Automotive Sector