Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering - Leading Process and Product Improvement

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IME 4260 - Automotive Structure, Ride, and Safety

Catalog Description:

Study and simulation of the body, structures, and control systems that allow the operator and occupants to travel in a safe, comfortable environment free of annoying vibration. Associated systems include interiors, environmental control, structural stiffness and crush control features, stopping systems including ABS and Traction Control, and Suspension Systems. Emphasis on the evaluation of design, meeting government performance requirements, manufacture, life cycle testing, diagnosis of faults and adjustments of these systems.

Prerequisites & Corequisites: Prerequisite: Recommended, IME 1220.

Credits: 3 hours

Lecture Hours - Laboratory Hours: (2 - 3)

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. IME-1220 Automobile in Society, The technological and sociological challenges of the automobile
  2. Mathematics that includes the understanding of algebra, geometry and basic calculus
  3. Physics that include the understanding of physical, thermal and electrical properties as well as manufacturing techniques used with these materials
  4. Chemistry that include the understanding of chemical relationships used in production automotive components including electrical properties
  5. Computers that include the use of software packages for simulation, problem solving and record keeping
  6. Technical writing that includes the ability to measure, report scientific observations and performance results
  7. Technical illustration that includes the use of computers to communicate solutions and report graphical information and manufacturing processes and records
  8. Statistics and metrology of the determination of manufacturing tolerances and accuracy of process control

Course Objectives:

Based on the above stated course description at the conclusion of the semester the student will be able to:

  1. Identify, assemble and measure structural characteristics and aerodynamic components of the automotive body/frame system (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  2. Identify, assemble and evaluate the components that make up the interior and seating of a vehicle (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  3. Identify, assemble and evaluate the components that make up the comfort and safety systems included in the interior and exterior of the vehicle (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,j,k)
  4. Identify, assemble, test and adjust components in a suspension system (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  5. Identify, assemble and test brake power supply systems with ABS, TCS,VDC and stability control systems (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  6. Identify, assemble and test occupant passive restraint systems (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  7. Identify and interact with system designers and manufacturers of smart road and vehicle systems (a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k)
  8. Identify, assemble, test and modify components in the vehicle comfort and ergonomic systems (a,b,c,d,e,f,h,i,j,k)

Performance Criteria:

  1. Assemble and test the structural integrity, evaluate crash energy management and safety systems (1,2,3,4)
  2. Evaluate aerodynamic characteristics of the body profile and frontal area (1,2,3,4)
  3. Assemble and evaluate the interior fits, acoustics, ergonomics and vision characteristics (1,2,3,4)
  4. Assemble, evaluate and diagnose vehicle environmental systems (1,2,3,4)
  5. Assemble, evaluate, adjust and diagnose vehicle suspension and steering systems (1,2,3,4)
  6. Assemble, evaluate, adjust and diagnose vehicle brake systems including VDC, TDC and ABS (1,2,3,4)
  7. Evaluate, and diagnose navigation and smart and safety  systems (1,2,3,4)
  8. Evaluate hydraulic fluids and greases using SAE, NLGI and ASTM tests (1,2,3,4)


Robert Bosch GmbH,  Automotive Handbook,  ISBN 0-7680-1513-8, 2004.

Course Coordinator:

James VanDePolder
Western Michigan University
F-230 Parkview Campus
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-5336
Phone: 276-3378

Revision Date: Spring 2007


Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5336 USA
(269) 276-3350 | (269) 276-3353 Fax

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