Acura’s latest video provides a behind-the-scenes look into what it takes to manufacture the second generation Acura NSX hybrid supercar at its Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio.
"Inside PMC" presents some of the Performance Manufacturing Center's most advanced approaches to making a supercar, including its unique body construction method, world-class painting system, and meticulous vehicle assembly process and total quality validation process.
According to Acura, PMC was designed to innovate both the means and the methods of producing low-volume specialty vehicles by marrying the precision of advanced technology with hands-on human craftsmanship.
PMC is the first plant in the world to utilize 100-percent robotic MIG welding for body construction, using eight robots to apply 860 MIG precision welds to the aluminum-intensive space frame, to produce a highly accurate body with tolerances measurable down to the width of a human hair.
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There are no conveyor belts or automated parts delivery systems – instead, each component is handpicked allows for maximum flexibility within the plant. Nearly every one of the NSX's bolts is fastened initially by hand to avoid cross threading, and then torqued to exacting tolerances using wirelessly connected wrenches that validate and record every fastener's setting in perpetuity, as a part of the specific vehicle's build data.
Acura associates are responsible for the development of seven patented and four patent-pending, race-inspired technologies, including a novel 45-minutes process for exacting wheel alignment, a four-corner weight and ride height check, and a dynamic four-wheel braking performance measure.
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Each NSX engine is hand assembled by a single master builder and then bench tested to the equivalent of 150 break-in miles within a bespoke production facility at the company's nearby Anna, Ohio, engine plant. The Anna plant also manufactures the NSX's six aluminum frame nodes, which utilize the world's first ablation casting method to deliver both rigidity for performance and ductility for crash energy absorption.
As far as finishing touches, Acura's signature paint is among the highest quality finishes on any vehicle. Painting an NSX takes five days and creates a finish up to 17 millimeters thick, 3-times more than an average production car.
"Inside PMC" is the latest in a series of videos on the innovations and performance capabilities of the NSX, which began with the release of "NSX, 30 Years of Performance" at this year's Chicago Auto Show, where Acura marked 30 years since the debut of the iconic supercar, followed most recently by "Face-off: Acura NSX vs NSX GT3 Evo," highlighting the similarities between the production NSX and race-bred NSX GT3 Evo.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
Contact him regarding any article or collaboration ideas by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.