These days when it seems everything has gone digital, it’s easy to forget about all the mechanical components that are critical to electronics and batteries, especially in cars and trucks. Industry leaders, governments, and citizens all want to reduce carbon emissions and rely less on fossil fuels. At the same time, semi-autonomous and “smart” vehicles are gaining popularity for safety reasons, driver convenience, and e-mobility.
Most designers of stamped parts don’t need to be convinced of the value of specifying tolerances as a regular practice. This example in Machine Design illustrates why tolerancing is always a good idea. “A machine shop that sees an untoleranced diameter, without knowing the design intent, may apply a standard tolerance for three-decimal-place untoleranced dimensions, ±0.005 in. [which] may result in interference, where the hole is smaller than the shaft diameter, which prevents the parts from sliding together … if too large of an interference exists, it will degrade performance.” As the article notes, the end result is usually extra time and money to rework the parts.