Integrated build: A new approach to building automotive bodies

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 3, Number 3-4, p.185-201 (2003)



This paper introduces three auto body build concepts: net build (NB), functional build (FB) and integrated build (IB). Most manufacturers design and validate their vehicle launches using the NB concept. This concept is shown to be expensive, time consuming and not effective value added. Functional build has found growing acceptance as being preferable over NB. Functional build has tended to find the greatest acceptance as a die buyoff procedure for individual parts based on subassembly quality. Aspects of FB are shown in a case study where the manufacturer claimed to use FB for die development, but critical elements were omitted and opportunities lost. The integrated build (IB) process is an extension of the FB approach. It is a more inclusive process that considers the entire vehicle and requires closer coordination with product design. Aspects of IB are also shown in two case studies. In the first, IB concepts were included in the design process, which enabled the company to implement an effective material introduction strategy. The second is a comparison of the product development timelines of two companies and shows how IB concepts can shorten lead and production ramp time.

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