MG Motor UK : MG6 pioneers new ‘intelligent design’ system

SMTC UK's Director of Electrical Engineering, Richard McAlister, in the Lab Car

The MG6, which will be built at MG Birmingham and goes on sale next year, will benefit from a pioneering ‘intelligent design’ system which makes automotive electrical systems more efficient, reliable and can save hundreds of tons of expensive copper during the build process of cars. All future MG models will also benefit from the same advanced process.

Engineers at SAIC Motor’s MG Birmingham-based European Technical Centre (SMTC UK) have developed sophisticated design tools which can precisely calculate the exact amount of copper needed in a complicated electrical harness within a car and so ensure that no valuable copper is wasted. 

The new system saves on the car’s weight and therefore helps reduce carbon emissions but, in addition to the software, the Electrical Engineers have designed a unique skeletal ‘Lab Car’ in which every new system can be tested, reducing hours of validation work over traditional methods of proving electrical layouts. 

We can test each part of the system on screen so everything is in virtual form but, with the Lab Car, we can do more again by using the wiring and components and develop systems for production without needing to make very expensive pre-production tooling. The whole intelligent system saves time, is much more efficient and saves costs from an engineering point of view.” Richard McAlister, Director of Electrical Engineering, SMTC UK

Richard McAlister, Director of Electrical Engineering at SMTC UK, explained: “The new system vastly improves our ‘right first time’ targets in developing even the most complex electrical systems. The in-house software tools we’ve developed mean we can work out the exact diameter of each piece of wiring, the exact length and the best route of each wire throughout the car.

“We can test each part of the system on screen so everything is in virtual form but, with the Lab Car, we can do more again by using the wiring and components and develop systems for production without needing to make very expensive pre-production tooling. The whole intelligent system saves time, is much more efficient and saves costs from an engineering point of view. There are also many benefits for our customers which include having a car with a much more robust and reliable electrical system.”

The Engineers in SMTC UK’s facility at MG Birmingham also work on Roewe cars which are sold in China. The same ‘intelligent design’ is being used on Roewe models. 

[Source: MG Motor UK Limited]

Clive Goldthorp

About the Author:

Clive claims that his interest in the BMC>MG story dates back to his childhood in the 1960s when the family’s garage premises were leased to a tenant with an Austin agency. However, back in the 1920s and 1930s, his grandmother was one of the country’s first female Garage Proprietors so cars probably run in his genes! Admits to affairs with Alfa Romeos, but has more recently owned an 06/06 MG TF 135 and then a 15/64 MG3 Style… Clive, who was AROnline’s News Editor for nearly four years, stood down from that role in order to devote more time to various Motor Racing projects but still contributes articles on as regular basis as his other commitments permit.

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