an overview of TATA NANO

Posted by despirate youngster | 8:01 AM


The introduction of the Nano received media attention due to its targeted low price. The Financial Times reported[16]: "If ever there were a symbol of India’s ambitions to become a modern nation, it would surely be the Nano, the tiny car with the even tinier price-tag. A triumph of homegrown engineering, the $2,200 (€1,490, £1,186) Nano encapsulates the dream of millions of Indians groping for a shot at urban prosperity." The car is expected to boost the Indian economy, create entrepreneurial-opportunities across India[17][18], as well as expand the Indian car market by 65%[19]. The car was envisioned by Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, who has described it as an eco-friendly "people's car". Nano has been greatly appreciated by many sources and the media for its low-cost[20][21] and eco-friendly initiatives which include using compressed-air as fuel[22] and an electric-version (E-Nano)[23][24]. Tata Group is expected to mass-manufacture the Nano, particularly the electric-version, and, besides selling them in India, to also export them worldwide[25][26][27].

Critics of the car have questioned its safety in India (where reportedly 90,000 people are killed in road-accidents every year[28]), and have also criticised the pollution that it would cause[29] (including criticism by Nobel Peace Prize winner Rajendra Pachauri[30]). However, Tata Motors has promised that it would definitely release Nano's eco-friendly models alongside the gasoline-model[31][32].

The Nano was originally to have been manufactured at a new factory in Singur, West Bengal, but increasingly violent protests forced Tata to pull out October 2008. (See Singur factory pullout below.) Currently, Tata Motors is reportedly manufacturing Nano at its existing Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) plant and a mother plant has been proposed for Sanand Gujarat.[33]. The company will bank on existing dealer network for Nano initially.[34] The new Nano Plant could have a capacity of 5,00,000 units, compared to 3,00,000 for Singur. Gujarat has also agreed to match all the incentives offered by West Bengal government.[35]

[edit] Design

Ratan Tata, the Chairman of Tata Motors, began development of the world's cheapest production car in 2003,[36] inspired by the number of Indian families with two-wheeled rather than four-wheeled vehicles.[37] The Nano's development has been tempered[clarification needed] by the company's success in producing the low cost 4 wheeled Ace truck in May 2005.[36]

Contrary to speculation that the car might be a simple four-wheeled auto rickshaw, The Times of India reported the vehicle is "a properly designed and built car".[38] The Chairman is reported to have said, "It is not a car with plastic curtains or no roof — it's a real car."[36]

To achieve its design goals, Tata refined the manufacturing process, emphasized innovation and sought new design approaches from suppliers.[38] The car was designed at Italy's Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering — with Ratan Tata requesting certain changes, such as the elimination of one of two windscreen wipers.[36] Some components of the Nano are made in Germany by Bosch, such as Fuel Injection, brake system, Value Motronic ECU, ABS and other technologies.[39]

The Nano has 21% more interior space (albeit mostly as headroom, due to its tall stance) and an 8% smaller exterior compared to its closest rival, the Maruti 800. Tata offered the car in three versions: the basic Tata Nano Std; the Cx; and the Lx. The Cx and Lx versions each have air conditioning, power windows, and central locking. Tata has set its initial production target at 250,000 units per year.[citation needed]

[edit] Cost Cutting features

  • The Nano's boot does not open, instead the rear seats can be folded down to access the boot space.[40][41]
  • It has a single windscreen wiper instead of the usual pair.
  • Some exterior parts of it are glued together, rather than welded.
  • It has no power steering.
  • Its door opening lever was simplified.[42]
  • It has 3 nuts on the wheels instead of the statutory 4 nuts.
  • It only has 1 side view mirror[43]

[edit] Quality features

Japanese and Korean steel is used to make quality body panels.[44]

Researchers at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Cornell University have capitalized on a process for manufacturing integrated circuits at the nanometer (billionth of a meter) level and used it to develop a method for engineering the first-ever nanoscale fluidic (nanofluidic) device with complex three-dimensional surfaces. The Lilliputian chamber is a prototype for future tools with custom-designed surfaces to manipulate and measure different types of nanoparticles in solution.

Among the potential applications for this technology: the processing of nanomaterials for manufacturing; the separation and measuring of complex nanoparticle mixtures for drug delivery, gene therapy and nanoparticle toxicology; and the isolation and confinement of individual DNA strands for scientific study as they are forced to unwind and elongate (DNA typically coils into a ball-like shape in solution) within the shallowest passages of the device.

Nanofluidic devices are usually fabricated by etching tiny channels into a glass or silicon wafer with the same lithographic procedures used to manufacture circuit patterns on computer chips. These flat rectangular channels are then topped with a glass cover that is bonded in place. Because of the limitations inherent to conventional nanofabrication processes, almost all nanofluidic devices to date have had simple geometries with only a few depths. This limits their ability to separate mixtures of nanoparticles with different sizes or study the nanoscale behavior of biomolecules (such as DNA) in detail.

To solve the problem, NIST's Samuel Stavis and Michael Gaitan teamed with Cornell's Elizabeth Strychalski to develop a lithographic process to fabricate nanofluidic devices with complex 3-D surfaces. As a demonstration of their method, the researchers constructed a nanofluidic chamber with a "staircase" geometry etched into the floor. The "steps" in this staircase—each level giving the device a progressively increasing depth from 10 nanometers (approximately 6,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair) at the top to 620 nanometers (slightly smaller than an average bacterium) at the bottom—are what give the device its ability to manipulate nanoparticles by size in the same way a coin sorter separates nickels, dimes and quarters.

The NIST-Cornell nanofabrication process utilizes grayscale photolithography to build 3-D nanofluidic devices. Photolithography has been used for decades by the semiconductor industry to harness the power of light to engrave microcircuit patterns onto a chip. Circuit patterns are defined by templates, or photomasks, that permit different amounts of light to activate a photosensitive chemical, or photoresist, sitting atop the chip material, or substrate.

Conventional photolithography uses photomasks as "black-or-white stencils" to remove either all or none of the photoresist according to a set pattern. The "white" parts of the pattern—those that let light through—are then etched to a single depth into the substrate. Grayscale photolithography, on the other hand, uses "shades of gray" to activate and sculpt the photoresist in three dimensions. In other words, light is transmitted through the photomask in varying degrees according to the "shades" defined in the pattern. The amount of light permitted through determines the amount of exposure of the photoresist, and, in turn, the amount of photosensitive chemical removed after development.

The NIST-Cornell nanofabrication process takes advantage of this characteristic, allowing the researchers to transfer a 3-D pattern for nanochannels of numerous depths into a glass substrate with nanometer precision using a single etch.

The result is the "staircase" that gives the 3-D nanofluidic device its versatility.

Size exclusion of nanoparticles and confinement of individual DNA strands in the 3-D nanofluidic device is accomplished using electrophoresis, the method of moving charged particles through a solution by forcing them forward with an applied electric field. In these novel experiments, the NIST-Cornell researchers tested their device with two different solutions: one containing 100-nanometer-diameter polystyrene spheres and the other containing 20-micrometer (millionth of a meter)-length DNA molecules from a virus that infects the common bacterium Escherichia coli. In each experiment, the solution was injected into the deep end of the chamber and then electrophoretically driven across the device from deeper to shallower levels. Both the spheres and DNA strands were tagged with fluorescent dye so that their movements could be tracked with a microscope.

In the trials using rigid nanoparticles, the region of the 3-D nanofluidic device where the channels were less than 100 nanometers in depth stayed free of the particles. In the viral DNA trials, the genetic material appeared as coiled in the deeper channels and elongated in the shallower ones. These results show that the 3-D nanofluidic device successfully excluded rigid nanoparticles based on size and deformed (uncoiled) the flexible DNA strands into distinct shapes at different steps of the staircase.

Currently, the researchers are working to separate and measure mixtures of different-sized nanoparticles and investigate the behavior of DNA captured in a 3-D nanofluidic environment.

In a previous project, the NIST-Cornell researchers used heated air to create nanochannels with curving funnel-shaped entrances in a process they dubbed "nanoglassblowing." Like its new 3-D cousin, the nanoglassblown nanofluidic device facilitates the study of individual DNA strands.

The work described in the Nanotechnology paper was supported in part by the National Research Council Research Associateship Program and Cornell's Nanobiotechnology Center, part of the National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Center Program. The 3-D nanofluidic devices were fabricated at the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility and the Cornell Center for Materials Research, and characterized at the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology. All experiments were performed at the NIST laboratories in Maryland.

As a non-regulatory agency, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

Flexible display screens and cheap solar cells can become a reality through research and development in organic electronics. Physicists at Umeå University in Sweden have now developed a new and simple method for producing cheap electronic components

“The method is simple and can therefore be of interest for future mass production of cheap electronics,” says physicist Ludvig Edman.

Organic chemistry is a rapidly expanding research field that promises exciting and important applications such as flexible display screens and cheap solar cells. One attractive feature is that organic electronic materials can be processed from a solution.

“This makes it possible to paint thin films of electronic materials on flexible surfaces like paper or plastic,” explains Ludvig Edman.

Electronic components with various functions can then be created by patterning the film with a specific structure. Until now it has proven to be problematic to carry out this patterning in a simple way without destroying the electronic properties of the organic material.

“We have now developed a method that enables us to create patterns in an efficient and gentle way. With the patterned organic material as a base, we have managed to produce well-functioning transistors,” says Ludvig Edman.

A thin film of an organic electronic material, a so-called fullerene, is first painted on a selected surface. The parts of the film that are to remain in place are directly exposed to laser light. Then the whole film can be developed by rinsing it with a solution. A well-defined pattern then emerges where the laser light hit the surface.

A key advantage with this method of patterning is that it is both simple and scalable, which means that it can be useful in future production of cheap and flexible electronics in an assembly line process.

Other researchers involved in developing the method are Andrzej Dzwilewski and Thomas Wågberg.

The findings are presented in the publication Journal of the American Chemical Society.