US – Trial production is underway before series production begins in spring 2016. Honda says that its dedicated Performance Manufacturing Centre (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, is using “groundbreaking techniques in weld, body construction, body painting, final assembly and quality confirmation”.
The OEM claims “the world’s first use of all-robotic MIG welding” in employing eight robots to apply approximately 900 precise, rigid and lightweight welds. At the same time, Honda says that “hand craftsmanship complements high-tech robotic processes” throughout NSX assembly, including hand-starting of each bolt and the manual installation of the exterior body panels from inside out, to ensure symmetrical side-to-side fitment. Lasers are used to locate door-hem edges, fenders and door gaps so that the panels do not require adjustment.
At Honda’s nearby Anna plant, also in Ohio, workers manually assemble the 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 engine with dry sump. Each unit takes more than six hours to complete and is machine balanced. The engine build process has been benchmarked against some of the company’s racing engine programmes to ensure high quality and performance. Each NSX power unit, consisting of the engine, nine-speed, dual-clutch transmission with direct-drive electric motor, and front Twin Motor Unit is bench-tested and broken-in equivalent to 150 driving miles.
Back at the PMC, an all-glass quality confirmation centre has been installed in the centre of the manufacturing floor so that technicians from every department can monitor the vehicles as they move through the production process. There are 100 engineers and technicians onsite.
Honda has promised to release more details on the “unique and innovative” manufacturing operations at the PMC in the months leading up to the full production launch of the new NSX.