An engine is the heart of a vehicle's operating system and ultimately what makes the vehicle a
successful form of transportation. Without the engine, a vehicle is just another big piece of
out metal appearing in various shapes and sizes.
In addition to being manufactured for vehicles, engines are also built for aircraft and large machinery
such as Caterpillar excavators and dozers. They are also used in trailer manufacturing for the
Companies in the engine manufacturing industry manufacture and assemble diesel engines, electric
engines, and natural gas-powered engines. The engines built will eventually be used as the
vehicles, heavy-duty trucks, mid-duty trucks, and RVs.
We cover more below on which industries engines are built for, where the workers are located, and, most
the PPE workers require when manufacturing engines. First, though, a little bit about the
companies, and the industry’s economic impact.
A trailer's hydraulic system engine being assembled
The Engine's History
1876 four-cycle engine
The first successful four-stroke internal combustion engine was built in
1876 by Nicolaus Otto. His invention,
called the “Otto Cycle Engine”, offered the first practical substitute to steam engine as a power
Combustion is the chemical process of releasing energy from a fuel and air mixture. The
gases push the piston, which rotates the crankshaft. Then, through a system of gears in the powertrain,
drives a vehicle’s wheels.
Throughout the 20th century, the two most common internal combustion engines manufactured were the diesel and
petrol engines. Today, in the 21st century, electrical engines are starting to become mainstream with
technology being introduced every day. This is an important point to mention, as PPE needing worn by
employees must change within different manufacturing plants. Example being, workers that manufacturer
engines are using thinner gauged metals and will need even higher levels of cut-resistant gloves.
Engines come in many different shapes and sizes, and are built for a multitude of different purposes. Here
quick rundown of the different types of engines.
In this internal combustion engine, fuel is mixed with air and then inducted into the
cylinder during intake. With fuel-air inside the engine, a spark ignites, causing
combustion. Hot gases produced are used to drive the pistons.
This type of engine is the primary engine used in automobiles. Other applications for this
engine include aircraft, motorcycles, motorboats, and small engines.
In this internal combustion engine, only air is inducted into the engine and then
compressed. The diesel engine then sprays fuel into the hot compressed air, causing it
Heavy-duty diesel engines are primarily manufactured for freight trucks, however, they may
also be found in light- and medium-duty trucks. They are used for several purposes:
transportation, medium-duty trucks, and for industrial machinery engines.
Electric engines are powered by an
electric current that generates a magnetic charge and turns the
driveshaft. These engines utilize large lithium-ion batteries or batteries made with
An Electric Vehicle's Battery
There are two basic types of electric engine: all-electric vehicles (AEVs) and plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles (PHEVs).
Ultimately, the global automotive engine & parts manufacturing industry is linked to motor vehicle
engines are the essential component of the automobile. The industry is forecasted to hit $299 billion in 2019.
Automotive engine & parts manufacturing involves making the following products: camshafts,
engines, fuel injectors, pistons, valves, and pumps. With regard to this industry resource
page, we highlight
the manufacturing of engines, not all the components that make up this industry.
The engine and turbine industry is linked to more industrial production and is projected to reach $55billion in 2019.
Honda is the world’s largest engine manufacturer,
producing more than 23 million units annually. Have you ever wondered who makes the best automotive
Well, Ranker knows the answer to that question, as over 81,000 people have voted
on the topic. Honda is ranked the #1 engine by voters.
Many automotive companies manufacture engines in their own automotive plants. However, some treat the
they do other parts and source from outside suppliers. GM has sourced from others over
the years, including Suzuki’s 3-cylinder portfolio, but have produced their engines more in-house in
Engine manufacturing goes beyond just the engines found in automotive vehicles. The Truck and Engine
Manufacturers Association represents manufacturers of internal combustion engines. Their collection of
members represents some of the largest industrial
companies operating across the world.
Member Companies That Are a Part of the EMA
American Honda Motor Company, Inc.
Isuzu Technical Center of America, Inc.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA
Kubota Engine America Corporation
Cummins Power Systems
MAN Truck & Bus AG
Daimler Trucks North America, LLC
MTU America, Inc.
Deere & Company
FCA US, LLC
Scania CV AB
Fiat Powertrain Technologies
Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Ford Motor Company
Volvo Group North America
General Motors Company
Wärtsilä North America, Inc.
Hino Motors Manufacturing USA, Inc.
Yanmar America Corporation
Caterpillar, Cummins, and General Electric Company are three of the largest companies from this list. Here
some of the many areas where you will find industrial engines used:
Farm, construction, and industrial equipment
Lawn and garden
Power transmission equipment
As we mentioned above, engines serve a wide range of purposes.
Die-Casting the Engine Block
The companies mentioned above manufacture a multitude of parts, with the engine block making up the core
It is the main structure housing hundreds of parts allowing the engine to function properly.
The manufacturing of the engine block is primarily accomplished by sand casting. The reason for this is that the
engine must be able to withstand the extreme pressure created when combustion occurs. Green sand molding
is the process most widely used. This means it must withstand high temperatures and constant vibrations.
BMW’s video helps visualize what takes place during casting, a highly automated process.
Stages in Manufacturing the Engine Block
The engine block, a one-piece component, is the single largest piece of metal in an automobile. It is where
combustion converts into mechanical energy.
A sand mold is created from a mixture of zircon sand, glue, and hardener. The combination of
come together to withstand the temperatures of molten metal and are used for only one casting.
A machine injects the mixtures mentioned above into a master mold made of iron. A base core is
that allows other cores to attach while traveling down an assembly line.
The base core travels down an assembly line and an additional 17 cores are added.
Molten cast iron, aluminum, or magnesium alloy is poured into
the combined core molds.
Casted engine block spends six hours in the thermal sand reclaim oven. This breaks down the
allows the sand to fall away. Heat treatment of the block improves mechanical properties too.
Minor finishing of the engine is required and rough machining is performed.
Quality checks are performed.
Final machining takes place.
As you can imagine, working around heat and metal means MCR Safety gloves, made with DuPont Kevlar®, are an
choice for workers. Be sure to check out MCR Safety’s industry page on foundries for
further casting information.
Assembly and Testing
Once the engine block is manufactured, a working engine is only halfway complete. An engine consists of
assortment of mechanical and electronic components, all of which must be assembled into a working whole.
A robot is at the heart of most of this process, completing tasks like installing the pistons into the
bores and attaching pistons to the crankshaft. However, the engine assembler still closes up the back
engine block, tightens bolts, arranges wires, and moves the engine to the motor vehicle assembly line.
When you examine only diesel engine manufacturing, there are thirteen states that are home to heavy-duty
diesel engine manufacturing. North Carolina is one of those states, leading the way with the
of 327,500 diesel engines last year. Other key states include Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and New
Number of Manufacturers
Number of Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines
There are around 96,000 employees manufacturing industrial engines.
Whether it’s an automotive
or an industrial diesel engine being manufactured, many workers find occupations that provide employment.
Here is a look at the occupations found in this industry.
Manufacturing engines, like most other automotive industries, requires assemblers that fasten piping, install
wiring, and cut out parts. Many of the same occupations that make up the part manufacturing industry also
in this industry. However, we’re going to highlight the engine assembler.
As you might already have guessed, where the automobiles are manufactured is where you will find most U.S.
engines being manufactured. Here are the states employing the most engine assemblers.
Automotive Parts Manufacturing
Engine, Turbine, and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing
Agriculture, Construction, and Mining Machinery Manufacturing
General Purpose Machinery Manufacturing
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing
Automotive parts manufacturing is where you find most engine assemblers.
Work Activities Performed by Engine Assemblers
Apply lubricants and coolants
Assemble electromechanical and hydraulic systems
Cut industrial materials for fabrication and processing
Conduct quality inspections
Drill holes in metal parts
Handle hot objects
Operate grinding equipment
Operate metal forming equipment
Operate typical shop equipment such as hoists, jacks, hand tools, cleaning machines, wiring,
Place preassembled cylinder heads, aggregates, and belt drives
Mount cables, pistons, and bearings
Smooth out metal surfaces and edges
Many of the activities found in the automotive industry involve metal fabrication. Be sure to
check out our Metal fabrication industry page for more information and resources.
What do 91% of engine assemblers say their
requires every day? If you guessed PPE, you would be correct.
Compared to other automotive industries, manufacturing engines isn’t as dangerous as something like
stamping; however, it still has more injuries than the overall industry average.
Manufacturing engines is about 16% more dangerous on average. It might be even higher if not for the fact
most of the engine manufacturing is an automated process. With that said, employees still come into
heat, abrasive sand, oil, sharp metal, and numerous other hazards.
At MCR Safety, We Protect People with state-of-the-art PPE. Let us keep you safe when you are
Automotive Professions and Hazards Matrix
Find the appropriate PPE for specific automotive hazards with a simple easy to follow guide.
Common Engine Manufacturing Hazards
Find the right MCR Safety product that protects you against these common hazards.
Working around abrasive sand during casting, handling additives and assembling metal parts onto engines requires only the best abrasion resistant gloves. We make them form fitting to your hands, so you can efficiently assemble engine parts too!
Metal is all over an engine, which requires a worker’s arm protected at all times. We manufacture a wide range of cut resistant sleeves to keep your arms protected, including a new A9 cut-resistant sleeve.
Engine assemblers need to feel the components making up engines. Yet, at the same time, they need cut protection when working around metal, such as drilling holes in metal parts. We make some featherweight cut-resistant options you should consider wearing.
Casting flash, excess material that needs to be removed, and sharp edges on castings and dies are just a couple reasons workers need cut protection in this industry. Workers also need to be protected when handling knives, files, and pliers.
Cutting industrial materials for fabrication and processing
There some heavy parts that make up a completed engine. If you know your back up hand is going to get banged up, consider our cut and back-of-hand PPE styles. Wearing gloves with 360-degree protection makes a lot of sense.
Moving heavy parts
Operate typical shop equipment such as hoist, jacks, hand tools, cleaning machines, wiring, etc
Workers grind away excess metal found on the engine, meaning face shields, and safety glasses are definitely required at work. Plus, whenever hot molten metal is around during die casting, machine operators need eye protection. Furthermore, assemblers need protection from flying projectiles.
We now manufacture a Cut A9 apron for workers concerned with any hazards faced that may cut their front torso area. With hot metal found all across engine manufacturing, some workers may benefit from this advanced protection. It’s also rated ANSI 5 for contact heat!
MCR Safety manufactures and supplies Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Simply put, WE PROTECT PEOPLE! We are known world-wide for our extensive product line depth surrounding gloves, glasses, and garments spanning across numerous industries. We offer the total package of safety gear encompassing industrial gloves, safety glasses, protective garments, welding gear, industrial boots, Flame Resistant (FR) gear, face shields, and much more. From a glove standpoint alone, MCR Safety manufacturers and supplies over 1,000 different style gloves. Here are some of the many reasons MCR Safety is your go to source for PPE:
Global PPE manufacturer, with operations stretching across 5 continents.
Direct manufacturer of over 50% of all product, ensuring the highest level of quality.
In conjunction with quality control measures resulting from direct manufacturing, our ITC Innovations Technology Center ensures another layer of testing glove quality. The ITC Lab is the only ISO 17025 accredited lab to perform ANSI/ISEA 105-2016 cut resistance, abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, and conductive heat resistance testing in North America. We offer no cost testing for users interested in knowing the quality level of current PPE being worn or for potential new products being considered.
Winner of multiple new product innovation awards, most recently being the DM3 eyewear
Dedicated 360° Safety Specialists ready for onsite PPE consultations.
Get educated, aware of Automotive hazards, and find PPE by occupation. Download MCR Safety's Automotive Matrix and get entered into our monthly PPE giveaway!
MCR Safety is recognized as a global manufacturer stretching across six countries, with both distribution and manufacturing facilities. Our core competency and specialty is manufacturing and supplying protective gloves, glasses, and garments. The information shown and provided on MCR Safety’s website, its safety articles, industry resource pages, highlighted hazards and safety equipment should be used only as a general reference tool and guide. The end user is solely responsible for determining the suitability of any product selection for a particular application. MCR Safety makes no guarantee or warranty (expressed or implied) of our products’ performance or protection for particular applications.
Automotive Industry Safety Insights and Information