11/11/2011

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Winners of SPE 41st Auto Innovation Awards Competition announced

The winners are: CATEGORY: Body Exterior
RAM BOX ASSEMBLY WITH LID OEM Make & Model: Chrysler Group LLC 2012 MY Dodge Ram pickupTier Supplier/Processor: Penda Corp. / Penda Corp. (lid), Evco Plastics (bin), River Bend Industries (end caps)Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Asahi Kasei Plastics North America Inc. / Cavalier Tool & Mfg. Ltd. (injection-molded bin); Tooling Technology LLC (thermoformed lid)Material / Process: Thermylene P8-40FG-4611 (box), P6-15FG-0741 (lid); P6-15FG-0754 (end caps) PP / Twin-sheet thermoformingDescription: Twin-sheet thermoforming replaces blow molding to create the structure and ribbing of this tough storage box with lid. The result is a more uniform, more dimensionally accurate part whose length was increased from 5 ft 7 in. to 6 ft 4 in., requiring greater emphasis on the "heavy-duty" nature of the structure's design and materials of construction. A special new grade of GR-PP eliminated the need to upgrade to heavier and more costly PA 6/6, avoiding a 9% weight and 20% cost increase.   CATEGORY: Body Interior
OVERMOLD-CUSHION SUSPENSION OEM Make & Model: Ford Motor Co. 2012 MY Ford Escape SUV & Kuga CUVTier Supplier/Processor: Flex-O-Lators Div. of Leggett & Platt Inc.Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Washington Penn / Advanced Mold Engineering Inc.Material / Process: PPC5UF0 PP / Injection moldingDescription: The injection-molded PP design reduces part count from 5 to 1 / seat, piece cost USD 0.56 per seat, tooling costs USD 288,000, and per-vehicle mass by 1.93 kg vs. the previous design. The single-piece design provides wire harness routing and retention, seat-cushion and back-trim retention, and climate-control system retention - functionality that previously required 6 parts to achieve. Now there are 5 fewer parts to manage, control, and install and fewer opportunities for potential failure modes.  [image_0_right] CATEGORY: Chassis / Hardware
POWER-WINDOW MOTOR OUTPUT GEAR & SHAFT OEM Make & Model: Ford Motor Co. 2011 MY Ford All Focus compact cars (globally)Tier Supplier/Processor: Brose Fahrzeugteile GmbH & Co. KG / Mitsuba Corp.Material Supplier / Toolmaker: DuPont Automotive / Camoplast Inc.Material / Process: Hytrel TPC-ET polyester / Injection moldingDescription: This power-window motor changed from a steel output pinion to a new injection-molded polyester one for a quieter/lighter motor to meet customer targets while still complying with window velocities. It is industry's first plastic output pinion that ensures functionality. Additionally, the design allows for regulator plug-‘n-play capability into the power drum for better motion control. Packaging of the involute onto the spline gear to the accommodating drum spline was critical to the customer. The application saved USD 450,000 direct and USD 250,000 indirect cost savings annually. CATEGORY: Environmental
RENEWABLY SOURCED PA FOR BIODIESEL FUEL LINES OEM Make & Model: Fiat S.p.A. 2011 MY Fiat Diesel engines, various modelsTier Supplier/Processor: HutchinsonMaterial Supplier / Toolmaker: DuPont Automotive / Not StatedMaterial / Process: Zytel RS 1610 PA 10/10 / ExtrusionDescription: This is the first automotive use of PA 10/10 and the first bio-based PA 10/10 application. It is used in a diesel fuel line replacing PA 12. The bio-based resin provides superior temperature and chemical resistance, as well as heat-aging performance in biodiesel fuel blends vs. PA 12. This specific composition also contains a minimum of 60% bio content by weight for a more sustainable solution.   CATEGORY: Materials
VOLCANIC-FILLER PILLAR TRIM OEM Make & Model: Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group 2011 MY Kia Pride subcompact & Optima mid-size sedan and Hyundai Elantra compact carTier Supplier/Processor: Plakor Co. Ltd.Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Hyundai EP Co. Ltd. / Not StatedMaterial / Process: Supol HL345CL PP / Injection moldingDescription: This lightweight, injection-molded PP pillar trim provides the texture and appearance of more costly fabric-wrapped trim through use of a unique filler combination consisting of volcanic rock, fiber pile, and glass spheres replacing talc-filled PP and fabric-wrapped PP. No special tooling was required but process control was important so as not to crush the glass spheres and to distribute the fiber pile evenly during compounding and molding. A 10% weight and a 50% direct cost savings was achieved. Other benefits gained from using the volcanic mineral are that it emits negative ions (to reduce pollutants) and far-infrared energy.   CATEGORY: Powertrain
BATTERY PACK OEM Make & Model: General Motors Co. 2011 MY Chevrolet Volt extended-range EVTier Supplier/Processor: General Motors Co. / MANN+HUMMEL GmbHMaterial Supplier / Toolmaker: BASF Corp. / Omega Corp.Material / Process: Ultramid 1503-2F PA 6/6 33% GF, HS / Injection moldingDescription: Thermoplastic battery frames are an integral part of electric-vehicle thermal management, channeling coolant to and from the cells. The use of injection-molded hydrolysis-resistant PA 6/6 for thermal-cycling management is a lightweight enabling material for this design, which required exacting manufacturing consistency and high levels of repeatability and reproducibility.  [image_1_right] GRAND AWARD & CATEGORY: Process / Assembly / Enabling Technologies
MUCELL INSTRUMENT PANEL OEM Make & Model: Ford Motor Co. 2012 MY Ford Escape compact SUV & Kuga compact CUVTier Supplier/Processor: FaureciaMaterial Supplier / Toolmaker: Sabic Innovative Plastics & Flint Hills Resources / LamkoMaterial / Process: Stamax EXRP-49 30YK270 & AP3335-HF long glass / 30% talc-filled PP / Microcellular injection moldingDescription: This is the largest automotive component molded in the patented MuCell injection-molding process and the first instrument panel to be molded in this process. By creating the part in microcellular foam, weight is reduced over 1 lb, mechanicals are improved, cycle time is reduced 15%, and clamp tonnage is reduced 45%, saving an estimated USD 3 US / vehicle vs. solid injection molding. CATEGORY: Safety
REINFORCED AIRBAG LID IN FOAM (RALF) OEM Make & Model: Ford Motor Co. 2011 MY Ford Focus compact carTier Supplier/Processor: Faurecia Interior SystemsMaterial Supplier / Toolmaker: Not stated / Not statedMaterial / Process: PET & PUR / Not statedDescription: RALF technology is an optimized instrument panel / passenger airbag door system that uses a reinforced structural 3D-skeleton of PET mesh textile and polyurethane foam lid. RALF replaces the traditional metal or plastic airbag lid door and offers much improved airbag lid positioning with less risk of windshield breakage. It offers significant weight savings over traditional foam-in-place airbag construction and is cost-neutral. [image_2] (The descriptions of the winning projects follows the information provided by SPE.)

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