Body Exterior Category Finalists Announced for 2016 #SPEInnovationAwards Competition


The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) today announced the Body Exterior Category finalists for its 46th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition, the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. Nominations were first subjected to a pre-qualification review and then were presented before a panel of industry experts on September 29-30, 2016. That panel sent forward the most innovative nominations (category finalists) to the Blue Ribbon judging round, which was held October 10, 2016. Category and Grand Award winners selected during the Blue Ribbon judging round will be announced on the evening of November 9, 2016 during the 46th SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.



Structural Front End Module with Active Grille Shutter

OEM Make & Model:  2016 Ford Motor Co. Ford SuperDuty pickup

Tier Supplier/Processor: Shape Corp.

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Celanese Corp. / Not stated

Material / Process:  Celstran 40-20 Black long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) polypropylene (PP) / injection molding

Description:  This all-composite design without metallic reinforcement is the first active grille shutter (AGS)-capable, injection-molded LFT-PP front-end module (FEM) bolster used on a heavy-duty pickup platform. Replacing steel and plastic/metal hybrids at a 3 lb/1.4 kg and $3 USD savings/vehicle, the design offers parts consolidation with locating features that aid fit & finish, improves airflow, while meeting structural requirements for part deflections of <1mm on this 8,500 lb/3,856 kg class vehicle.

Lightweight Glass

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Ford GT40 supercar

Tier Supplier/Processor: Pittsburgh Glass Works LLC

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd. / Pittsburgh Glass Works LLC

Material / Process: polyvinyl butyral (PVB) /multiple

Description:  Three of five glass positions on this vehicle feature chemically tempered glazing that is part of a thin, hybrid laminate solution with an interlayer of solar-control PVB film that reduces glazing weight approximately 37% while lowering heat transmittance to keep interiors cooler. Versus conventional 0.20 in./4.96 mm thick laminates featuring 2 layers of soda-lime glass (SLG) with a PVB interlayer, the new construction features standard-thickness layers of SLG and PVB plus a very-thin (0.03 in./0.7 mm) layer of chemically tempered glass for a total thickness of 0.14 in./3.56 mm. The resulting laminate is thinner, lighter, tougher, and offers optical advantages.

MIC High Gloss Body Color TPO Fascia

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Ford Transit Connect van

Tier Supplier/Processor: Magna Exteriors, Inc. / Magna Exteriors, Inc. – Nascote

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Advanced Composites, Inc. / Tycos Tool & Die

Material / Process:  ADX700 ADX70004WFA thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) / injection molding

Description:  Painted fascias are prone to chip and peel, which leads to warranty costs and customer unhappiness. Additionally, painting adds significant cost with negative environmental impact. Instead, a high-gloss, weather- and mar-resistant, molded-in-color (MIC) TPO material matched to vehicle body panel color. Rigorous testing was conducted to assure the material was resistant to stone pecking and road chemicals and would not change shape when exposed to high heat. Additionally, a lens-grade mold with SP1 diamond polish and gating designed to minimize knitlines was used. The resulting part is 10% lighter, offers $800,000 USD annualized savings, and harmonizes with exterior painted components.

3D Radiator Grille

OEM Make & Model: 2017 General Motors Co. Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicle (EV)

Tier Supplier/Processor: Sam Shin Chemical Co.

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: LG Chem Ltd. / A-Tech Solution Co., Ltd.

Material / Process:  Lupoy 1000MU polycarbonate (PC)

Description: A new appearance is achieved for this front grille by using “varied contouring” (variable wall thicknesses) on the B side of this injection molded, tinted PC part, which subsequently is UV coated on the A side and receives a 3-coat paint system on the B side. The end result is a unique 3D look on a 2D surface.


Interested in attending this year’s event?  There is still time to buy individual tickets or tables of 10 seats. Register here.

For more information, see http://speautomotive.com/inno and http://speautomotive.com/awa .

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