Body Interior Category Finalists Announced for 2016 #SPEInnovationAwards Competition


The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) today announced the Body Interior 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.



Ultrathin Seat Back

OEM Make & Model: 2017 General Motors Co. Chevrolet Bolt EV

Tier Supplier/Processor: General Motors Co. / USF

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: Advanced Composites, Inc. / ToolPlas Systems Inc.

Material / Process:  GMW15548P-PP/polyethylene (PE)-M15-Type 6A, GMW15548P-PP/PE-M20 Type 4, GMW16582P-PA6-GF15 / injection molding

Description:  To solve the challenges of conventional seat construction, which limits console storage and rear-seat leg room, this product eliminates molded urethane foam from the seat back and replaces it with an all-plastic shell featuring a larger concave region that enables optimum occupant comfort. An innovative suspension system also is used that consists of a forward plastic seat back panel attached to the frame via spring joints. The technology can increase front console width by ≈ 0.8 in./20 mm and reduce seatback thickness by ≈ 2.1 in./52 mm while reducing overall vehicle cost $35-$40 USD and mass 3-4 kg.

Thin-Wall IP Substrate

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Lincoln Continental luxury sedan

Tier Supplier/Processor: Faurecia & Detroit Manufacturing Systems Ltd., LLC / Faurecia

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: SABIC / Lamko Tool & Mold Inc.

Material / Process:  Stamax 30YK270E 30% LFT-PP / injection molding

Description:  Reportedly, this is the thinnest full-size, deep-draw injection molded instrument panel (IP) in North America at 1.9 mm/0.07 in. It was achieved by injection molding a 30% glass-reinforced LFT-PP. Versus the 2.4 mm/0.09 in. microcellular-foam molded benchmark, this design was 14% lighter, saved over $1 USD in materials as well as the microcellular-foaming investment, and helped optimize packaging. Moldfilling analysis with fiber orientation was used for accurate warpage predictions and to develop tooling countermeasures to facilitate molding.

Composite Suspensions for Upper and Lower Backs

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Lincoln Continental luxury sedan

Tier Supplier/Processor: Leggett & Platt Inc. & Magna International / Summit Plastic Molding & Century Plastics

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: BASF Corp., Advanced Composites, Inc., DuPont Automotive / Summit Plastic Molding & Mega Mold

Material / Process:  Ultramid B3ZG7 OSI PA; Ultramid B3EG3 PA; ADX 5017 TPO; Delrin 100 polyoxymethylene (POM) / Multiple

Description:  Thanks to integrated composite designs, this “perfect position seat” suspension system delivers tuned suspension to optimize occupant comfort by cradling the upper back and providing side-torso support, which flexes to accommodate various occupant sizes. Special attachment features facilitate assembly and service time. The design also creates a robust dynamic crash-energy management system for rear-impact protection. Molded-in-color is used for A surfaces and craftsmanship. The system, for which 83 patents have been filed, reduces total seat weight by 8% and cost by 15% despite adding more features.

Quad-Barrel Convertible Cupholder

OEM Make & Model: 2017 Ford Motor Co. Ford Super Duty pickup

Tier Supplier/Processor: Summit Polymers, Inc.

Material Supplier / Toolmaker: SABIC / Not stated

Material / Process: Cycolac XCY620 PC/acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) / injection molding

Description:  This console design converts from 2 cupholders plus a bin to 4 cupholders with the help of a patented slider tray assembly for greater user flexibility without the need to remove and stow components when not in use. The design of the injection molded PC/ABS cupholders accommodates beverage containers ranging from small coffee cups and water bottles to large all-day beverage containers while reducing weight 70% vs. the outgoing model and lowering costs $3 USD depending on content replaced.


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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