Automotive Innovation Awards: Chassis & Hardware

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The Chassis & Hardware Award winner was the bumper energy absorber on the 2013 Ford Fusion and Mondeo sedans. System supplier and materials processor is Magna Exteriors & Interiors. The material is supplied by Sabic.

Winner of the category Chassis & Hardware

Bumper energy absorber

OEM/vehicles: Ford Motor/2013 Fusion midsize sedan & Mondeo sedan

System supplier: Magna Exteriors & Interiors

Material processor: Magna Exteriors & Interiors

Material supplier: Sabic

Material/process: Xenoy 1103 PC/PBT/injection moulding

1-piece bumper energy absorber

This is the first 1-piece front bumper EA that simultaneously meets both Part 581 bumper damageability (requiring stiff EAs) and Pedestrian Protection GTR lower-leg impact (requiring soft EAs). Development of a tunable, common EA eliminates the need for different EAs, bumper beams and fascias in geographies with different impact requirements. The injection-moulded PC/PBT offers good energy absorption (up to 100% strain) while retaining structural integrity from -30 to 60°C. The patent-pending system reduces complexity in design, manufacturing, and assembly, improves pedestrian safety and lowers replacement costs during low-speed impacts. It is 40% lighter and 10% less expensive than steel EAs and 20% lighter than thicker PP EAs at comparable costs.

Finalist of the category Chassis & Hardware

Hidden handle-release mechanism

OEM/vehicle: Ford Motor/2013 Ecosport SUV

System supplier: ITW

Material processor: Sain Tooling

Material supplier: Lanxess

Material/process: Durethan BKV 50 PA/injection moulding

Tooling/equipment supplier: ITW São Paulo

Handle incorporated into a lamp

This is the first time an outside handle has been incorporated into a lamp. A hidden mechanical handle articulates about the z-axis to release the rear swing gate. The patent-pending, multi-material system meets packaging and aesthetic objectives by integrating previously separate components. With fewer parts and assembly steps, the novel design’s efficiency drives assembly improvements while reducing mass and maintaining a sleek look. Direct savings were estimated at €867,400 (US $1.2MM) and indirect savings at €578,284 (US $800,000) annually with complete closure, hardware and lighting cross-functional systems. The assembly is recyclable and since paint is eliminated, VOCs are reduced.

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