SPE Automotive Nominates 36 Finalists for Annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala Composites World

The category and grand prize winners selected by the Blue Ribbon Jury on 1 October will be announced at a gala on 10 November 2021.The submissions are as follows.
The Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division (SPE, Danbury, CT, USA) has announced the finalists for the 50th Annual Automotive Innovation Awards ceremony.Nominations are first pre-qualified and then submitted to a panel of industry experts on September 23-24, 2021.The panel then sends the category finalists to the Blue Ribbon Judging Round on October 1, 2021.The category and grand prize winners selected in the blue ribbon judging round will be announced at the 50th SPE Automotive Innovation Awards ceremony on the evening of November 10, 2021.The finalists for this year’s competition are listed below in order of category and submission:
Replacing extruded rubber moldings with 3D printed TPU and post-processed vapor smoothing, these aftermarket polymer spring sleeves are designed using additive manufacturing (DFAM) principles to eliminate the stickiness typically used to bond rubber sleeves to springs mixture.The design balances assembly feasibility, performance, weight and material usage, and offers an aesthetic not commonly found in this type of application.When traditional suppliers were no longer able to supply parts, Ford designed and produced the kits in-house, reducing mass, cost and material usage, improving drainage and saving $150,000 by avoiding tooling.
In an industry first, customers can select, download NFTL files and 3D print their own replaceable accessories (eg, cup holders, trash cans, etc.) that fit into the storage slots of the entire Maverick range of vehicles.The initial design was developed by Ford and its supply team, but future designs may be proposed by customers.Various printer types and suggested materials are available.This provides customers with flexible, customizable storage and usage capabilities, or the option to maximize cabin space while avoiding large tool investments.
This is said to be the first exterior weathering MIC application using low density microspheres and PP from PCR carpets.The application reduces mass (0.2 kg) and costs $0.50-1.00 per vehicle, while providing enhanced weather resistance, excellent dimensional stability and surface aesthetics in a greener form.Plug-in applications require minimal tool modification but are 16% less dense than talc-filled primary PP while offering better processing, mechanical, surface finish, scratches and scuffs, weatherability and shorter cycle times.It helps avoid 680,000 kilograms of potential landfill and reduces carbon emissions by 83%.
This hard-coated and painted front grille with illuminated logo provides a 3D futuristic effect in a single part.Injection/compression molding creates large format transparent PC grids with variable wall thickness (ranging from 3-5mm) in lower tonnage presses, helping to minimize or eliminate flow lines and stress marks.After molding, the optical quality parts are impregnated with hardcoat silicone for excellent weather and abrasion resistance, ground pony logos, and selectively primed and painted on the B side of the part – said to be the first time paint has been used – Hard coatings for automotive exterior trim applications.
According to reports, this is the first time an integrated park assist sensor has been successfully integrated into a blow-molded bumper assembly.Compared to stamped steel, blow-molded PP beams are lighter, less expensive, and offer optimized design freedom; they offer superior structural stiffness, lower assembly complexity, and lower-cost tooling than injection-molded beams .The resulting fully functional, lightweight bumper system utilizes a snap-fit ​​feature that requires no additional hardware to hold the sensor in place.
The 16-piece steel component of this third-row seat back is replaced by a single, shooting and transporting plastic component, reducing weight by 30 percent, cost by 15 percent, twice the crash performance, and a 63 percent reduction in occupant workload. The seat is raised to an upright position without the need for a seat motor.This is the industry’s first all-plastic free-standing seat back that provides excellent energy absorption without the need for metal brackets.A new 35% short glass impact modified PA6 resin was developed for this sequential injection application.
A useful feature of this entry-level model is that the front driver and passenger seats can recline fully, but support both the neck and chest (via special chest pads with five lockable positions) as well as the hips and lower back (via cushioning) Lift Mechanism). Plastic is key to achieving the right balance of support and flexibility for comfort and provides a long lasting solution without worrying about BSR in the seat lift assembly.To date, the design has been awarded six patents/innovations.
To provide truck owners with a weather-proof in-vehicle workspace, the multi-purpose, multi-position flat workbench on the back of the front middle jump seat (models with bench seat) can be used for writing, computer work, etc., and can be used at the same time Cup holder and power supply to charge electronic devices.Offering 121 lockable positions per 4.5 units, the unit can withstand rough customer use but can be stowed away when not needed.About 95% of the components are made of plastic.The design has been awarded four patents.
This foldable worktop with injection-molded dual pivot hinges creates a completely flat 56 x 34 cm worktop that unfolds along the center console but is stowed away in the armrest.A new two-layer ultra-soft touch paint system on the ABS panel provides a pleasant touch.Compared to metal piano hinges, plastic hinges are 30% lighter and cost an estimated 15% lower.
This tunnel reinforcement reduces component mass by 40% and subsystem weight by another 20%, reducing system cost by 2.9% and tooling cost by 18.5%, while meeting or exceeding all functional requirements.The application features new materials, new simulation tools, and new methods of mechanically bonding thermoset and thermoplastic composites to monolithic hardware.Although lightweight, the structure carries high loads and is easier to assemble.
This hybrid rear leaf spring combines a high-strength steel main package and HP-RTM glass fiber reinforced epoxy composite auxiliary to reduce mass by 30% while providing the same stiffness and durability as conventional leaf spring systems sex.Other benefits include increased payload capacity, reduced parts count, reduced sandwich friction, smoother engagement, lower noise and a lower carbon footprint.
This embedded solution to reduce engine vibration through any “cylinder-on-demand” method provides closed-loop vibration control.Compared to primarily metal passive mass dampers, the new system offers greater design flexibility, tuning to a wider range of low frequency vibrations, 27% mass reduction, >1% improved fuel efficiency, simplified assembly and improved occupant comfort.The composite housing and stand are key to the device’s success.
It is said to be the first thermoplastic solution for battery covers to meet stringent new fire safety requirements that came into effect in China earlier this year.Non-halogenated FR 30% GR polypropylene copolymer (PPc) is 40% lighter than the outgoing metal solution, provides inherent electrical insulation, seals against moisture ingress and does not corrode.The 1.6-meter-long injection molded part is 2.0mm thick, reducing cost and quality, improving safety, and helping to extend mileage and sustainability.
This folding console gear lever is key to another application feature, the flat work surface.With the push of a button, the gear lever stows away.Novel park-by-wire technology provides automatic return to park.The plastic/metal hybrid features sintered metal gears overmolded with 30% GR PPA and PTFE, which reduces mass, noise, CLTE and friction.
This is reportedly the first time PA11 produced from castor oil-derived monomers has been used in the crankshaft forward exhaust.Biomonomer-based resins offer high thermal stability (1,000 hours at 160°C), chemical resistance, and flexibility.Castor bean grows in soils that support little else, providing an additional source of income for poor farmers in India without competing with food/feed crops or deforestation.Compared to steel/rubber components, PA11 vents are 50% lighter, cost $5 less per piece, and are more flexible for easy assembly while helping to decarbonize the supply chain.
In this PP headlamp housing, 20% coffee chaff biochar replaces 40% talc while providing better mechanical properties (including better impact strength), higher HDT, more compact size , lighter weight (17% lower SG), no odor/outgassing and a lower carbon footprint – meeting or exceeding all of Ford’s performance requirements.In addition, cycle times are reduced, costs are reduced, the energy required to manufacture the headlamp housing is reduced by 25%, and there is no need to modify existing tooling in this plug-in application.
These 15% GR rPA6 harness clips are injection molded from 100% PCR marine plastic.Fishermen in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea collect ghost gear (fishing nets), providing jobs, more sustainable livelihoods and healthier marine life.The material offers performance comparable to petroleum-based primer resins, delivering 10% cost savings, lower energy, improved supply chain stability and LCA benefits.This plug-and-play change does not require any tool changes and minimal process changes.
In less than 18 days, the team sourced materials, fabricated tooling, brought dimensional quality to specification, automatically installed 48 brass insert nuts (validated by a vision system), remodeled the manufacturing facility, trained staff and Scaled up tight tolerance production ventilator chassis components from thousands/year to thousands/week, ultimately delivering 30,000 units in 154 days.Where previous suppliers struggled to meet accuracy requirements, FTQ improved to 98.7 in faster production times.
The team developed a unique TPE—providing improved flow, high adhesion to PC/ABS substrates, and excellent chemical resistance—and shipped it within 24 hours.Rapid production of high cavitation molds to ensure adequate supply.A solid supply chain has been established to meet demand throughout 2020.
In less than a week, PEEK resins were fully characterized in a CAE material card, and tooling of critical ventilator components was retooled using mold deformation/wind resistance techniques to address warpage that previously required post-mold fixation and machining question.New tools were produced and the first parts were photographed 9 days later.This allowed the team to maintain extremely tight tolerances without post-mold countermeasures.This enables production to scale from thousands/year to thousands/week to meet high demand.By eliminating post-mold processing, costs are reduced by 30-40%.
The team used its automotive skills to retrofit processing equipment, switch from optical-grade silicone to traditional liquid silicone rubber, address voiding issues, build new tooling in just 19 days, and increase production of critical ventilator diaphragms from 1,000 to 4,000 per year /week.
The team produced what is said to be the first all-plastic PAPR, converting previously metal components to plastic to reduce mass and cost, and improve users of this personal protective equipment (PPE_ used by medical staff caring for COVID-19 patients) comfort.A lighter, more efficient design improves battery life, allowing workers to complete a 12-hour shift without needing to recharge the battery.Got NIOSH certification in just 3 days on the first try.The supplier achieved an increase in production from 650 units/week to 8,500 units/week before.All sales profits are donated to the COVID-19 Relief Fund, and the device has four patents pending.
To meet NIOSH certification requirements, the team used automotive tools to complete all project objectives within 30 days.A new snorkel design was developed with one size to fit the body from 5% female to 95% male body in various poses.The design features a quick connect to ensure a secure connection and provides 25% more airflow, but consumes 24% less current for longer battery life.It’s also lighter and 8 decibels quieter.The team delivered 42,000 breathing tubes during the project.
Two different programs – Operation Air Bridge and #TyvekTogether – have significantly increased the production capacity of hospital gowns and coveralls for paramedics and first responders.In addition, a new fabric was formulated in as little as three weeks to optimize usage and increase downstream production.Used spare capacity and resources from 15 US partners.In total, the team produced and shipped 17.6 million garments to replenish national inventories.
Responding to shortages of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic, the team repurposed airbags and seat upholstery materials and used idle cutting and sewing facilities to produce 50 times as many washable gowns for frontline workers.Two different fabrics (PA6/6 with silicone coating and PET with paraffin/C6 fluorocarbon coating) were developed and approved in less than two weeks, and gown design was modified to prevent workers from Sleeves are turned up when gloves are on.To date, 1.32 million gowns have been shipped.Efforts to reduce gown costs for healthcare providers.
According to reports, this is the first mass production of such PPE equipment.In the space of two days, the team developed the first transparent face shield and produced and delivered 1.1 million of them in 13 days.To address supply constraints and potential failure modes, the material was changed from RPET to APET, and the pin attachment replaced the binding.The supply flow and manufacturing teams have a weekly capacity of over 5 million pieces.In total, more than 21 million devices were shipped to protect frontline workers.
A new low-odor fabric introduced in November 2019 has been repurposed to produce washable and reusable non-woven face masks in response to the pandemic.The key to the material’s efficacy is that the zinc ions are embedded in the polymer matrix during the polymerization process, so the antimicrobial treatment does not wash off or wear away and remains active for the life of the product.The technology can also be used in knitted, woven fabrics and engineering plastics, and has been awarded more than 100 patents to date.
The six brackets for the removable hard and soft top roofs were converted from investment cast steel to 30% ultra-short carbon fiber (USCF) reinforced PPA, providing comparable part strength while reducing cost by 38% and 79% quality.Eliminates powder coating and improves scratches and scuffs, while providing a weather resistant, MIC, Class A finish that allows for mid-term replacement and backward service compatibility.USCF composite molds are similar to pure polymers but are superior to LFT materials, fully recyclable, and have a lower carbon footprint than metal/alloy parts.Drop valve gates and T-Nut fasteners are also key enablers.
A new PA resin was developed for EV’s drive unit mounting brackets to enhance damping/NVH without loss of mechanical properties.This enables structural support brackets and elastomeric bushings to be adjusted to provide extensive vibration filtering while reducing mass by 34% and cost by 19.5%.The material must provide stable performance under high stress and changing environmental and loading conditions.
Careful part design and tooling considerations, combined with evenly distributed carbon fiber speckle fill, give internal TPO parts a unique look compared to solid colors.This eliminates the need for the harder polymers required for paint/foil, eliminates the environmental impact of paint, reduces the cost per vehicle by $12, and saves $400,000 in avoiding paint/foil equipment.Procedural solid and speckled colors require only one tool.
Advanced coating technology with graphene-enhanced PA 6/12 has been used to significantly improve brake line wear and corrosion resistance, thermal performance and NVH.When the PA 6/12 coating was used alone, the metal was exposed after only 8,000 cycles, while the graphene-enhanced coating did not expose the metal after 400,000 cycles, requiring no additional protective coating.There is no change in the tube outer diameter, but the overall tube weight has been reduced by 25%.
Replacing a multi-component metal/plastic interface that makes precise adjustment and balancing of the active air intake module’s door train more difficult, this one-piece injection-molded adjustment plate not only has tight tolerances (±0.025mm) but also provides a 0.040mm Tweaked, but improved performance while reducing quality by 12% and cost by 10%.Key innovations include the use of low-wear 30% GR-PA6 resin for very flat molding, the use of 10 adjustment posts per left and right plate for precise balancing, cavity pressure sensors for precise process control and data-driven microprocessing adjustments.
This challenging 780mm long and 18mm thick clear red light blade for rear tail light function provides a unique look and uniform lighting appearance.Key to making the patent application work are advanced simulation tools for design and function optimization and warpage control; complex runners, parting lines, shut-off valves and multiple injection process control; plus custom formulated optical-grade PC, with Helps manage quality, cost and formability and meet all legal taillight requirements.Despite technical challenges, project time was reduced by three months and $250,000 in prototyping tool costs were avoided through virtual prototyping.
This MIC LFT-PP injection-molded liftgate features a clamshell design with one-piece interior integration and reinforcement, plus styling flexibility that allows design studios to make changes.Composites offer 35% cost and 15% mass savings and a lower carbon footprint compared to steel designs.A high flow copolymer filled the design with wall thicknesses ranging from 2.0 to 4.5 mm.A six-axis robot inserts metal reinforcements for overmolding and removes parts.The highly controlled process uses ordered hot runners with PSP sensors and part presence sensors for overmolding stamping.
To achieve the ideal look of a range of fabric-wrapped speaker grilles on IP and doors, there are many technical challenges to overcome, including finding the right size speaker holes and fabrics and adhesives that do not compromise sound performance to meet customer abuse, cleaning and FR requirements and other automotive industry performance standards.Ultimately, this industry-first application of fabric-wrapped speaker grilles meets appearance, audio performance and assembly requirements.
Compression moldable natural fiber/PP blend wool panels containing up to 25% recycled PP, plus injection moldable LFT-PP substrates, for a variety of interior panels (e.g. door frames, shoe uppers, cushions and armrests; IP substrate, top pad and mid-panel; and hard trim).Reduces mass by 50% compared to injection molded plastic panels, eliminates numerous secondary operations including welding, adhesive application and insert molding, and uses renewable materials in an efficient process, produced annually More than 320,000 cars.First use of non-contact infrared heating in North America to support fast cycle times.
A group of journalists, academics and retired industry lead engineers selected categories and categories from these finalists at the 50th Annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Ceremony at Burton Manor, Livonia on November 10, 2021. The grand prize winner will be announced on November 10, 2021, Michigan.
The Vehicle Engineering Team Award (VETA) will also be awarded in recognition of automotive designers and engineers, tier integrators, material suppliers, tool makers and others whose work in research, design, engineering and/or manufacturing has led to the development of polymeric materials in famous vehicle.Lifetime Achievement Awards will also be presented to recognize those who have made significant contributions to the industry.
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Post time: Mar-20-2022