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This year’s winners at the 38th annual Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE; www.4spe.org) Automotive Innovation Awards Competition on Nov. 20 in Troy, MI included two innovative injection molded parts. The top prize in the body interior category went to the integrated floor shifter/front console on Ford’s Flex CUV, supplied by Ford subsidiary Automotive Component Holdings.

Amie Chitwood

December 4, 2008

1 Min Read
Injection molded innovations shine at SPE auto awards

) Automotive Innovation Awards Competition on Nov. 20 in Troy, MI included two innovative injection molded parts. The top prize in the body interior category went to the integrated floor shifter/front console on Ford’s Flex CUV, supplied by Ford subsidiary Automotive Component Holdings. The all-plastic structure made from Nova Chemicals’ (Moon Township, PA; www.novachem.com) recycled styrene maleic anhydride (SMA) and long-glass PP supports a floor-based shifter, so the metal bracketry previously used to secure the shifter to the vehicle floor pan has been eliminated. The modular floor console and shifter assembly simplifies online assembly and reduces cost and weight compared to earlier designs.

In the chassis/hardware/powertrain category, the first modular plastic oil pan module adopted for passenger cars from Daimler AG (Stuttgart, Germany) won the prize. Integrating an upper shell of diecast aluminum with a multifunctional lower shell injection molded from DuPont Automotive (Troy, MI; www2.dupont.com/Automotive/en_US/) glass-reinforced nylon 6/6, the oil pan reduces oil vapor around the crankshaft, improving horsepower by 5%. Supplied by G. Bruss GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) the component is 2.4 lb lighter and 20-25% lower in cost than an entirely aluminum design.

“The unique parts we saw in this year’s competition were bright spots in a year of uncertainty,” says Maria Ciliberti of Ticona, the Automotive Innovation Awards program chair. “The 2008 nominees provide us with confidence that innovation and creativity are as much alive today as they were in the past.”
 

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