Two automotive applications molded from SABIC’s Innovative Plastics’ broad portfolio of thermoplastic materials received top honors at the 2011 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE®) Automotive Innovation Awards competition – including the coveted Hall of Fame award and the overall Grand Award.
“Innovative ways to produce parts on cars are an important factor for OEMs to maintain a strong competitive position in the automotive industry and effectively respond to global trends and challenges,” said Gregory A. Adams, vice president, Automotive, Innovative Plastics. “We continually strive to deliver differentiated material solutions that meet customers' changing needs. We are honored to be associated with so many industry leaders who are raising the bar in automotive application design. We are pleased that our materials are delivering added value to our customers and helping to enable innovation and breakthroughs in the industry.”
The first all-plastic structural door-hardware module, also known as the SuperPlug®, from Inteva Products, LLC (formerly Delphi Interior & Lighting Systems), was the Hall of Fame winner. It replaced 40 separate metal parts with a single gas-assisted injection-molded part made with SABIC’s Xenoy* 30-percent glass-filled polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate (PC/PBT) resin. The SuperPlug door module reduces costs by 10%, reduces weight by 3.3 lb per door/13.2 lb per vehicle and simplifies assembly by allowing the module to be placed within the door on the assembly line. This door module program paved the way for door modules across the industry.
The overall Grand Award winner – also the Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies category award winner – is the Ford Escape/Ford Kuga instrument panel made by Faurecia using Trexel MuCell® microcellular foam injection molding technology and SABIC® STAMAX® 20% long glass fiber (LGF) polypropylene (PP). This application reduces weight by 1 lb, reduces cycle time by 15% and lowers cost by about US$3 per vehicle compared to an instrument panel molded with a standard injection molding process. The MuCell process uses less resin and energy than traditional injection molding, helping to increase the sustainability of the instrument panel.