Henniges touts ability to cut weight from seals

Allison Strouse

Published: January 15, 2013 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Automotive, Pipe/Profile/Tubing

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. (Jan. 15, 11:30 a.m. ET) — Henniges Automotive Holdings Inc. has found ways to cut anywhere from eight to 12 pounds from vehicle weight through sealing alone.

“Our product has often been overlooked in the area of weight,” CEO Douglas DelGrosso said. “People focus on typically metal and steel to get weight off and if you think about the amount of sealing that is in the typical C-Class sedan, it’s a lot of product and rubber is heavy.”

In an environment fueled by meeting such standards as fuel efficiency and emissions reductions, being able to take weight off a vehicle wherever possible helps.

“If you find some creative ways to take off weight and take it to the customer in today’s environment with all the pressure that’s on them to meet, whether its CO2 standards or general emissions standards, we have tried to focus ourself there,” he said.

DelGrosso sees this as a big opportunity for his firm if it is able to show its customers the potential for such reductions.

“That’s a pretty significant amount of savings [in weight],” he said. “That represents about a 20-percent reduction in the overall weight. ... Some of it can be done without any additional costs.”

If done on a large enough scale, he added, it might even amount to a cost savings.

Going with plastic over rubber has been the answer in the past on occasion, according to Steve Murree, Henniges director of advanced product and process development. To help reduce the mass of the products, eliminating materials like rubber and metal have helped.

While the push for this mainly is coming from Henniges, the executives said there have been a few customers coming to the auto supplier looking for a solution.

“Each customer has their traditional way of engineering sealing,” DelGrosso said. “This is where we can be that catalyst.”

Looking over what the best practices and procedures are, he said this was the firm’s chance to approach its customers and say here is the best way to accomplish weight reduction.

“We can be in that eight- to maybe 11-pound range,” DelGrosso said.

“I think that requires a certain level of push from us. Not all [car makers] are out there doing those teardowns to get that type of data [on reducing weight in sealing].”

Getting the information to their customers isn’t the hard part though.

“One of the struggles is that the working level, their objective is to launch vehicles without issues,” Murree said. While they like the push from the company, lessening the weight and coming up with alternatives for sealing are not among their main objectives.

“We have to start attacking higher up and having them push it down as an objective,” he said.

Issues like fuel efficiency are not expected to go away anytime soon.

“What we are trying to do is be ahead of that because we can, and be there as a good value supplier and say we have some ideas that you didn’t traditionally look at for this product,” DelGrosso said.


Comments

Henniges touts ability to cut weight from seals

Allison Strouse

Published: January 15, 2013 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Huntingdon Fiberglass launching second line

April 16, 2014 2:18 pm ET

Huntingdon Fiberglass Products LLC is getting set to start up a second production line later this year and hire 15-20 new employees as it sees demand ...    More

New Tigre, ADS JV aims to open more doors for Tigre in US

April 16, 2014 12:15 pm ET

A new joint venture between Tigre S.A. Brazil, a leading PVC pipe maker, and Advanced Drainage Systems Inc., the world's largest high-density...    More

Associated Materials Group withdraws plan for initial public offering

April 16, 2014 10:16 am ET

Associated Materials Group Inc. of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a manufacturer and distributor of exterior residential building products in the United...    More

With European Parliament vote looming, official urges bag restriction

April 16, 2014 9:56 am ET

Janez Potocnik, Europe's commissioner for the environment, told the European Parliament April 15 that plastic shopping bags are a “highly...    More

Image

Austria's Greiner building a foothold in the US rigid packaging market

April 15, 2014 1:22 pm ET

Greiner Packaging International GmbH, one of Europe's largest makers of rigid plastic packaging, now wants to make its mark in the United States.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events