Altair Enlighten Award honors lightweighting efforts

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: August 20, 2013 3:54 pm ET
Updated: August 20, 2013 4:05 pm ET

Altair Enlighten Award

General Motors Co.'s Opel Astra

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability, Awards, Automotive, Automotive parts, Compounding
Companies & Associations BASF Corp., General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

TRAVERSE CITY, MICH. — When Altair Engineering Inc. decided to sponsor an award for automotive lightweighting efforts, it hoped the competition would draw attention from throughout the industry.

The inaugural Altair Enlighten Award did just that, said David Mason, vice president global automotive, with parts on cars made throughout the world and representing everything from structural metal to high performance composites.

"It's further validated the need to look at the entire vehicle program," Mason said during an interview at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City Aug. 5, shortly after BASF AG was named winner of the 2013 award. "I was excited when we looked back across the nominees and saw that it went across the supply chain, across multiple materials, to powertrain and structure and exterior parts."

Check out this PN video of Martin Jung of BASF details his firm's award-winning efforts develop a composite seat pan used by General Motors Co.'s Opel Astra.

Judges for the competition named two runners up parts from the group of 10 finalists — the carbon fiber exterior panels on Chrysler Group LLC's Viper sports car, made by Plasan Carbon Composites of Bennington, Vt., and a hot stamped door ring produced by Honda Motor Co. Ltd., ArcelorMittal and Magna International Inc.'s Cosma group.

BASF worked with four different German companies — seat suppliers SeaTcon AG, SedisTec UG, molder Reinert Kuntstofftechnik and mold maker Maier Formenbau, both of Bissingen, Germany — to develop a composite seat pan used by General Motors Co.'s Opel Astra on its OPC sports car.

The seat pan uses BASF's Ultramid polyamide and its Ultracom laminate product in a combined process with compression molding and overmolding. It comes in 45 percent lighter than the previous part, but still meets all safety standards in crash tests.

BASF hopes to bring similar production to North America, said Martin Jung, senior vice president polymer research structural materials for BASF of Ludwigshafen, Germany. To make that happen, though, requires cooperation throughout the supply chain.

For the seat project, Opel worked with BASF as the material supplier as well as molder Reinert and mold maker Maier and the final seat suppliers. Computer simulations also allowed the companies to continue to refine the part and trim weight throughout the development process.

Altair will host another Enlighten award next year, and expects to get another range of parts and processes, Mason said.


Comments

Altair Enlighten Award honors lightweighting efforts

By Rhoda Miel
News Editor

Published: August 20, 2013 3:54 pm ET
Updated: August 20, 2013 4:05 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Ohio molder sold to private equity firm

August 19, 2014 5:23 pm ET

Private equity firm TVV Capital of Nashville has acquired injection molder Design Molded Plastics Inc. for an undisclosed price.    More

Image

Pactiv selling building products unit to Ireland's Kingspan

August 19, 2014 3:54 pm ET

Irish building material manufacturer Kingspan Group plc is acquiring the insulation business of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Pactiv Building Products for...    More

Image

Flexible film waste-to-oil pilot project continuing in California

August 19, 2014 3:19 pm ET

A recent decision to discontinue operations at a plastics waste-to-oil site in Portland, Ore., is not impacting a pilot program aimed at hard-to-...    More

Image

Germany's Bolta building $50 million plating plant in Alabama

August 19, 2014 2:21 pm ET

A German company is setting up a plastics chrome plating plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala.    More

Image

Soaring business leads to growth for Composites Horizons

August 19, 2014 1:56 pm ET

Composites Horizons LLC is investing $12 million in new equipment and processes, in part for ceramic matrix composite production in its fourth buildin...    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report analyzes economic and market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as growth strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies.

Learn more

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events