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

Plastic products win Best of IBS awards

January 30, 2015 1:36 pm ET

LAS VEGAS — A year ago, inventor Jeremy Smith of Utah took his idea for an electrical outlet cover plate with LED lights on the bottom edge to...    More

Image

Report: Brands are falling short on packaging sustainability

January 29, 2015 5:19 pm ET

Packaging in general, and plastic packaging in particular, has a long way to go in terms of recycling, according to a pair of environmental groups.    More

Image

Lund adds to aftermarket auto products portfolio with buy of Bushwacker

January 29, 2015 2:49 pm ET

Lund International Inc. has expanded its portfolio of plastic aftermarket vehicle accessories by acquiring Bushwacker Inc.    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Losing weight with style, plastics in the Dragons' Den

January 29, 2015 6:00 am ET

A 19-year-old entrepreneur brings business to a U.K. injection molder after winning support on TV's Dragons' Den, auto suppliers combine...    More

Image

Plastics help Volt hit new target

January 28, 2015 1:54 pm ET

The 2016 Volt, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, features a sportier exterior design — GM calls it &...    More

Market Reports

Plastics in Automotive: Innovation & Emerging Trends

This special report newly released by PN and sponsored by The Conair Group examines current trends in the use of plastics in automotive, materials innovations and the changing landscape. It includes a review of legislative/regulatory activity impacting vehicle development and lightweighting, market opportunities & challenges for mold and toolmakers, innovative design strategies being implemented by major OEMs and suppliers, as well as a review of key indicators in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and China.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events