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 Automotive Sustainability Awards 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

Getting a real feel for how 'vinyl saves lives'

March 27, 2015 6:00 am ET

While I'm certainly not shipping off to Africa anytime soon, I got a taste of what medical professionals go through in the fight against Ebola and...    More

Image

Plastics News Now: Highlights from NPE 2015

March 25, 2015 6:35 pm ET

We wrap our week of coverage of NPE 2015 with a look at a plastic can looking to replace tin, robots and the Freeformer.    More

Image

Wal-Mart: We want to buy American

March 25, 2015 3:41 pm ET

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is looking to boost the number of domestic suppliers as part of its 10-year, $250 billion investment program, according to the...    More

Image

Plastics News Now at NPE: Highlights from Tuesday

March 24, 2015 8:59 pm ET

The second full day of NPE 2015 has come to a close, and we check out all the highlights including a new robot from Sepro.    More

Image

Dock strike forces Nissei to scramble

March 24, 2015 9:44 am ET

Japan's Nissei Plastic Industrial Co. Ltd. wanted to think small for NPE, but something big got in the way — labor disputes at the U.S. West Coa...    More

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

North America represents about 30 percent of the global consumption of flexible packaging. Annual growth in this region is forecast at 4 percent during the next 5 years.

For more insight on growth opportunities, drivers of growth and the outlook for 2015, download this report.

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

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

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

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

More Events