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

Vinyl siding's lead slips, but industry pushing back

July 29, 2014 2:04 pm ET

Vinyl siding continues to be the top cladding choice for home builders and remodelers but fiber cement is gaining ground — at an alarming rate...    More

Image

Magna expanding interiors site in Slovakia

July 29, 2014 1:47 pm ET

Magna International Inc. plans to nearly double the size of its manufacturing facility in Trnava, in western Slovakia, to accommodate new automotive...    More

Image

Material Insights: Bioplastics firms win government funding

July 28, 2014 12:51 pm ET

Also this week, a study takes a look plastic at the ocean surface and comes away with a surprise finding, and new materials capacity announced.    More

Magna hiring at two Michigan locations

July 28, 2014 11:43 am ET

Magna Interior Trim Components is adding a total of 169 jobs to two of its Michigan manufacturing facilities.    More

Image

DuPont resins help take Nike golf balls 'Fore!'ward

July 25, 2014 1:07 pm ET

It may be difficult to imagine just how much science, not to mention rubber and plastic components, go into a golf ball. But global giant DuPont Co. b...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

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

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

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