Finalists named for SPE Automotive Innovation Awards

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The Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division is adding a new category to its Automotive Innovation Awards competition for 2013, honoring achievements in electrical systems.

The new award will honor parts that make up the electrical infrastructure of electric or hybrid vehicles. Previously, electrical structures were placed under the powertrain division. The battery pack in General Motors Co.'s Chevrolet Volt was a previous winner in that category.

SPE has selected finalists for the annual awards. The winners will be named during the Innnovation Awards & Gala on Nov. 6 in Livonia, Mich.

Nominated parts must be on vehicles that are in production during the 2013 calendar year. The award goes to the automaker.

Category finalists are:

Electrical Systems

• Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. for the lithium-ion battery cell spacers, covers and holders in the Leaf electric vehicle. The parts are supplied by Nissan's own in-house battery pack team, with Piolax USA of Canton, Ga., as the material processor. The parts use Sabic Innovative Plastics' Noryl resin.

• General Motors for the battery enclosure in its Chevrolet Spark electric vehicle. A123 Systems Inc. of Livonia, Mich., is the system supplier and Continental Structural Plastics of Troy, Mich., is the material processor. Century Mold Co. Inc. of Rochester, N.Y., is the tooling supplier. The project uses vinyl ester resin from Cytec Industries Inc. of Woodland Park, N.J.

Body Exterior

• PSA Peugeot Citroën Group's 2014 Citroën DS 3 Cabrio for its integrated semi-convertible sunroof system. Webasto SE of Stockdorf, Germany, is the system supplier with Shapers ARRK Group of La Séguinière France as the molder and mold maker. It uses a Xiran resin from Polyscope Polymers BV of Geleen, the Netherlands.

• Volkswagen AG's low-volume electric vehicle, the XL1 uses a Lexan polycarbonate from Sabic in the glazed plastic side windows. Sabic's Exatec group in Wixom, Mich., is the system supplier. Summerer Moulds & Tools of Rosenheim, Germany, is the tooling supplier.

• Nissan's 2014 Rogue, with the first all olefinic liftgate in North America. Magna International Inc. of Aurora, Ontario, is the processor with Hitachi Ltd. of Tokyo as the system supplier, using materials from LyondellBassell of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Advanced Composites of Sidney, Ohio. Kyowa Machining Co. Ltd. is the tooling supplier.

Body Interior

• Chrysler Group LLC's 2014 Jeep Cherokee for the thinwall instrument panel retainer. Intertec Systems LLC of Plymouth, Mich., is the system supplier and processor, using Sabic Stamax resins. Windsor Mold Group of Windsor, Ontario, made the tooling.

• GM's 2014 Corvette for the smart foil technology used on the door trim, supplied by IAC Group of Southfield, Mich., using TPO from Advanced Composites. Hi-Tech Mold & Engineering Inc. of Rochester Hills, Mich., made the tooling.

• Ford Motor Co.'s 2013 Fusion for the molded-in-color living hinge in a steering column cover. IAC is the system supplier and processor. Advanced composites supplies the polypropylene. Roush Enterprises of Livonia, Mich., supplies the tooling.

• The 2013 Ford Fusion for the decklid trim with self-locking feature, supplied by Autoneum Holding AG of Zurich with Janesville Inc.'s Janesville Acoustics of Southfield and Harminie Enterprises Inc. of Marion, Ky., processing the material. Washington Penn Plastics Co. Inc. of Washington, Pa., supplies the PET used in the part. RCO Engineering Inc. of Roseville, Mich., is the tooling supplier.


• Ford's 2013 Ecosport for the hidden handle release mechanism, supplied by Illinois Tool Works of Glenville, Ill., with its Sain Tooling group providing processing and ITW Sao Paulo as the tooling supplier. The part uses a Durethan polyamide resin from Lanxess Corp. of Leverkusen, Germany.

• Ford's 2013 Fusion in North America and the Mondeo in China for the single-piece energy absorber for the front bumper beam. Magna is the system supplier and processor using Sabic's Xenoy resin.


• Audi AG's 2011 Q5 for the turbocharge air duct, using a polyamide from Zeon Corp. of Tokyo. Röchling Automotive of Haren, Germany, is the system supplier, processor and toolmaker.

• Daimler AG's 2013 Mercedes I-4 turbo diesel for the high heat turbo EGR sleeve and mixer. Montaplast GmbH of Morsbach, Germany, is the system supplier and processor, using BASF's Ultramid polyamide.

Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies

• The 2014 Ford Taurus for the roof ditch molding, supplied and processed by US Farathane Corp. of Auburn Hills, Mich., using PP from Washington Penn Plastics.

• GM's 2014 Corvette for the pressure press technology developed and used to produce the carbon fiber hood and roof. Plasan Carbon Composites of Wixom, Mich., is the processor and system supplier, with Toray Industries Inc. of Tokyo supplying the resin. Weber Manufacturing Technologies Inc. of Midland, Ontario, makes the tooling used in the parts.

• GM's Opel Astra OPC for the lightweight seat plan using composites to replace metal. SeaTcon AG and SedisTec UG are the system suppliers with molder Reinert Kuntstofftechnik and mold maker Maier Formenbau – both of Bissingen, Germany. The seat uses BASF Ultramid resins.

• Several Ford vehicles, including the Taurus, Flex and Edge, for the integrated coolant crossover in the V6 engines. ITW's Tomco unit is the system supplier and molder using DuPont resins. Luttmann Precision Mold Inc. of Sturgis, Mich., is the toolmaker.


• Ford's 2013 Fusion for the side airbag cover with an in-mold bracket and cover assembly. Autoliv Inc. of Stockholm is the system supplier with Atlantic Precision Products, based in the Detroit suburb of Shelby Township, Mich., as the processor. Great Lakes Mold & Engineering of Shelby Township is the tooling supplier. The part uses a TPO from Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. of Tokyo.

• The Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX for a collapsible armrest for side impact improvements. Johnson Controls Inc. of Plymouth, Mich., processes the part and supplies the assembly using a Basell ABS resin. Toolplas Systems Inc. of Oldcastle, Ontario, is the tooling supplier.


• Hyundai's 2013 Elantra for the engine cylinder block acoustic shield, made of a DuPont Nomex aramid fiber, which replaces a metal system. NVH Korea Co. Ltd. of Gyeowgju, South Korea, is the system supplier and molder.

• Nissan's 2013 Sentra for an injection molded thermoplastic vulcanizate skin used on the instrument panel. Calsonic Kansei Corp. of Saitama, Japan, is the molder, toolmaker and system supplier, using material from Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corp. of Tokyo.

• The Turkish auto supplier Ayfar Otomotive working with processor Mars Otomotiv, both of Istanbul, developed a high brightness LED housing for the automotive aftermarket, with a thermally conductive polyamide supplied by PolyOne Corp. Mars Otomotive is also the tooling supplier.

• Ford's 2014 F-Series pickup trucks for the rice hull filled PP electrical cowl bracket. RheTech Inc. of Whitmore Lake supplies with PP using the bio-based filler. Yazaki North America Inc. of Canton, Mich., is the system supplier, A. Raymond Tinnerman Automotive Inc. of Rochester Hills, Mich., is the processor and tooling supplier.

• Ford's 2013 Edge for a molded-in-color resin which imitates painted parts, which is used on door trim. JCI is the system supplier with Royal Plastics Inc. of Mentor, Ohio, molding the part using Hostaform resins from Celanase Corp. of Irving, Texas.

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