Category winners announced at SPE Automotive Innovation Awards

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Ford Motor Co. Production of the 2018 Ford Expedition began in October. The structural front end won both the body exterior category and grand prize from the Society of Plastics Engineers' Automotive Innovation Awards.

Livonia, Mich. — Automakers, suppliers, engineers and designers clinked glasses and celebrated innovation Nov. 8 at the automotive division of the Society of Plastics Engineers' 47th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.

Nine category winners were announced as well as one grand winner, the Vehicle Engineering Team Award, Hall of Fame award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Society of Plastics Engineers Ford Motor Co.'s top award-winning entry in the body exterior category is this structural front-end module with loose layer construction on the 2018 Expedition.

Ford Motor Co. took home the top award for its entry in the body exterior category, the structural front-end module with loose layer construction on the 2018 Expedition. The automaker said the part is "possibly the largest" two-shot injection molded module in production today. Magna International Inc. supplies the system, with glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene material from Celanese Corp. Integrity Tool & Mold Inc. supplies the tooling.

SPE honored General Motors Co. with the Vehicle Engineering Team Award for its "significant use of innovative plastic content" on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, the society said. The team used thin-wall, long glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene on the floor console carrier and launched what the automaker said is the "first serial production" nylon clevis bracket. The use of plastics and components contributed to performance enhancements, weight savings and improved fuel economy.

GM also took home the Hall of Fame award for the thermoplastic polyolefin skin used on the instrument panel on the 2000 Pontiac Bonneville. In 1999, GM won SPE's Most Innovative Use of Plastics Award in the body interior category for its use of TPO on instrument panels.

As previously reported by Plastics News, Suresh Shah, a retired senior technical fellow at Delphi Corp. (formerly General Motors Co.'s automotive components group), was recognized as the society's Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Other category winners are as follows:

Aftermarket

GM for the twin-sheet thermoformed integrated floor bedliner divider on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado pickup. PendaForm Corp. supplies the system and tooling, using TPO material from A. Schulman Inc.

Body Interior

BMW AG for the instrument panel carrier on the 2017 Mini Countryman. The carrier is produced with long glass fiber-reinforced PP, using injection molding and structural chemical foaming with a core-back process to achieve low volatile organic compound emissions. International Automotive Components Group supplies the system, using material from Sabic and tooling from Christian Karl Siebenwurst GmbH & Co KG.

Chassis/Hardware

Society of Plastics Engineers General Motors Co. wins in the chassis/hardware category for the powertrain mounting clevis bracket on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

GM for the powertrain mounting clevis bracket on the 2017 Cadillac XT5, which the automaker said is the first composite mount designed for a six-cylinder engine. The injection molded part offers improved corrosion resistance and can be recycled at end of life. The system was supplied by Hutchinson SA and uses BASF Corp.'s Ultramid material.

Environmental

Ford for the next-generation sustainable content bio foam used on the 2018 Fusion. The castor oil-based foam offers a lower molded density and an improved bond strength compared with petroleum-based foams, the automaker said. International Automotive Components supplies the system, using material from BASF Corp.

Materials

Ford for the use of a low-friction, modified nylon resin for chair tensioner arms on the F-150 and Mustang. BorgWarner Inc. is the Tier 1 supplier. DSM Engineering Plastics, a materials division of Royal DSM, supplies the modified nylon.

Society of Plastics Engineers Hyundai won for powertrain for the turbo charger outlet T-joint.

Powertrain

Hyundai for the turbo charger outlet T-joint on the 2018 Genesis G80 and Kia Stinger sedans. The Tier 1 supplier is Hwaseung R&A Co. Ltd., and the processors are Songwoo Industrial Co. Ltd. and Seji Solotech Inc. DuPont Korea Inc. supplies the glass fiber-reinforced, heat-stabilized nylon.

Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies

Ford for the two-shot interior decoration bezel on the 2018 Fiesta. The 3D decorative effect was achieved using two-shot "reverse" injection molding with polycarbonate and self-colored pigmented ABS. Faurecia Interior Systems is the Tier 1 supplier, using tooling from JP Grosfilley SAS and materials from Lotte Advanced Materials Co. Ltd.

Safety

Ford for the third-generation four-way head restraint for whiplash protection on the 2018 F-150. Windsor Machine Group supplies the system. Integrity Tool & Mold Inc. supplies the tooling. Ravago Group supplies the nylon material, which replaces steel in this application.