AlliedSignal Plastics is putting a new emphasis on automotive sales, and is targeting applications for air intake manifold systems and other under-the-hood components to make its mark. The firm, based in Southfield, Mich., reorganized its automo-tive group in October under David J. Homyak, the company's new global industry manager for automotive applications.
In a recent interview, Homyak said he had all of his business group's resources in place by Jan. 1 and targeted at new sales to original equipment manufacturers and their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.
To do that, Homyak said AlliedSignal Automotive consolidated its design engineering staff at the Southfield offices, added five people and is focusing design efforts on under-the-hood applications for its nylon 6.
As other firms have done, AlliedSignal made the shift to address the new needs of automo-bile makers, which have cut the sizes of design staffs as they put more reliance on their suppliers.
The prize, Homyak acknowledged, is to develop and have AlliedSignal's material designated for use in an air intake manifold on a new engine program. Air intake manifolds have been one of the largest applications for glass-reinforced nylon resins in recent years.
However, industry executives at AlliedSignal's competitors, BASF Corp. of Mount Olive, N.J., and DuPont Co. of Wilmington, Del., said they see AlliedSignal as having an uphill climb.
First, AlliedSignal is seen as coming late to the development of air intake manifolds. Secondly, and more importantly, the majority of air intake manifolds in production use nylon 6/6, and automakers have been reluctant to designate a nylon 6 product.
However, BASF is working rigorously on several projects in Europe, where AlliedSignal also has a growing presence through a recent acquisition. Both companies remain hopeful that their nylon 6 resins will be put to use in manifolds in the near future.
AlliedSignal acquired Polymer und Filament Rudolstadt of Rudolstadt, Germany, in October, and recently named Robert Pres-ton, the former operations manager of its Chesterfield, Va., nylon production facility as operations manager of the German plant.