DÜSSELDORF, GERMANY (Oct. 30, 6:15 p.m. EDT) — Apparently Hirtenberger Automotive Safety made a real bang with Engel Holding GmbH, garnering a first-place award for its use of the e-Motion model press to overmold explosives used in car airbag igniters.
The Austrian press maker presented awards to Hirtenberger, Austria-based Hirtenberger and five other companies during a ceremony at the K show Oct. 26 in Dusseldorf, Germany, for their use of the tiebarless HL line of injection molding machines.
Judges lauded the company for using the flexibility and precision of the all-electric e-Motion model to overmold the explosives with plastic to form a hermetic seal around the pyrotechnic material.
The panel decided that the Hirtenberger Plastic Igniter made good use of the space saving and ease of automation system access features of the HL machines.
Parent company Hirtenberger AG announced development of the igniter in May, claiming to be the first manufacturer in the world to successfully fulfill specifications for electric igniters made by a consortium of German auto makers.
Eighteen companies from eight nations applied for this year's awards.
Another Austrian company, Schneegans GmbH, based in Losenstein, took fifth place for molding an oil dipstick pipe.
Neusalza-Spremberg, Germany-based Plastic Concept GmbH won for molding a thermostat cover on a 300-tonne Victory. Mercedes-Benz of Hamburg, Germany, took third place for use of a 150-tonne Victory for pedal blocks in the C-Class vehicle, the world's first hybrid plastic/metal pedal block. It is molded on tooling from Bad Kreuznach, Germany-based ITM Kunststofftechnik GmbH using Lanxess Durethan BKV 30 H2.0 heat-stabilized 30 percent glass-fiber-reinforced PA66 grade.
ZKW Slovakia in Topolcany, Slovakia, took second place for use of a 260-tonne Victory to mold a BMW headlamp and Opel fog lamp parts under clean room conditions.
There was a North American winner for the first time — Winzeler Gear in Harwood Heights, Ill., which nabbed fourth place for molding electrical motor parts.