Yanfeng Automotive Interiors — the new Johnson Controls Inc. and Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. joint venture — has formulated a direct one-step back-foaming process for auto interior paneling.
The process involves directly back-foaming the sewn covering with PU foam. To stop foam passing through the sewing holes in the fabric, the leather or synthetic covering is coated with a film on the back.
According to Shanghai-based YFAI, the procedure enables the sewn covering and the film to be inserted into the foam tool and back-foamed in one step.
Oliver Becker, YFAI's executive director for process innovation, advanced product development & sales, said the innovation is ready for production.
He said the process improves the “quality of the leather covering and precision of the visible stitching to an unprecedented level.”
The process means both leather-wrapped and conventionally covered instrument panel surfaces, as well as door panels, can be made on a single production line, using one tool. YFAI said the innovation reduces tool use by half.
While tooling and process costs are reduced, the process also allows for customization in cockpit production, YFAI said.