Livonia, Mich. — Automakers, suppliers, engineers and plastics experts once again gathered to celebrate a handful of industry firsts and lightweight parts applications Nov. 7 at the automotive division of the Society of Plastics Engineers' 48th annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala.
Nine category winners were announced as well as one grand winner. This year's Hall of Fame award and Lifetime Achievement Award winners were also honored.
Ford Motor Co. took home the top award for its entry in the powertrain category: the all-plastic vacuum generation system for brake assist on the 2017 F-150 pickup. The thermoplastic part achieves a 40 percent weight reduction and a 25 percent cost savings over current pump systems. Dayco Products LLC is the Tier 1 supplier. MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions and Engineering Plastics Co. are the processors. Materials are from DowDuPont Inc.
SPE honored Honda Motor Co. Ltd. with this year's Hall of Fame award for what the society said is the first injection molded thermoplastic rear energy absorber for a vehicle bumper system. The polycarbonate/polybutylene terephthalate energy absorber is on the 2003 Honda Element compact crossover. The PC/PBT part replaced an expanded polypropylene foam version, requiring less package space at a lower cost with better damageability performance.
As previously reported by Plastics News, Rose Ryntz, formerly the vice president of advanced development and material engineering at International Automotive Components Group, was recognized as the society's 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Ryntz resigned from her position at IAC Oct. 31.
Other category winners are as follows: