Automotive Additive manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, greener parts featured prominently THE Society of Plastics Engineers’ Automotive Division’s 2018 Automotive Innovation Awards saw 10 grand award winners across as many categories. When it started in 1970, the competition – organised by the Automotive Division of SPE – was intended to draw automaker attention to plastics as an underutilised material in the automotive industry. At the time, most polymeric content on cars was restricted to ashtrays, buttons, knobs, rubber mats, seals and tyres.
Environmental Ford for the use of sustainable hybrid composites on the 2018 Lincoln Continental luxury sedan. The automaker said the industry-ﬁrst application of composites
combining cellulose ﬁbre from trees with long glass ﬁbre in a polypropylene matrix results in a $2 million cost savings achieved by reducing weight and cycle times by 20-40%.
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Ford for the integrated modular pelvic bolster on the 2018 Lincoln Navigator SUV. The application combines two side-impact bolster designs into one and integrates the part into the door trim map packet. The condensed design offers an estimated cost savings of $100,000 in tooling and a 10% weight reduction.
Additive Manufacturing Several major automotive manufacturers have been using 3D printing, and Ford is one of them. For the ﬁrst time, the Automotive Innovation Awards Competition recognised additive manufacturing as a separate category – Ford was the winner of all three ﬁnalist spots with the window alignment ﬁxture on the 2017 Mustang convertible coming out tops.
Ford Motor Co for the window alignment ﬁxture on the 2017 Mustang convertible. The 3D-printed ﬁxture, made with a carbon ﬁbre-reinforced nylon from Stratasys Ltd, is 30% lighter and cheaper to produce than the traditional welded ﬁxture.