Issue: Nov 2010


Visteon Wins Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Innovation Award



Industry's first fully recyclable, overmolded polypropylene passenger air bag door offers significant weight savings and other benefits

by Steve Barclay

Visteon Corporation was awarded the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Division prize for most innovative use of plastics in a vehicle body interior - for a lightweight, self-reinforced air bag door.

The air bag door, incorporating Visteon's unique lightweight reinforcement technology (VLR), is the first self-reinforced injection-molded air bag door that enables deployment through the instrument panel substrate. Visteon's technical center in Harnes, France, developed the air bag door, which is currently in production on the Citroën C5.

Visteon was chosen for the award by a blue-ribbon panel of judges from corporations, universities and media in the automotive and plastics industries. The award was presented Nov. 9 at the 40th annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Gala in Livonia, Mich., sponsored by the Automotive Division of SPE.

"Visteon is very honored to be recognized for this fully recyclable product that resulted from our commitment to drive innovation throughout the interiors development process," said Steve Meszaros, Visteon product group president. "Visteon's VLR technology offers a one-shot solution to a normally complex process for a passenger air bag door. This award demonstrates Visteon's strength and capabilities in providing innovative interiors solutions for global vehicle manufacturers."

Visteon's VLR solution features a woven and compressed polypropylene (PP) fabric, overmolded on the main instrument panel surface. The system integrates the air bag door, a patented hinge and the air bag deployment control, eliminating the need for additional components and post-mold operations.

The fully integrated VLR solution replaces conventional metal or flexible molded plastic reinforcement methods and offers weight savings of up to 40 percent compared with conventional systems. It also drives cost savings by reducing material handling and assembly operations.

Visteon is a leading global automotive supplier that designs, engineers and manufactures innovative climate, electronic, interior and lighting products for vehicle manufacturers. With corporate offices in Van Buren Township, Mich. (U.S.); Shanghai, China; and Chelmsford, UK; the company has facilities in 26 countries and employs approximately 26,500 people. Learn more at www.visteon.com.


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