Issue: May 2012


Johnson Controls Pioneers Carbon Body Exterior Parts in Series Production



Liquid resin press molding enables series production of carbon components

by Jon Knox

Johnson Controls, a leading global supplier of automotive interiors and electronics, is applying its expertise in natural fiber processing technology for interior components to vehicle exteriors.

"Lightweight construction is one of the key challenges for future vehicles," said Han Hendriks, vice president of global product development, interiors at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience. "We can draw on our technological know-how for the production of carbon body parts."

Previously, the production of very light carbon components involved a great deal of effort and a considerable amount of manual labor.

"We are one of the pioneers in the automotive industry for large-scale production of carbon parts, thanks to our innovative production process," said Hendriks. "We are pleased to be able to transfer that technology for use in vehicle exteriors."

The new process is based on a wet press process used by Johnson Controls since 2003 to produce wood fiber components for vehicle interiors. In the newly adapted process, a carbon fiber mat pre-moistened with resin is placed between the forming tools and then pressed. During the pressing cycle, the excess resin leaks onto the edge of the mold. This provides a very high fiber density in the body parts.

Johnson Controls is already supplying a well-known automotive manufacturer with its innovative carbon components.

About Johnson Controls

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 162,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.

About Johnson Controls Automotive Experience

Johnson Controls is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With 240 locations worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors. With our global capability we supply approximately 50 million cars per year.

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