Many automotive interior components already benefit from a modular construction method in Europe with the exception, so far, of floor consoles.
Johnson Controls, one of the world’s leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics and batteries, has now developed in conjunction with Volvo the first modular floor console for the S80. For automakers, the benefits of the new product lie in greater ease of assembly and variant handling, as well as the enhanced ability to integrate electronic components. A special feature is that the new console is built on a magÂnesium structure that absorbs any side impact sustained in a crash.
The modular structure of such elements as doors, cockpits and overhead systems has long proved its worth in the international automotive industry.
The reasons lie in the assembly time saved, as a result of reduced complexity in the production line, and automakers being able to eliminate their material sub component material stock and handling and depot. “Installation on the final assembly line is almost fully automatic,” said Hans RÃ¶ssle, Business Development Manager Volvo Business Unit of Johnson Controls. For the Volvo S80, this means that the module is delivered “just-in-sequence” to the assembly line at Volvo’s Torslanda plant in Sweden. A robot fits the module into the car through the side door, leaving one worker with only five screws to tighten.
The floor console is delivered as a single unit in this process. It is fully pre-wired and also contains the vertical centre stack and information screen, including the control panel, in addition to the central tunnel itself as well as the gear shifter. At the rear, it connects seamlessly with the armrest and the integrated storage compartment.
Johnson Controls was also responsible for the floor console in the earlier S80 models, and currently manufactures them for the S60, V/XC 70 and XC90 model series.
Johnson Controls and Volvo can look back on a long history of collaboration. Only recently, Volvo awarded the company the “Volvo Cars Award of Excellence”, making it one of the top five of a total of 6,000 automotive suppliers.