Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Central Europe confers second place on new production process
Johnson Controls receives SPE Automotive
Burscheid - 23 October 2007. Johnson Controls, one of the world�'s leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics and batteries, has taken 2nd place in the 11th Automotive Division Award of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Central Europe. This is a very prestigious accolade within the plastics engineering industry. Johnson Controls received the award in the category Body Interior for a new production process designed to engineer two-color door panels on a single component carrier. Its machinery and process innovations allow, for the first time ever, a one-piece door substrate with a two-color foil surface to be produced from natural fibers. The company is using this new technology to produce the two-color door panel of the current BMW 5 Series.
Two-color components of automotive interiors up until now have generally been produced as multiple parts before being applied to one another. As a result, seams and gaps remain visible with this method. It also makes it difficult in some cases to observe strict weight limitations - but not so with the BMW 5 Series.
"Working closely with BMW, we broke new ground with this technology - being the first company to retain a single-component substrate and successfully cover it with a two-color plastic foil surface," said Achim Hosenfeld, Vice President and General Manager of Johnson Controls.
Precision through electronic image processingIn the fully automated production process, machinery and tool advances ensure the color demarcation lines stay within the exacting tolerances at all times. At individual points in the process, image-processing sensors are also used. They continually monitor the exact positioning and adhesion level of the two-color foils and, where necessary, arrange for automatic corrective adjustment of the film tenter frame in real time.
Twin tools are also deployed which increase manufacturing efficiency. They allow two door panels to be produced at one time. Subsequent pre-assembly of the door pocket, airbag, loudspeaker grille, trim strips and armrests, all with different surfaces, plus numerous optional extras are also tasks completed by Johnson Controls. This means the plant has to have the logistical and technical capability to accommodate more than 100,000 possible variations per door panel. The repetition part rate is actually as low as two percent.
Not the first such accolade for Johnson ControlsThe SPE is a globally active society of engineers and scientists with over 38,000 members. Some acclaimed experts on the judging panel conferred the prestigious SPE Automotive Award in a total of four categories - Body Interior, Body Exterior, Chassis/Hardware and Electronic Components. Johnson Controls was previously among the award winners in 2004, when the company earned second place in the same category for its In-Mold Graining - a production method for larger surface areas. Last year Johnson Controls also achieved high honors, taking third place for its rear-seat entertainment system in the Mercedes-Benz S and R Series.
"I am very pleased to receive his year's SPE Automotive Award on behalf of our whole team. This award is particularly significant to us, since it is clear recognition of the fact that we engineer innovative production processes, which not only appeal to consumers and customers but also convince the experts," said Achim Hosenfeld.
Digital photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk.
Further information is available from:
Johnson Controls GmbH
Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219
Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is the global leader that brings ingenuity to the places where people live, work and travel. By integrating technologies, products and services, we create smart environments that redefine the relationships between people and their surroundings. Our team of 140,000 employees creates a more comfortable, safe and sustainable world through our products and services for more than 200 million vehicles, 12 million homes and one million commercial buildings. Our commitment to sustainability drives our environmental stewardship, good corporate citizenship in our workplaces and communities, and the products and services we provide to customers. For additional information, please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.