Weight-saving door panel and scratch-resistant surface receive SPE Automotive Award 2009
Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Central Europe confers two awards on Johnson Controls for innovative technologies
Burscheid - 15 June 2009. Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive interior systems and electronics, ranks among the top award winners at the 12th Automotive Division Award of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Central Europe in the category interior systems, scooping not one, but two awards: taking 1st place for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class door panel which won over the jury with its highly perceived quality and scratch-resistant map pocket. The company also took 1st place for the rear side panel of the new MINI Convertible, which is characterized by its scratch-resistant surface.
Less weight, more quality
For the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, a elementary revision of the material and production concept led to a further increase in perceived quality while offering the greatest customization options. An attractive haptic with a high-quality surface, the materials demonstrate the high quality standards both visibly and perceptibly. Significant weight and cost savings potential could also be realized in close cooperation with the automaker. The new door panels are 10 percent lighter than those in the previous model, thus reducing consumption and emissions, and making the vehicle more environmentally friendly. The supply contains the entire door panel, including map pocket, center panel, armrest and upper trim panel.
For the door panels of the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Johnson Controls applies several innovative production technologies. As the components were developed specifically for this process, the respective advantages of the process could be fully utilized. The targeted use of a combination of materials positively adds to this effect.
High-quality interior design
Besides the technical solutions, particular attention was paid to the feel good factor when designing the door panels for the new E-Class. Ambient lighting solutions were thus installed above the door center panels and in the door handles, and sun shades were integrated in the rear door. In doing so, Johnson Controls managed to significantly improve the window cover in a minimum of space. "No matter which of the numerous design options they choose, drivers and their passengers will definitely feel at ease in this sophisticated and harmonious atmosphere," said Matthias Berg on the latest project of Mercedes-Benz. Besides the door panel, the company also supplies the absorbent glas mat battery.
Another award-winning product is the rear side panel for the new MINI Convertible. Once again, the PP Thin Film technology won over the jury.
Chipped paint is a thing of the past
Theoretically, numerous technologies are available for enhancing surfaces in automotive interiors. These range from painting plastic components through to various foils and RIM skin trims to elaborate natural leather covers. An alternative process used to design quality surfaces with an improved scratch-resistance and mat finish of the components is the so-called PP Thin Film.
A variable degree of glossiness enables optimum adaptation to match the finish of other components
The PP Thin Film technology consists of a composite foil made up of several, primarily polypropylene (PP) layers, manufactured in a direct mold-behind process. With this process, all types of polypropylene can be used as substrates - it even accommodates fiber glass-reinforced plastics and recycled materials. Unlike painted component surfaces, these foils are not easily scratched. As their gloss level can be varied, they can also be easily adapted to match the finish of adjacent components.
Furthermore, stability from repeated use increases, as the chipping experienced on painted surfaces is eliminated.
The new foil is ideal for all interior components designed to be covered with foil. The technology can also be used for all segments. Depending on the level of design, a one or two-step production process is applied. For instance, a two-step process must be used for deep-molded products, such as the map pockets in the doors. Besides the side panels, the company designed and produced seat foam and trim covers for the new MINI Convertible.
"I am delighted that we were able to win over not only our customers, but also the SPE panel with our innovations," said Matthias Berg on accepting the awards on behalf of the entire team.
A more detailed press release and digital photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols.com.
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 http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.