Johnson Controls presents a lightweight and sustainable seating solution at the IAA in Frankfurt
Modular lightweight seating with synergy effect
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Burscheid, Germany - 15 September 2009. A new seating concept from Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics and batteries, will be presented for the first time in Europe at this year's IAA in Frankfurt. The latest new development, called the Synergy Seat, combines Johnson Controls' modular and lightweight seating structure with its patented comfort shell technology, environmentally-friendly foam and trim cover materials and active head restraints - all of which creates significant synergy effects. The result is an impressive seat that offers more flexibility, comfort and safety yet weighs much less than before and is almost 100 percent recyclable.
As the direct interface between vehicle, driver and passengers, the seating makes a significant contribution to the overall sense of comfort. Yet seat engineers are constantly faced with conflicting goals. They want to offer the highest possible degree of comfort, but at the same time they have to work within the spatial confines of the vehicle interior and help contribute to weight reduction in order to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This is in addition to the market trend toward increasingly smaller vehicles, which are nevertheless expected to be just as spacious, comfortable and safe as vehicles in the higher segments. There is also a growing demand for new material combinations in vehicle interiors. The new Synergy Seat from Johnson Controls certainly addresses this need for advances in various directions. The basis of the new concept is the modular and lightweight seating structure of Johnson Controls.
Modular structure enables lightweight construction without compromising comfort and safety
The modular structure makes it possible to achieve a weight saving of up to 30 percent compared to conventional seating. It can be applied on a cross-platform, cross-brand basis and can be adapted to various car body types and vehicle weight limits with minimal effort and cost. In the process of reducing vehicle weight, the modular system minimizes technical risks and development time, while simultaneously ensuring, through continuous improvement measures, that the quality of proven modular components increases all the time.
In order to offer a superior degree of comfort at all times and reduce the risk of whiplash injuries, the lightweight structure of the Synergy Seat is combined with the latest generation of active, slim-line "riACT" head restraints. The modular structure is complemented by a space-saving comfort shell technology. Its slimline design facilitates better space utilization, without making any concessions to seating comfort. The centimeters saved in the process can be used to provide more leg room in the rear of the vehicle or to integrate other vehicle functions desired by the consumer.
Recyclable thanks to environmentally-friendly materials
The active contribution of the Synergy Seat to lightweight vehicle construction is only one aspect of Johnson Controls' support for sustainable automobiles. The use of environmentally-friendly materials is also a conscious move in the same direction. For instance, innovative foams based on bio-polyols are used in the padding of the Synergy Seat. These are derived from renewable raw materials such as palm oil and soybean oil rather than mineral oil. The combination of comfort shells and such innovative foam materials offers superior seating comfort.
In addition, the side and back panels of the Synergy Seat are made out of recyclable polypropylene, and a new approach was also taken in the choice of trim cover materials. The seat covers are based on new-generation polyurethane, which makes them easy to clean and 68 percent lighter than leather. "As the market leader in seating systems, we wanted our new development to help reduce both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Furthermore, this combination of new materials and innovative seating architecture opens up a host of new possibilities," said Detlef Jürss, Vice President of Engineering Seating, Interiors & Systems for Europe, Africa and South America. The new seating concept will be available from model year 2012.
Digital photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk/press.
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..