Uniting technological precision and sophisticated craftsmanship in the instrument cluster

Inverse forming technology from Johnson Controls lifts instrument cluster image quality to new heights

Picture is available via EPA (European Pressphoto Agency) and can be downloaded free of charge at: http://www.presseportal.de/pm/19526/johnson_controls_gmbh/?keygroup=bild

Burscheid, Germany - 17 September 2009. Johnson Controls unveils an innovative instrument cluster in Frankfurt at the 63rd International Motor Show (IAA) with the help of some unique production technology. As a supplier to BMW's new 5-series, Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive interior systems and electronics and batteries, has developed an instrument cluster for this vehicle platform using a manufacturing process based for the first time ever on inverse forming technology for three-dimensional black panel film. As a key benefit, this optimized process has eliminated distorted effects. The digitally-controlled analog instrument cluster with integrated 5.7-inch TFT display utilizes a backlighting technology that has been advanced by optimized glass technology along with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. The resulting image quality and color fidelity means driver information is presented with superb optics. The instruments operate with tremendous accuracy, including the cruise control indicator, which reacts immediately thanks to a new-generation stepper motor.

Maximum technical refinement is what characterizes the new BMW 5-series instrument cluster, with its four distinctive gauges and integrated 5.7-inch TFT display cell (640 x 160 pixels). Thermoformed, inverse-molded 3-D black panel film was utilized for the first time in this unit, and the application of the inverse forming technology is what makes it unique. "It's the only one of its kind on the market so far," said Achim Hosenfeld, Vice President Electronics at Johnson Controls. "Unlike before, the film is placed down into the forming tool. The result is a special embossed surface structure that is imprinted by the texture of the tool. This eliminates the need for an expensive anti-reflective coating and also makes the display easy to read. This reliably implemented process increases the overall quality and look-and-feel of the instrument cluster as a whole to new heights."

Johnson Controls manufactures 24 versions of the digital analog instrument cluster to meet the diverse requirements of the global marketplace. "The new instrument cluster is a product of the successful collaboration between our electronics, interior and manufacturing specialists," added Achim Hosenfeld. "The electronics in this product would have never reached such an advanced level without the vast expertise of our employees, who continually take on new creative challenges when it comes to the technical feasibility of new product concepts. Our comprehensive manufacturing experience in processing, forming and finishing plastic surfaces and films are making an impact."

A more technically detailed version of the press release and digital photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk/press.

Further information is available from:

Johnson Controls GmbH
Automotive Experience
Industriestr. 20-30
51399 Burscheid


Astrid Schafmeister
Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189
Fax: +49 2174 65-3219

Ina Longwitz
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.