Lear Seating and Interior Innovations Honored at Society of Plastics Engineers' Innovation Awards Gala
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lear Corporation (NYSE:
LEA) today announced it received two awards at this year's Society of
Plastics Engineers (SPE®) International - Automotive Division's
36th-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition & Gala. The
company's products were recognized as the "Year's Most Innovative Use of
Plastics" in two recognition categories: Lear's FreeForm™ proprietary
injection-molding process was a winner in the Process category and
Lear's structural blow-molded seatback was a winning submission in the
The results were recently announced at SPE's Innovation Awards Gala,
which annually honors the best in automotive plastics. This year's
program featured eleven categories of nominations covering applications
that demonstrated remarkable cost and environmental improvement while
providing added value in weight and performance.
Lear's FreeForm technology enables cost-effective manufacturing of
large interior plastic panels with multiple materials in one machine.
The new technology is being used by Lear to produce door bolsters for
the 2007 Dodge Caliber. Lear FreeForm molding provides a well-crafted
interface between colors and textures, whereas other methods require
painting, secondary operations or multiple components.
The all plastic blow-molded seatback supplied by Lear for the 2007
Audi TT roadster features Dow Automotive's Pulse 2200BG PC/ABS material.
The structure meets strict European safety legislation, including ECE
17 luggage retention, as well as other globally mandated requirements.
Because the PC/ABS blow molded seatback replaced metal, a significant
weight savings of almost 2.4 kg (5 lb) per vehicle was realized as well
as a notable cost savings.
"Consumers expect interior components with new and creative design
processes, coupled with improved materials and precision fit and
finish," said Doug DelGrosso, president and chief operating officer of
Lear. "Our ultimate goal is to deliver the quality and craftsmanship
consumers want, while finding new ways to improve efficiency and lower
cost for Lear and its customers."
The FreeForm process utilizes the Husky Quadloc Tandem Index (QTI) --
an injection-molding solution that employs two identical cores that
rotate a substrate to an adjacent 'new' cavity where a TPE skin is then
overmolded. The final part can either be partially or fully covered by
the skin, allowing the designer to put tactile surfaces in optimal
"The process we are using to produce the Dodge Caliber bolster is
proving to be a game-changer for molded plastics," continued DelGrosso.
We believe a multi-material automotive application such as Lear's
FreeForm technology provides an ideal solution in the ongoing quest to
improve quality and competitiveness."
Unique to the manufacturing process is the ability to mold large
components in one 60-second cycle time, eliminating secondary parts,
presses, labor and equipment. In addition to delivering a complete part
with less downstream assembly and lower operating costs, a major
benefit is enhanced quality as a result of the QTI's ability to produce
molded-in gaps to produce crisp lines and improved fit and finish.
Another key advantage is flexibility. The equipment is designed so
that Lear manufacturing engineers are not limited to a two-shot process.
Additionally, the technology allows Lear to mold-in any surface finish
its customer desires, including multiple colors, textures and grains.
In addition to providing a soft impression within the interior, the
finished product adds a warm feel and high degree of differentiation
within the vehicle's cabin for improved craftsmanship over other covered
interior components. The process also is safer and more
environmentally friendly than existing solutions, such as soft touch
paints which are harmful to the environment.
SPE's Innovation Awards program is the largest competition of its
kind in the world, as well as the oldest and largest in the automotive
and plastics industries. Dozens of teams made up of OEMs, tier
suppliers, and polymer producers submit nominations describing their
part, system or complete vehicle module and why it merits the claim as
Year's Most Innovative Use of Plastics. Funds raised from this event are
used for SPE educational efforts and technical seminars, which will
help secure the role of plastics in advancement of the automobile.
Lear Corporation is one of the world's largest suppliers of
automotive interior systems and components. Lear provides complete
automotive seating systems, electronic products and electrical
distribution systems as well as interior trim components. With annual
net sales of $17.1 billion in 2005, Lear ranks #127 among the Fortune
500. The Company's world-class products are designed, engineered and
manufactured by a diverse team of more than 110,000 employees in 34
countries. Lear's headquarters are in Southfield, Michigan, and Lear is
traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol [LEA]. Further
information about Lear is available on the Internet at http://www.lear.com/ .
SOURCE: Lear Corporation
CONTACT: Andrea Puchalsky of Lear Corporation, +1-248-447-1651
Web site: http://www.lear.com/
Company News On-Call: http://www.prnewswire.com/comp/518304.html
Posted on 11/28/2006