Faurecia, in partnership with Ford, received two 2018 SPE Automotive Innovation Awards in the Body Interior and Safety categories for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator and Transit Connect, resulting in 5-star safety ratings for side impact crashes on both vehicles.
The joint Faurecia Ford Modular Mold-in Pelvic Bolster reduces part complexity by eliminating two crash foams, replacing them with a single injection molded piece. The new design, which is integrated into the side panel, delivers cost savings and improved safety. The unique bolster is highly adaptable and can be easily implemented into the vehicle architecture.
Faurecia and Ford also collaborated for the Door Trim Interlocking Mechanism for side impact on the Transit Connect, winning the top prize for the Safety category. This innovation replaces traditional metal stiffening brackets with a plastic design, resulting in significant cost savings and safety improvements. The innovation reduces the separation between the armrest and the door grab handle. The bracket, which is made out of ABS plastic, provides a sturdier support and increases thermal resistance, according to Faurecia.
“We are proud of the work we did with Ford to make the Navigator and the Transit safer, lighter and more efficient to manufacture,” said Donnie Hampton, president of Faurecia Interior Systems North America. “These teams collaborated to not only create a better product, but to also challenge the industry norms and create innovative solutions for tomorrow’s industry.”
The Society of Plastics Engineers’ Automotive Innovation Awards program is the oldest, largest competition of its kind in the automotive and plastics industries. Several teams from OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers and polymer producers submit nominations describing their part, system or complete vehicle module for consideration as the year’s most innovative use of plastics. Faurecia and Ford have a history of accepting SPE awards together; the teams have won multiple times, including last year when it received the Process and Technology award for decorative components in the instrument panel of the 2017 Ford Fiesta Vignale.