2008 Finalists

2008

  1. Cummins, Inc. Winner!

    Cummins 6.7-liter Turbo Diesel

    Diesel engines have been considered dirty and noisy in the United States. The Environmental Protection Agency mandated a more than 90 percent reduction in NOx and particulate matter vs. 2002 standards for Diesel engines. When first suggested about ten years ago, such levels were generally believed unattainable. The Cummins 6.7 Liter Turbo Diesel Engine met this standard in a production engine in 2007.

    For this achievement, the Cummins 6.7-Liter Turbo Diesel Engine was named “Best Diesel” by Four Wheeler Magazine, September 2007; and Cummins was named the “Newsmaker of the Year” by Diesel Progress magazine.

    The new Cummins Diesel is an in-line six cylinder engine with the greatest low speed torque and the cleanest and quietest performance in the heavy-duty truck segment in North America, and it incorporates a number of innovations. It is the first application of Cummins’ NOx Adsorber technology. The result is the cleanest heavy-duty engine available in North America functioning without urea additive. It is also provides the first-ever designed-in, factory-integrated exhaust brake.

    The Cummins Turbo Diesel has fully-integrated engine controls and after-treatment system with OBD (On-board Diagnostics) controls, and 15 monitors vs. the three required for OBD.

    In the 6.7 Turbo Diesel Engine, Cummins was able to employ an intensive model-based approach to design integration that other auto suppliers will have to emulate. This has resulted in an innovative combination that is more than the sum of its parts.

    The Cummins 6.7 L Turbo Diesel was introduced during 2007 in Dodge Ram 2500 and 3600 heavy-duty pick-up trucks.

  2. Dow Automotive Winner!

    IMPAXX energy-absorbing foam

    Today’s safety standards promulgated by the Federal Government and the European Economic Commission give automotive manufacturers and suppliers daunting challenges to meet seemingly contradictory requirements. Safety encompasses regulations associated with interiors, for example, for head impact, head rests and side impact, which – without innovation – would almost certainly result in added weight and loss of interior space.

    Dow Automotive’s new energy-absorbing foam solution, IMPAXX, represents a winning innovation, offering manufacturers and suppliers the simultaneous benefits of low-cost, reduced weight, reduced packaging space, rapid prototyping, and identical performance between prototype and production parts, while also meeting or exceeding the energy absorption performance of competitive products and regulations. IMPAXX can reduce weight by up to 50% compared with alternative solutions, and reduce packaging space by up to 30%, giving greater flexibility in design of interiors and offering the consumer more interior space while safety standards are being met.

    IMPAXX is 100% recyclable and is already produced globally on equipment with low-capital investment. Most parts are made without tooling, which means low capital costs and rapid turn-around of prototypes. Production parts are manufactured by the same process as the prototype, assuring the customer identical performance.

    Multiple automotive manufacturers and suppliers have IMPAXX in production, and it will be used in every one of NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow vehicles.

  3. Eaton Corp. Winner!

    CRUTONITE

    Modern internal combustions engines continue to evolve toward increased performance and efficiency, plus reduced emissions, through the utilization of advanced computer-controlled combustion strategies and alternative fuels. Achieving requisite durability, however, places increased demands on the high-temperature strength, wear resistance, and corrosion resistance of components such as valves. Materials that can meet these challenges have historically been costly aerospace superalloys which contain significant fractions of strategic metals such as Nickel. As the performance demands increase, and the cost of strategic materials increases, cost-favorable alternative alloys will facilitate the advancement of clean and efficient engine technology.

    Eaton’s CRUTONITE valve material, developed in partnership with Crucible Specialty Metals, represents a winning innovation offering high temperature and wear resistance, and high strength, that is suitable for demanding high-performance Diesel engines as well as future passenger vehicles employing advanced combustion strategies. The new alloy offers similar performance to aerospace superalloys, but with significantly less strategic metals such as Nickel. These strategic metals are not only costly but are subject to dramatic price volatility. For example, the price of Nickel has fluctuated several hundred percent over a five year period.

    The CRUTONITE alloy also provides excellent wear resistance that obviates special hardfacing of valve seats. The alloy composition that resulted in enhanced wear resistance presented manufacturing challenges that were overcome through process innovation by the Eaton/Crucible partnership.

    Eaton’s CRUTONITE valves have been embraced and rapidly introduced in commercial applications by their customers because the valves offer the requisite performance and durability at lower cost.

  4. Gentex Corp. Winner!

    Rear Camera Display Mirror

    While stand-alone camera display screens in the dash or at the rear view mirror have been available for some time, these displays either lack reliability and high-quality, are cumbersome, or are expensive and separated from the rear-view mirror. Most rear-view or backup camera display systems require an expensive center console LCD screen.

    Gentex continues the quest to improve vehicle rear vision, particularly when backing up. The patented RCD, developed by Gentex in Zeeland, Michigan, seamlessly integrates a 2.4 inch LCD display into the center rearview mirror. When the vehicle is put in reverse, the RCD displays a rear camera image in an intuitive location within the regular rearview mirror image space. When turned off, the camera display disappears, and its “territory” becomes part of the normal mirror image. A recent National Highway Transportation Safety Administration study concluded that compared to sensor-based systems, camera systems have the “greatest potential for providing drivers with reliable assistance … while backing up.” A camera based system is the only effective way to see children, pets, or obstacles behind the car, that are not immediately visible in the rear view mirror or by looking out the back window of the vehicle.

    Key challenges in developing the patented Gentex RCD included providing a display image bright enough to stand out against daylight coming through the windshield, keeping the power-requirement of the display to a minimum, and avoiding a ‘hole’ in the mirror image when the display is off. To meet these challenges Gentex leveraged its market-leading expertise in auto-dimming rearview mirrors by incorporating a state-of-the-art high-brightness LCD display behind the mirror’s ‘transflective’ surface.

    The RCD not only extends an impressive string of Gentex rearview mirror-based enhancements, it also provides a platform for the future display of ‘heads-up’ driver convenience and safety information. The Gentex RCD was first implemented in the 2008 Mazda CX-9, followed shortly after by the Ford F-150, Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, and Lincoln Mark LT.

  5. Magneti Marelli Sistemas Automotivos Indústria & Comércio Ltda. Winner!

    TETRAFUEL system

    We are in the twilight of the fossil fuel era. In that light, we see extensive uses of flex fuels, to take advantage of renewable sources of fuel, e.g. ethanol or alcohol, mixed with gasoline, in fixed or variable ratios.

    As fuel supplies, total costs, direct costs, and freedom from polluting effects, become increasingly problematic, the ability to utilize alternatives becomes increasingly desirable.

    Magneti Marelli’s innovation, TETRAFUEL, reflects its ability to use any combination of pure gasoline, flex-fuel, pure ethanol – or CNG/GNV, compressed natural gas. This is a system comprised of two separate sets of injectors, and a single ECU capable of transparent switching dynamically between types automatically. A second innovation is the Sigma digital knock sensor, which inexpensively provides optimized ignition timing at each cylinder regardless of fuel type in use or the proportions.

    A TETRAFUEL vehicle’s ECU is programmed to take advantage of the cost and environmental benefits of CNG whenever it is available, and switches to liquid fuel if the CNG runs out, or when extreme acceleration is required. TETRAFUEL’s ability to transition seamlessly between CNG, gasoline, ethanol, or flex-fuel, gives drivers anywhere great freedom in choosing the lowest cost, cleanest burning fuel options, and eliminates the risks of a specific fuel’s availability, because there isn’t total dependence on finding a source of CNG or ethanol.

    Initial commercialization of TETRAFUEL is the Fiat Siena in Brazil, using the 1.4 L Fire TETRAFUEL engine.

  6. Xanavi Informatics Corp. and Sony Corp. Winner!

    Around View Monitor

    Because of the way today’s vehicles, including SUVs, crossover vehicles, and even sedans, are configured, being able to see or visualize to the rear when backing up or backing out of a parking space often requires measures that surpass the capability of rear-view mirrors. This is more than a convenience issue, it’s a serious safety issue. We have seen many instances of screen-based back-up camera systems that activate when the vehicle is put in reverse. Often, these systems depend on buying a navigation system, in order to have the screen. However, even these camera systems do not show space to the sides of a vehicle, hence walls, people, or objects which may be in the path of a turning vehicle. Nor do they show people or objects which may be in front of a vehicle.

    Nissan’s corporate commitment to innovating safety features led them to want to go beyond this sort of commonly available back-up imaging capability. They wanted a screen-based image that gave a clear view of all the space surrounding the vehicle, not just the space to the rear. Enlisting suppliers Xanavi (screen-based electronics and central control modules) and Sony (very high capability cameras) resulted in the innovation, the Around View Monitor (AVM). This gives the effect of a “bird’s-eye view” camera, as though a real camera were suspended above the vehicle, looking down.

    The innovation uses four very wide-angle cameras developed by Sony. The camera-gathered information is very dense, and required Xanavi to develop very fast and effective signal processing and correction in order to put an image combining the views of the four cameras into a recognizable moving picture on the screen in real enough time.

    The Around View Monitor shows in split screen a 360˚ view of space around the vehicle and, when the vehicle is in reverse, a rearward view indicating directional path. When the vehicle proceeds forward, the driver can select a 360˚ view and a forward view with directional path. Both images are displayed side by side, so the driver can see walls, obstacles, or humans anywhere around the vehicle as he proceeds.

    Initial appearance of the Around View Monitor in the United States came with the new 2008 Infiniti Ex. This innovation is a differentiating feature in Infiniti’s advertising.

  7. BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems Winner!

    Turbocharger with R2S® Regulated Two-Stage Technology

    Turbos have been available on passenger cars since the ‘60s, and twin turbos with their reduced turbo lag and high output have been installed on heavy duty trucks and a few high performance passenger cars since the ‘70s and ‘80s, but the benefits of such two-stage systems were greatly undermined by increasingly stringent emissions regulations, ungainly packaging, and performance robbing parasitic losses, to the point where they were virtually eliminated from modern engine designs.

    BorgWarner Turbo & Emissions Systems overturned the conventional wisdom on twin-turbos with their R2S – Regulated Two-Stage Turbo system – to produce a compact assembly that addressed all the twin turbo issues. The R2S boosted an OEM’s abilities to reduce engine sizes, reduce emissions, increase performance, and improve fuel economy, all at once.

    Available in fixed and variable geometry configurations, BorgWarner’s R2S is the result of thirty years of turbo system experience combined with advanced modeling technologies. It solved the performance loss and packaging problems that had precluded the benefits of two-stage systems. R2S is distinguished as a PACE Award winner by the insight that the first stage low pressure turbo could take on added responsibilities beyond its traditional role of enhancing low RPM performance. BorgWarner made it possible to use it to improve the emissions performance at high RPM as well as at transitional throttle conditions. Beyond the R2S system itself, BorgWarner also recognized that packaging two turbos and their associated plumbing was a problem for OEM product and power train teams, given today’s crowded engine compartments. They engineered an effective approach to coordinating a vehicle-specific turbo development process into the OEM’s vehicle development program.

    For recognizing the dual-role potential of the low-pressure turbo and solving the packaging and parasitic loss issues that have been barriers to dual turbos, BorgWarner is a winner for the Regulated 2-Stage turbo system. Since its introduction in 2005, R2S is dominating the committed 2-Stage turbo volume through the 2012 model year, including planned use by Ford, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, MAN, and International.

  8. Continental Winner!

    Piezo Direct Injection System for Gasoline Applications

    Improving fuel injection is aimed at better performance from less gasoline, meaning enhanced efficiency, economy, combustion, and emissions.

    Injection in gasoline engines previously involved a homogeneous charge or spray into the combustion chamber. It was first done into the intake manifold. Subsequent direct injection into the combustion chamber used solenoid activated injection. In that case, the needle lifts into the injector, there is only a single injection per combustion cycle, and the fuel sprays into the chamber in a homogeneous charge. This wastes fuel and results in incomplete combustion of the excess.

    Continental has for the first time applied piezo activation to direct injection in high revving gasoline engines. The innovation was accomplished in response to a challenge from BMW to create a stratified charge and lean burn.

    Only the fuel necessary is injected and is directed only where combustion actually occurs. The innovation is a needle that is directly piezo activated to open into the cylinder, resulting in a hollow cone spray, and the possibility of two injections per cycle due to direct piezo activation. The stratified charge is stable without respect to engine load, an optimal lean burn circumstance. Additional innovations included a new type of seal, unique welding techniques to suit the metals necessary, and thermal expansion compensation.

    Result is estimated at up to 20% fuel savings, 40% reduction in hydrocarbon emissions, and 12% reduction in CO2 emissions, while doubling the rpm range for engine efficiency.

    Initial adoption for piezo direct gasoline injection was in BMW’s 4 and 6 cylinder engines, and BMW is rolling out this system across its engine range.

  9. Valeo Interior Controls Winner!

    Park 4U Semi-Automatic Parallel Parking

    Market research shows that 70% of car drivers are interested in automatic parking systems to avoid parallel parking, if effective and available at a reasonable cost. Parking systems based on cameras and radar are limited, cumbersome, and expensive. They also require significant involvement of the driver in parking the car, and don’t work on hills.

    With existing market strength and experience in ultrasonic sensor-based park assist systems, Valeo was able to develop Park4U as an inexpensive, easy to use, effective automated parking system that leverages technologies already present in many vehicles. Adding additional sensors to an existing front and rear ultrasonic parking assist system, they were able to make precise direct measurement of the parking slot between the bumpers of already parked cars and the curb. The trajectory to park the car is calculated by the electronic control unit, which then controls the parking maneuver until parking is completed. This is the first time a production vehicle detects its environment and autonomously steers around obstacles into a target space based on what it detects.

    The process of finding a parking space is begun by pressing the Park4U button. Lateral sensors scan both sides of the street and measure the lengths of empty spaces. When a parking space is detected, the driver is alerted to pull up and put the vehicle in reverse. The driver releases the steering wheel but retains control of the accelerator and brakes to stop, slow, speed up, or continue the vehicle’s progress at will. The parking sensors also inform the driver if there are any objects in the vehicle’s path, and the driver then decides if he or she must stop the vehicle. At the end of the parking operation performed by the system, if the vehicle is not aligned correctly, the steering wheels are turned towards the curb automatically and the rest of the maneuver is carried out by the driver.

    Park 4U was first installed by VW on its Touran (April 2007), exceeding their annual volume target in the first 6 months, and the Tiguan followed. So far Park4U is committed on 7 car brands, 20 vehicle models.

  10. PPG Industries, Inc. Winner!

    Green Logic paint detackification process

    To adhere to the surface of a car efficiently, paints are formulated to be sticky, tacky compounds. Despite best efforts of chemists and engineers, paint stays in the air or is deposited on surrounding surfaces, rather than on the car body. This is costly for manufacturers as excess paint must be removed from the air stream and surrounding surfaces through a laborious cleaning process.

    To minimize the problem, paint-laden air is passed through a curtain of water blended with paint “detackifiers.” These are traditionally formaldehyde or acrylic-based agents derived from non-renewable natural gas or crude oil stocks which are also a serious environmental threat. Both the paint and petroleum-based detackifiers must disposed of before the water can be recycled and returned to the environment.

    Green Logic is PPG’s name for an environmentally-friendly paint detackifier that replaces formaldehyde and acrylic compounds with a polysaccharide derived from chitin – the constituent of shellfish shells. Chitin (shellfish waste) is converted to chitosan, which performs the tasks previously done by the acrylic acids and melamine-formaldehyde polymers. Green Logic performs more effectively than petroleum detackifiers, resulting in lower maintenance costs, reduced wastewater treatment costs, and greatly reduced yearly water replenishment costs. Green Logic requires no significant changes in existing process equipment. Green Logic avoids non-renewable petroleum stocks, conserves water, and reduces the volume of harmful sludge that must be disposed of in landfills.

    After success at GM’s Janesville, Wisconsin, facility, Green Logic was introduced at the GM Lordstown plant, and is now operating at GM’s Orion Plant, Ford’s Twin Cities and Kentucky Truck Plant, Mitsubishi’s plant in Normal, Illinois, BMW’s in Spartanburg, and Toyota’s in Cambridge, Ontario. Numerous additional plants are slated for 2008.

  11. Webasto AG Winner!

    Low Pressure Injection-Compression Process for Panoramic Polycarbonate Roof Module

    OEMs are increasingly eager to substitute polycarbonate for glass, for two reasons. First is the weight differential. A polycarbonate piece can be almost half the weight of the same piece in laminated glass. A second reason is the design flexibility and formability of polycarbonate, allowing shaping that follows design, as well as functional integration of such features as ribs, spacers, or guide rails that can be molded right into the panel.

    Until now, polycarbonate was used to produce rather small pieces, such as headlight lenses and covers, backlights, small roof panels, small side windows and other small optical parts. Producing a large panel as big as a square meter of acceptable quality at a reasonable price was unattanable. For such a panel size, the injection process required injection at very high pressure, typically up to 1000 bar, which resulted in drawbacks in both the process itself and the ultimate quality and durability of the molded piece.

    Webasto took up the challenge of producing a 1.2 square meter optical quality polycarbonate roof for the 2008 smart fortwo coupe. They innovated an advanced low pressure injection/compression process involving both angled and parallel plates, in an injection molding press requiring only one-fourth the clamping force of a conventional process. This resulted in a much smaller press with greatly reduced footprint and operating costs, but greater precision and low internal stresses as well.

    They also innovated an in-line, all clean-room process with no interruptions for handling, trimming, or storing parts, with molding and coating in-line. They also innovated a coating process combining both spray and flow coating, to insure that the resulting coating layer is absolutely uniform across the part and of exactly the right thickness everywhere.

    The new Webasto process is able to produce polycarbonate parts of this size reliably and cost effectively, with low internal stress, remarkable optical quality, high reliability, and durability.

    Webasto with its innovative process has opened the door to a number of new polycarbonate-based automotive applications which could not be considered until now, due to the size of the parts, the expected quality and durability level, and the economics involved. They are being rewarded with new automotive applications.

  12. Delphi Corporation and Sirius Satellite Radio Winner!

    Sirius Backseat TV™

    Sirius Backseat TV™ provides consumers with a clear, nationwide digital television service delivered via satellite. It offers three channels of live, family-oriented content, including Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and the Cartoon Network.

    In order for this innovation to be commercially viable it had to meet a number of demanding requirements and technical challenges. It had to function within existing bandwidth without interrupting or diminishing existing Sirius audio service. The TV also had to use existing satellite receivers, compatible with existing terrestrial repeaters. Physically, it had to take up a small roof print. It had to provide a clear, continuous signal under all potentially disruptive conditions. And finally, it had to be compatible with existing in-vehicle receivers using the Sirius audio service.

    The “squeezing” of video signals within Sirius’existing frequency spectrum allocation was accomplished through a bandwidth-efficient modulation innovation known as Backward Compatible Hierarchical Modulation, or HM. This allowed an order of hierarchical modulation never seen before. It also enabled working with existing, installed repeaters, requiring only minor changes. The small, in-vehicle receiver unit developed by Delphi requires only two small roof antennas which have little impact on design or visibility.

    First available (with a one-year exclusive) on the new Chrysler mini-van models in 2007, the take rate on this information technology innovation has exceeded all expectations, changing the competitive battleground for in-vehicle information and entertainment. Behind the success lies a story of numerous innovations and technology breakthroughs as well as collaboration between Sirius and Delphi, their suppliers, and the Chrysler Corporation, which was willing to take risks in a very tight timeframe.

  13. Code Systems Inc.

    GM Advanced 2-Way Remote Start System

    A two-way key fob communicates at distances of 800 to 1,000 feet to give drivers such information as security status and tire pressures. Depending on vehicle equipment, the fob also can start the vehicle, open the trunk/hatch or power liftgate and check the fuel level and odometer. Data are displayed on the fob’s small LCD screen. The fob is the first two-way remote system to fully integrate into a vehicle’s computer communications and diagnostic system, or CAN bus. First used on many 2008 GM North American vehicles.

  14. Federal-Mogul Ignition Products

    Federal-Mogul SureFire Ceramic Spark Plug Insulator

    High operating temperatures and strong electric-field effects in modern engines are a challenge for spark plugs that must deliver their high-voltage spark without electrical loss. High voltages in modern engines can result in high-temperature plug breakdown. Federal-Mogul created a new insulator using an aluminum oxide ceramic with special glass composition and a small amount of zirconium oxide. Shunt resistance is greater than 2,500 megaohms at 500 degrees Celsius, more than 200 times that of traditional spark plug ceramics. First used in Champion-brand iridium and platinum spark plugs.

  15. Johnson Controls Inc.

    riAct Rear Impact Active Head Restraint

    Johnson Controls has created a headrest that pushes its cushioning pad forward to reduce potential whiplash injuries in low-speed rear collisions. The headrest uses a double-helix reinforced plastic core mechanism to move the headrest. The mechanism can be triggered either by an electronic control unit coupled to a crash sensor or by physical cable connections activated by crash-induced occupant motion. The headrest can be reset after deployment. First used in 2006 on the Kia cee’d small car sold in Europe.

  16. Lear Corp.

    ProTec PluS

    Lear has created a seat mechanism that dynamically moves the headrest up and forward toward the occupant’s head while crash energy from a rear-end collision is being absorbed. By cradling the head in proper alignment with the torso, the injury potential from whiplash can be reduced. Federal studies show that more than 75% of adjustable headrests today are left in the “down” position by drivers; Lear engineers created their active system to increase safety without loss of comfort or the need for headrest manual adjustment. The system can meet new federal head restraint requirements scheduled for September 2009, as well as European Union EuroNCAP requirements.

  17. Mahle Technology Inc.

    MAHLE CamlnCam

    Independent phasing of intake and exhaust cam lobes on a single camshaft has been an engineering goal for a century. Mahle made the concept real, providing the functionality of a variable dual-overhead-camshaft engine in a single-cam design. Exhaust cam lobes are fixed on the outer shaft; intake lobes on the inner shaft are hydraulically adjusted, continuously, to give up to 40 crankshaft degrees of lobe separation. As a result, cheaper cam-in-block engines achieve better power output, torque and idle stability and will continue to meet fuel mileage and EPA requirements. That will free automakers to produce simple, rugged and cost-effective engine designs. First used in 2007 on the Dodge Viper SRT-10.

  18. Remy Inc.

    High Voltage Hairpin

    Remy overcame the heat, size and power problems of traditional round-wire electric motor windings with its new way to apply wiring on motor stators. Using rectangular cross-section wire and forming it in nesting “hairpin” shapes, the company created better power density and more efficient heat handling in a smaller motor space. The special winding technology allows for motors small enough to fit inside a vehicle transmission. The better cooling lets the motors provide continuous electric torque and power, where today’s hybrids can provide it only for short bursts. First used in 2007 in the General Motors GMT900 Two Mode Hybrid System Transmission.

  19. Takata

    Motorcycle Airbag

    Frontal collisions cause more than half of motorcycle-related fatalities in Japan, Europe and North America. Although not mandated by any government, a motorcycle airbag has been under development by Takata and Honda since 1996. The airbag is designed to deploy in front of the rider when crash sensors on the motorcycle’s front fork detect a frontal impact. The face of the bag is tethered to the motorcycle so the bag stays in place while catching the rider. The shape of the bag had to account for an out-of-position rider and for both a rider’s and passenger’s mass. According to test data, the airbag system prevented fatal injury impact in a 45-mph head-on crash as measured using a crash test dummy. First used in 2006 on the Honda Gold Wing.

  20. Timken Co.

    Timken MPS 160

    From antilock brakes to electric power-assisted steering, more systems on autos require sensors to measure how fast a shaft may be spinning or what position it may be in. Of the existing technologies, optical sensors are fragile, while resolvers are large and expensive. Timken has created a rugged, high-resolution magnetic-field speed and position sensor system on a computer chip. The sensor’s small size and durability mean it can fit close to bearings and in harsh environments. First used in 2007 in steering systems of some Korean-built vehicles.

  21. Delphi Thermal Systems/Alcoa

    5 Layer Aluminum Braze Sheet

    A corrosion-resistant material for air-conditioning evaporators became imperative for Delphi when European Union requirements banned automotive use of anti-corrosive hexavalent chromium coatings. Working with Delphi, Alcoa created a five-layer sandwich composite aluminum braze sheet material that protects the heat-dispersing aluminum core with special alloys that need no coating. Previous material processes could create only three-layer materials. As a result of the new material, Delphi air-conditioner manufacturing processes were changed. Plants no longer need coating equipment, environmental dangers were reduced, and Delphi may be able to eliminate costly on-site wastewater treatment. Production began in 2005 for Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKS vehicles.

  22. Siemens PLM Software

    UGS Synergy

    Siemens has created a way to share computer-aided design 3-D visual data between suppliers and automakers that are not tied to any specific CAD system or software. The large number of such systems and software has forced suppliers to maintain as many as 50 CAD systems and to support those with customer-specific design teams. Now suppliers can use a CAD system of their choosing and share data with automakers. The trademarked file format, JT, also helps protect intellectual property because, unlike an authored CAD file, it cannot be mined for otherwise proprietary design knowledge. First used in 2007 by Ford Motor Co.

  23. Tenneco Inc.

    TEN-KBME Tenneco Knowledge Based Manufacturing & Engineering

    Up to 80% of a design engineer’s time can be spent looking for background information. Lack of manufacturing knowledge adds to product costs and delays the introduction of products to the market. Hard-won experience from one project may be bypassed by designers working on a new one. Tenneco’s system, TEN-KBME, combines existing manufacturing and engineering knowledge with application tools including finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and press shop and forming simulation. As a result, the background knowledge already developed within Tenneco is immediately available to the design engineer using tools from computer-aided design, manufacturing and engineering. This frees the engineer to quickly evaluate more alternatives than ever before, requires less CAD expertise or training time for proficiency and increases time spent on value-added activities such as problem-solving and innovation. The system helps future products to be introduced efficiently, faster and at the highest quality levels.

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