Magna, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, lifted three first-place innovation awards at the 2018 Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Awards ceremony held on July 6 in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Recognizing the innovative lightweighting efforts using advanced materials, Magna’s thermoplastic liftgate for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee was picked up for the body exterior category award; its carbon fiber subframe prototype won the chassis category, and its torsional welding joining process won in the enabling technology category.
Grahame Burrow, Exteriors President, Magna, said, “SPE clearly recognizes the importance of lightweighting innovations in today’s automotive manufacturing environment. We appreciate this recognition and look forward to bringing automakers more new products and processes to help them meet their goals.”
Lightweight, fully recyclable, composite liftgates, achieved up to 25 percent savings in mass in comparison to steel versions. At the same time, composite materials offer greater design flexibility with deeper draws and tighter radii. Reduced complexity of the total liftgate module, lower tooling investment and increased throughput at the assembly plant benefitted Manga for its full-system assembly and delivery approach.
Magna in collaboration with Ford Motor Company achieved 82 percent part reduction in its prototype subframe by replacing 45 steel parts with two molded parts and six steel parts. In addition, a 34 percent mass savings was achieved in comparison to a subframe made of stamped steel.
Magna, in association with a technology partner, used torsional welding for automotive fascia for the first time, which is currently under use for the front fascia of the 2017 Skoda Octavia in Europe and is going to be used soon in the North American market.
Magna has 340 manufacturing operations and 93 product development, engineering and sales centers in 28 countries.