Magna won three top awards at the 2018 edition of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Awards gala. The function was held in Dusseldorf, Germany and Magna was honored for the advanced materials it developed as part of its innovative lightweighting efforts. Magna received the first prize in the body exterior category for its thermoplastic liftgate for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee. In the chassis category, it won the award for its carbon fiber subframe prototype and in the enabling technology category, it won the award for its torsional welding joining process.
The composite liftgate that Magna developed for the 2019 Jeep Cherokee is lightweight and fully recyclable and will be highly beneficial to automotive companies as the demand continues to be high for crossover and sport utility vehicles. Manufacturers can achieve upto 25 percent mass savings when they use these liftgates in preference to their steel variants. Magna’s liftgates are delivered as complete assemblies to the customer. When composite materials are used, they facilitate greater design flexibility with deeper draws and tighter radii. With Magna providing full-system assembly and delivery approach, the complete liftgate module becomes less complex and tooling needs less investment. Assembly is faster and there is increased throughput.
Magna’s carbon fiber subframe won the Infinite Possible for Market Growth Award at CAMX 2017, and Magna developed this subframe in collaboration with Ford Motor Company. The prototype subframe replaces 45 steel parts with two molded parts and six steel parts, thus achieving an 82 percent part reduction. There is also a 34 percent mass savings compared to a subframe made of stamped steel. Currently, the two companies are conducting vehicle-level testing.
Torsional welding involves joining plastic brackets to thermoplastic fascia using a high-speed twisting motion that creates enough friction-based heat to meld them together. Magna worked with a technology partner to become the first company to use torsional welding for automotive fascia. The process is currently used for the front fascia of the 2017 Skoda Octavia in Europe, and there are plans to use it soon in the North American market.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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