Lightweighting Innovators Honoured with 2018 Altair Enlighten Awards

Altair  annual thand the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) announced the winners of the 6Altair Enlighten Award at the 2018 CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) in Traverse City, Michigan, US.

The Altair Enlighten Award honours the greatest achievements in vehicle weight savings each year. Inspiring interest from industry, policymakers, educators, students and the public, the award incentivises automotive lightweighting advancements and provides a global platform to recognise and share technological achievements. The award is judged by an independent panel of automotive industry experts, academia and the engineering media, who selected six winners from a field of 57 finalists this year.

The winner in the Full Vehicle category was General Motors’ 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, which weighed in at an impressive 450 lbs (204.5 kg) lighter than its predecessor. BMW claimed the Module category with the first 3D printed metal component used in a production series vehicle, which captured a 44% component weight saving on the 2018 BMW i8 Roadster.

For the Enabling Technology category, which focuses on technological advances enabling manufacturers to save weight, the judging panel elected to recognise three winners. These were Asahi Kasei’s Super Lightweight Pedal Bracket for the Mazda MX-5, Sika Automotive’s Ultra Lightweight Constrained Layer Material System, and United States Steel’s Martensitic Advanced High Strength Steel, Mart-Ten 1500.

Asahi Kasei’s winning entry was a novel production brake pedal bracket for the Mazda MX-5 that was designed using glass fibre reinforced polyamide 66. The new injection moulded design required the Asahi Kasei and Mazda team to withdraw from conventional thinking, allowing for the removal of unnecessary metal parts to realise a weight savings of 83%.

The award for the new Future of Lightweighting category, chosen by MBS attendees, went to American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) for its Quantum Driveline Architecture programme.

“It was impressive to see the high quality of this year’s Altair Enlighten Award applications. Nominations from OEMs, suppliers, materials technology companies, start-ups and academia demonstrate the tremendous and varied weight reduction effort being achieved across the global automotive industry,” says judging chair Carla Bailo, President and CEO of CAR. “We were also thrilled at the response to the new Future of Lightweighting category introduced this year, which highlighted some highly innovative solutions holding great promise to advance fuel efficiency and automotive sustainability.”

“Our judging panel had a very difficult task selecting this year’s award winners among so many high quality entries,” states Richard Yen, Senior Vice President of Global Automotive and Industry Verticals at Altair. “I would like to personally congratulate our award winners and thank all of our finalists and applicants for participating. It’s a rewarding experience each year to witness how simulation-driven design strategies, new materials and advanced manufacturing processes are advancing automotive lightweighting by offering new opportunities to innovate weight efficient products from the start.”

Industries: Automotive and Road Transportation

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