Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-0416
2000-03-06

Engineering Development and Performance of an Integrated Structural Instrument Panel Assembly and Heater-Ventilation-Air-Conditioning Assembly 2000-01-0416

Textron Automotive Trim, Valeo Climate Control, and Torrington Research Company, with assistance from GE Plastics, have developed an integrated instrument panel system to meet ever-increasing industry targets for:
  • Investment and piece-cost reduction;
  • Mass/weight savings;
  • Quality and performance improvements;
  • Packaging and space availability;
  • Government regulation levels; and
  • Innovative technology.
This system, developed through feedback with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, combines the distinctive requirements of the instrument panel (IP) with the heater-ventilation-air-conditioning (HVAC) assembly.
Implementing development disciplines such as benchmarking, brainstorming, and force ranking, a number of concepts were generated and evaluated. Using a current-production, small, multi-purpose vehicle environment, a mainstream concept was designed and engineered. Analytical methodologies such as finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) were employed to evaluate the concept in areas such as occupant protection (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 208), noise-vibration-harshness(NVH), and airflow performance. Based on engineering estimates for cost / weight and completion of engineering analysis / bench testing, this system is expected to offer a net cost and mass savings of 11-16% while maintaining or improving performance. Further cost savings could be realized if savings from logistics and materials handling were included in the calculation.

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