Impact of Plastics on Automotive Applications and Their Role in Enabling Technology Innovation 2000-01-3164
Automotive manufacturers are driving for improvement, creativity and innovation in vehicle systems in order to differentiate products in the global market. Progress in fuel efficiency, occupant safety, comfort, recyclable friendly pre-assembled modular systems, and novel manufacturing methods is difficult to achieve if no major departure from the traditional design, engineering, material mix, and assembly approaches is considered. More importantly, these benefits will not materialize unless the relationship between automotive manufacturers and suppliers changes, allowing suppliers to take a more active role in the vehicle development process. The present paper explores achievements made towards the development of new, innovative technologies to address simplification and overall performance improvements using non-traditional materials.