The market forces of competition, cost, safety, fuel economy and comfort are demanding changes in the way we are designing the automobile seat. Most vehicles today are designed with the safety belts anchored directly to the floor pan, pillars and doors. Power adjustments, pneumatic lumbar, armrests, headrests and cushion extensions have been added to promote safety, comfort and convenience, but also increase cost and complexity.
Having done all of this, there is still more we can do. Traditionally seats are designed with a fixed relationship between the seat back and seat cushions. Some technologists have been experimenting with an alternate form of seating construction called the Split Frame approach to seat design. This approach decouples the seat cushion from the seat back frame. By so doing, seat construction can be made both lighter and stronger. Moreover, experienced seat experts say that it may even be less expensive and lighter weight than the conventional approach. This paper addresses the concept of Split Frame seat construction and through the QFD process and clinical studies, quantifies the potential benefits to the consumer.