Fully Integrated Structural Instrument Panel System 940652

The first fully integrated structural instrument panel significantly reduces the cost, weight and part count of a conventional instrument panel. The structural design consists of a cross-car beam/duct, retainer, and knee bolsters. Part integration and consolidation, use of ductile engineering thermoplastics, and the total system design are all contributors to the success of reducing cost and weight. A cost savings of $1.3 million in tooling and $500,000 in manufacturing were achieved with a weight savings of 6.0 pounds per vehicle.
The new instrument panel design effectively meets the requirements of Federal Legislation for occupant protection (FMVSS 208).
All parts are molded from the same ductile engineering thermoplastic, which enhances the potential for economical disassembly and recycling.
The fully integrated structural instrument panel system was developed for the 1994 Buick Roadmaster Platform, as shown in Figure 1. The system consists of a structural cross-car member, which acts as a cross-car beam and duct, a structural retainer and structural driver, and passenger side knee bolsters.


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