1998-02-23

Modular Headliner Systems: Opportunities and Challenges for Today and Tomorrow 980941

The processes used to design and assemble the modern passenger car/truck are undergoing major evolutionary changes which reflect the competitive pressures to become more and more efficient. Efficiencies in this context translates to: Fast to Market (Concept to Product) Reduced Assembly Time/Resources (OEM Plants) Flexibility in the Product Mix (OEM Plants) Reduced OEM Structural Costs (Engineering) One of the prime tactics to support these strategies is to design and source certain groups of related components to be installed as a complete subsystem called a module. One such system is the Overhead Systems Module or more commonly a Modular Headliner System.This paper will discuss the various aspects of Modular Headliners from the perspective of an OEM. We will define specifically what we mean by “Modularity” for Overhead Systems and why they are significant in our current and future planning. We will describe our expectations of the supplier community to supply a much more complex and sophisticated product than heretofore. We will also discuss what we perceive to be special requirements which need to be addressed for these systems such as: Better Retention Systems Greatly Improved Substrate Toughness Improved Structure Better Planning and Program Management Along with these module requirements we will suggest some internal constraints that we (OEM's) must address and will solicit further inputs.

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