Multi-material Approach with Integrated Joining Technologies in the New Volvo S80
In May 1998 Volvo launched its most exclusive car model so far, the Volvo S80, which is aimed to compete with upper luxury segment products. The car is produced in the new production facility in the Torslanda plant in Sweden. Among the more highlighted features were a transversely mounted in-line six cylinder engine with a specially designed gearbox, electronic multiplex technology with 18 computers in the network, and safety features like stability and traction control (STC), front seats with integrated antiwhiplash system (WHIPS) and inflatable curtain (IC) for improved side impact protection. To fulfill the product's high demands on safety, quality and environmental care, the design, materials selection and assembly of the car body with high precision had to be very carefully engineered. As in previous product-/process development a holistic and concurrent engineering approach was necessary.