Canadian Manufacturing

Altair announces winners of its vehicle lightweighting and sustainability design award

The award recognizes the automotive industry's most impressive sustainable engineering initiatives, all in an effort to cut CO2 emissions.

August 4, 2021  by CM Staff

Winner, Sustainable Process – Faurecia, NAFILean Stiff is a polypropylene compound that uses 20 percent bio-sourced contents and is 100 percent recyclable.

TROY — Altair, a company involved in converging simulation, HPC, and AI, announces the winners of the 9th annual Altair Enlighten Award. Presented in partnership with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), the award recognizes the automotive industry’s most impressive sustainable engineering initiatives, focusing on lightweighting and the use of innovative materials, technologies, and techniques to cut CO2 emissions.

“The 2021 Enlighten Award once again shines a light on the inspiring work of automotive engineers worldwide. Now more than ever, sustainability and emissions reduction are critical challenges not just for the automotive sector, but society as a whole,” said James R. Scapa, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, Altair. “By enabling unprecedented convergence of simulation, data analytics, and high-performance computing, Altair is proud to continue to celebrate and power lightweighting initiatives around the globe as automotive organizations transform pioneering ideas into production-ready solutions more quickly and efficiently.”

The full list of winning projects, runners-up, and honourable mentions include:

Sustainable Product – Vehicle

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  • Winner: Ford Motor Company, 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E – The all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E emits zero CO2 while driving

Sustainable Product – Component

  • Winner: Magna International, 2019 RAM 1500 Active Air Deflector and Grille Shutters – Using lightweight, cost-effective, and 78 percent recyclable plastics, the RAM 1500 Active Air Deflector and Grille Shutters reduce drag by nine percent for better fuel economy.
  • Runner-up: SAIC GM Wuling Automobile Co, Ltd., for the Wuling Victory ­– To help achieve both lightweighting and safety goals, the Victory design features increased use of high strength steel, ultra-strength steel, and hot forming process on body in white. The whole vehicle weight is reduced by 61.5 kg, enabling an improvement in fuel consumption of 0.2L/100km.

Sustainable Process

  • Winner: Faurecia, NAFILean Stiff – NAFILean Stiff is a polypropylene compound that uses 20 percent bio-sourced contents and is 100 percent recyclable. NAFILean Stiff is the latest innovation of the NAFILean family. Implemented since 2013 in 17 production vehicles since 2013, the NAFILean Family stands to benefit a fleet of 14 million vehicles.
  • Runner up: Henkel, PALLUMINA™ Metal Pretreatment Process – Used in the production of the 2021 Toyota Tacoma and Tundra, PALLUMINA provides significant sustainability advantages compared to conventional processes, including eliminating the use of heavy metal phosphates, reducing sludge generation up to 90 percent, and decreasing the use of water up to 50 percent.

Lightweighting Enabling Technology

  • Winner: ArcelorMittal, FORTIFORM® 980GI Next Generation Steel – Combining high ductility for complex shapes with higher levels of strength for improved safety, FORTIFORM® 980GI offers potential weight savings of up to 20 percent.
  • Runner-up: JAC Group, JAC SOL A5, Fastback Sports Car – JAC Group established an integrated, simulation-driven design process for body structural design. Applying a multi-disciplinary approach that also embraced safety, noise, vibration, harshness (NVH) and durability, a reduction in whole vehicle weight of 106.3 kg was achieved.

Module Lightweighting

  • Winner: Stellantis, 2021 Jeep® Grand Cherokee Composite Tunnel Reinforcement (partners: Stellantis, BASF, L&L Products) – The industry-first Jeep Grand Cherokee Composite Tunnel Reinforcement is designed to carry a critical load path and achieves a 40 percent weight savings on the component itself, and a further 20 percent on the subsystem. The total weight savings per vehicle is 2.08 kg and is combined with lower costs for both the component and initial tooling.
  • Runner-up: Rassini Suspensiones, Lightweight Multi-Material Leaf Spring – The Lightweight Multi-Material ‘Hybrid’ Leaf Spring uses GFRP composite materials and HP-RTM manufacturing technology which enables a 30 percent weight savings over the previous product generation.

Future of Lightweighting

  • Winner: American Axle & Manufacturing, Electric Drive Unit (eDU) – AAM’s eDU saves more than 25 percent in mass compared to similar units on the market. Integrating the electric machine, gearbox, and inverter in a compact package, it also demonstrates a higher power-to-weight ratio than competitor products.
  • Runner-up: Shiloh Industries, Aluminum Curvilinear Laser Welded Blank – Representing the industry’s first ever aluminum curvilinear laser welded blank, this one-part, one-stamping solution eliminates four original parts. In a typical liftgate, for example, this results in a 16 percent weight reduction. At 5.3 kg per vehicle, that would mean a total savings of three million kg of aluminum per annum, based on a 300,000-vehicle production volume. In addition, potential cost savings of $18 per vehicle are realized.


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