23rd June 2017 by Richard Yen
Judging for this year’s Enlighten Award is now well underway and we’ll now our winners in just a few weeks time. But before then, let’s continue our look back at the 2016 Altair Enlighten Award with something a little different to our traditional nominations, concerning an electronic device rather than a structural component or system.
Submitted by Faurecia Interior Systems, its DecoDisplay is a smart HMI (human machine interface) surface which was to be deployed in the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia, a lightweight design award winner in its own right.
The company designed the display unit with a black panel between the decorative elements of the device and the TFT (thin-film-transistor) screen itself, allowing the display to be visible only when it is turned on. The design also enabled the team to optimize the space between the display and the decorative parts around it. The integration of a display within a decoration part in this manner allowed Faurecia to fix both components in one whole piece, contrary to have 2 pieces with an empty space between which would require a larger structural housing, achieving a weight saving over the original design of the HMI system. As a system within the car’s cockpit area, this improvement in weight had to be achieved while taking into account driver and passenger safety, satisfying the necessary head Impact test.
Although Faurecia was unable to point to an exact weight saving achieved with this new design, the case study proved very interesting for our judging panel and demonstrated the extent that suppliers are going to in order to trim weight from the components and systems they’re installing in today’s vehicles.