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DENSO Corp.

Highly standardized automotive HVAC control unit

Conventional vehicle climate control (HVAC) modules have been designed and tailored for each vehicle to utilize remaining space in the crowded area behind the instrument panel. This has resulted in a myriad of product designs, and a significant barrier to efficient engineering and manufacturing. DENSO has developed a new HVAC unit named COA that can be used in a wide range of vehicles from compact to luxury with the benefits of standardization. The unit achieves this standardization through a "stretchable" design that divides the unit into 3 parts and varies the width of the center section per varying vehicle demands while maintaining commonality for the units on each end. This standardization results in significant reduction in engineering costs, up to 70% unique part reduction for a design, and much greater manufacturing efficiency. The HVAC unit also achieves over a 20% reduction in size, mass, noise and power consumption for best in class metrics. This is accomplished through an innovative architecture that features a split airflow path which reduces velocity and air pressure through positioning of the evaporator and heater cores, and through numerous other patented features such as sliding Air Mix doors which regulate the cabin temperature. Production was launched with Toyota and 4 other OEMS have planned its adoption to date. Congratulations to DENSO for creating a new standard for HVAC design.