WINNER: Hidden panels add value
What: Molded fiber closeout panel
Innovation: Janesville uses molded fiber rather than plastic for a variety of closeout panels under vehicle instrument panels. These parts, which include occupant lighting features, are less expensive, easier to assemble, and reduce noise without glued-on sound absorbers.
First customer: Chrysler LX cars, 2005
Web site: janesvilleacoustics.com
From the judges’ citation: Janesville Acoustics has produced an innovative solution for closing the underside of instrument panels that is lighter and less expensive than competing parts. The closeout combines noise blocking, noise adsorption, aimed lighting and improved HVAC distribution.