Innovation at auto suppliers is enjoying a renaissance as automakers rely on suppliers to control costs, improve fuel economy and boost quality.
Here are summaries of 32 finalists and 14 winners of the 2012 Automotive News PACE Awards, which honor commercialized innovations in products, processes and information technology.
Honeywell Turbo Technologies
What: High-temperature turbocharger with special ball bearings
Innovation: Honeywell’s turbocharger uses two key technologies to improve performance. First, the turbocharger design reduces friction with ceramic ball bearings on steel raceways. Second, it operates at turbine inlet temperatures as high as 1,580 degrees Fahrenheit, in part by using a special combination of iron and steel. The high temperature provides increased midrange torque and high maximum power.
First customer: Mercedes-Benz diesel engines, 2010