18 suppliers selected for their innovations

Eighteen finalists have been selected for the 2002 Automotive News PACE Awards.

The eighth annual program, co-sponsored with Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, honors innovation by auto suppliers in five categories. Winners will be chosen by an independent panel of judges and will be announced on March 3.

In addition, eight suppliers have earned honorable mentions from the judges for the 2002 awards.

PACE stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contributions to Excellence.

Here are the categories, finalists and honorable mentions:


BASF Corp.

Southfield, Mich.

For Dynaseal sealer

Dynaseal sealer, cured with ultraviolet light and heat, seals sheet-molded composite surfaces and prevents the outgassing of volatile materials from the composite when subsequent paint layers are cured.

Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., Delco Electronics Systems Division

Kokomo, Ind.

For Passive Occupant Detection System

This sensor system rates front-seat passengers by data such as seated weight and seat belt tension.

The system, which relies primarily on fluid-filled bladder technology, helps adjust airbag deployment and seat-belt performance in vehicle crashes.

Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems

Saginaw, Mich.

For Quadrasteer

The Quadrasteer four-wheel steering system, a combination of front-wheel and rear-wheel steering systems, is designed to improve the handling of full-sized vehicles such as pickups, vans and sport-utilities.

Gentex Corp.

Zeeland, Mich.

For Active Light-Sensing technology

The technology centers on a digital light sensor that provides accurate measurements of light levels and responds to changes quickly. The technology will replace traditional light-sensing photocells for Gentex mirrors.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

Akron, Ohio

For Goodyear Wrangler MT/R (Maximum Traction/Reinforced)

The MT/R is a durable off-road tire for pickups and sport-utilities. The tire, which uses a silica compound, was designed to work well in both off-road conditions and highway driving.

POM Group Inc.

Auburn Hills, Mich.

For Direct Metal Deposition for tooling construction, reconfiguration and restoration

This tool repair technology updates

existing metal tooling by using an in-dustrial laser beam and a stream of powdered metal. It reduces time to market by eliminating prototype tooling.

PPG Industries Inc.

Troy, Mich.

For FrameCoat electrocoating

FrameCoat is a high-temperature-resistant coating that meets automakers’ 10-year corrosion-protection requirements on hot-rolled steel and cast-iron chassis components.



Metzeler Automotive Profile Systems

Lindau, Germany

Madison Heights, Mich.

For AFTS anti-pinch sensor

This sensor protects consumers from getting pinched by automatic door and window closure systems by sensing resistance and reversing door or window operation.

Rieter Automotive Systems AG

Winterthur, Switzerland

For Rieter underfloor module

This plastic underfloor replaces sprayed-on PVC protection and reduces fuel consumption, weight, and interior and exterior noise.

Robert Bosch Corp.

Stuttgart, Germany

Farmington Hills, Mich.

For Bosch Aero-Twin windshield wiper assembly

This assembly provides benefits such as wiper blade noise reduction, increased blade life and reduced wiper assembly weight.

ZF Group

Kressbronn, Germany

Florence, Ky.

For six-speed automatic transmissions

These transmissions are designed to replace existing five-speed systems. Compared to current five-speed automatic transmissions, they have higher torque capacity and fewer parts, and weigh less.


Manugistics Group Inc.

Rockville, Md.

For Internet-enabled order-to-delivery solution

This Internet system allows automakers to collaborate with deal

ers to create vehicle production plans and dealer orders.

SupplySolution Inc.

Southfield, Mich.

For i-Supply Service

This is a subscription-based Internet product that allows suppliers to view and analyze their buyer’s inventory levels and usage in real time.


Osram Opto Semiconductors

Northville, Mich.

For white LED interior lighting theme for future luxury sport-utility

Osram worked with a U.S. automaker to use white LED lighting to develop a brand theme and color specification.

Siemens VDO Automotive

Automotive Information and Cockpit Div.

Baben Hausen, Germany

Siemens VDO Automotive Smart Cockpit

Siemens had total responsibility for this cockpit module, which was developed for the Mercedes Smart car. The project reduced development and vehicle assembly time.

Johnson Controls Inc.

Plymouth, Mich.

For structural instrument panel/ cockpit module

Johnson Controls worked with Jeep engineers to create a module for the Jeep Liberty. The module carries complete cockpit content during manufacturing, shipping and assembly into the vehicle.


Engineous Software Inc.

Cary, N.C.


The software solves design problems by taking elements of good solutions and reshuffling them to find the best answer. It is used for applications such as reducing vehicle mass while maintaining safety targets and lowering exhaust emissions.

Johnson Controls Inc.

Plymouth, Mich.

For NexCommerce

The supplier’s customers, suppliers and employees can access real-time information from the NexCommerce Internet portals. The system focuses on improving speed and execution in areas such as product design and engineering, supply-chain management, purchasing and manufacturing.


Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., Delphi Delco Electronics Systems

Kokomo, Ind.

For Tech 2000 powertrain controllers

The controller can be mounted on the engine, in the engine compartment or in the passenger compartment, giving automakers flexibility.

They are as much as one-third the volume and weight of their predecessors, and are designed to operate at higher temperatures and survive higher vibration levels.

First Technology

Automotive and Special Products

Standish, Maine

For windshield moisture sensor

This sensor detects condensation on the inside surface of a vehicle’s window. It is intended to be used to control the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to provide a fog-free surface.

MSC Laminates and Composites Inc.

Elk Grove Village, Ill.

For Quiet Steel dash panel

Quiet Steel consists of two metal layers surrounding a viscoelastic-damping layer to lessen noise and vibration. The product is used on the instrument panel of the 2002 Ford Explorer.

Tenneco Automotive Inc.

Lake Forest, Ill.

For Fixed Stabilizer Bar Gripper

This sealed assembly improves the stabilizer bar’s durability and eliminates the potential for noise.

Valeo Wiper Systems

Auburn Hills, Mich.

For Valeo Wear Indicator

A sticker placed on the main bow of the wiper blade contains a sensor that indicates when it is time to change the wiper blades.

Visteon Corp.

Dearborn, Mich.

For negative vacuum thermoformed thermoplastic olefin instrument panel

Negative vacuum thermoform-

ing provides superior grain qual-

ity and decreases cycle times,

compared with results from other

forming methods.

Eaton Corp.


For Worldwide Interactive Supplier Performance Evaluation Resource (WISPER)

WISPER is a Web application that allows employees and suppliers to view and manage quality, delivery and other supply chain management information globally.

TRW Chassis Systems

Fenton, Mich.

For supplier managed inventory Web camera

This Web camera allows consignment suppliers to view their inventory at TRW.

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