Teamwork can turn great ideas into winning innovations
Front row: 2011 PACE sponsors and winners, left to right: Mike Hanley, Ernst & Young; Peter Brown, Automotive News; Michael Moore, Key Safety Systems; David Cataldi, Janesville Acoustics; James Zizelman, Delphi; Rainer Jueckstock, Federal-Mogul; Sujit Jain, Bosch; Rob Fisher, Takata; Peter Solfrank, Schaeffler Technologies; JD Kehoe, Mahle; Peter Knittl, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors; Craig Bell, Henkel; Steve McKinley, Honeywell; Jeffrey Sprague, Transportation Research Center.
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS
DETROIT -- Automotive innovation starts with original ideas from insightful engineers. But it's usually patient teamwork that turns the ideas into reality, many winners of 2011 Automotive News PACE Awards said last week.
"The hardest thing about new technology isn't thinking of it in the first place -- it's implementing it," said Jerry Brown, chief engineer for global seat and restraint engineering at Ford Motor Co.
He accepted an Innovation Partnership Award for Ford's work with Key Safety Systems to bring the Inflatabelt, an inflatable seat belt, to market on the 2011 Ford Explorer.
Ford and Key shared some patents on Inflatabelt, Brown added. Martin Ryder, vice president for global sales and marketing at Key, said of the partnership with Ford: "We had one team, one plan, one goal."
Twelve PACE Award winners for innovative products or processes were announced onstage, Academy Award-style, at a black-tie event at the elegant Max M. Fisher Music Center in downtown Detroit.
The 12 winners were chosen from 35 finalists by a panel of independent judges.
"PACE" stands for Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contributions to Excellence. The awards are sponsored by Automotive News, Ernst & Young and the Transportation Research Center Inc.
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS
Federal-Mogul was the only supplier to win two awards. It won for two innovations that reduce engine friction and squeeze more miles from a gallon of fuel. As the price of fuel rises and federal mileage standards climb, energy efficiency is attracting billions of dollars of r&d around the globe.
Honeywell Turbo Technologies also won for an efficiency-boosting product, its DualBoost turbocharger for medium-duty diesel engines.
"Without dedication and teamwork, none of this here would have been possible," said Steve McKinley, vice president of engineering-Americas at Honeywell Turbo. The turbocharger first appeared in March 2010 on the Ford 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8.
Peter Solfrank of Schaeffler Technologies said he was surprised when a colleague suggested the company enter the PACE contest with its lightweight engine balance shaft.
"What an absurd idea -- to win for something so simple," said Solfrank, product group manager for rolling bearings and balance shafts in engines.
From the stage, Peter Brown, publisher of Automotive News, replied: "Elegance and simplicity are very good things."
And the winners are ...
Here are the 2011 Automotive News PACE Award winners by category.
Delphi Automotive, Troy, Mich.: Delphi Multec GDi fuel injector
Federal-Mogul Corp., Nuremberg, Germany, and Southfield, Mich.: EcoTough piston coating
Federal-Mogul Corp., Burscheid, Germany, and Southfield, Mich.: Low-friction LKZ oil ring
Henkel Corp., Madison Heights, Mich.: Terophon high-damping foam
Honeywell Turbo Technologies, Torrance, Calif.: Honeywell DualBoost turbocharger for medium-duty diesel engines
Janesville Acoustics, Southfield, Mich.: Molded-fiber instrument panel closeouts with integrated lighting and ducts
Key Safety Systems, Sterling Heights, Mich.: Inflatabelt inflatable seat belt system
Mahle, Stuttgart: Electrical waste gate actuator
OSRAM Opto Semiconductors GmbH, Regensburg, Germany: OSTAR headlamp, LED headlamp light source
Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart: Bosch P2 parallel full hybrid system
Schaeffler Technologies, Troy, Mich.: INA lightweight balance shaft with roller bearings
Takata Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich.: Vacuum folding technology
Chrysler Group and Janesville Acoustics for their partnership on molded-fiber instrument panel closeouts
Ford Motor Co. and Dassault Systemes for their partnership on powertrain digital integration and automation
Ford Motor Co. and Key Safety Systems for their partnership on the Inflatabelt inflatable seat belt system
You can reach Charles Child at email@example.com.