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SPE Names Winners at 34th Annual Innovation Awards Program

12 November 2004

The Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) announced the winners of its 2004 Innovation Awards at its 34th annual SPE Innovation Awards Program dinner held November 10 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

More than six hundred industry executives and trade media attended the premier recognition event for the automotive plastics industry, which honoured eleven significant industry innovations, engineering excellence, and two industry executives for their industry and lifetime leadership.

Key honourees included:
Grand-Award Winner: 2005 Ford Mustang – Door Panel With Integrated Acoustic Chamber
Engineering Excellence Award: Porsche Carrera GT
Executive Leadership Award: Jim Padilla, Ford Motor Company
Lifetime Leadership Award: Tom Moore, retired vice president, Liberty and Technical Affairs, DaimlerChrysler
Hall of Fame Award: Ford Escort Bumper Box Beam

The Grand Award, signifying “best-in-show,” was presented to Ford Motor Company for the 2005 Ford Mustang and its one-piece door trim with integrated acoustic chamber and subwoofer. The new 1 piece design provides significantly better audio performance and saves more than 18 pounds per vehicle.

The Engineering Excellence Award was given to Porsche for the development of a carbon fibre engine frame and ceramic matrix composite clutch plate on the 2005 Carrera GT.

“The engineering expertise demonstrated in the Porsche Carrera GT is outstanding,” said Cole. “Under the skin it is quintessentially Porsche, sporting an engine that exceeds 600 horsepower.” The combined chassis (monocoque design) and first-ever carbon fibre engine frame of the Carerra GT comprises the backbone of the car, which delivers chassis stiffness at an extremely low weight (45 lbs.) - a breakthrough for both motorsport and production vehicles; and remarkably, it meets worldwide regulatory standards. The carbon fibre engine cradle, when compared with alternative materials, offers significant weight savings and performance benefits. It is a key factor in the car’s outstanding occupant safety, accomplished through buffering the rear impact deformation needs. “This innovation, combined with the carbon fibre ceramic clutch, Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch (PCCC), enables the engine to be positioned significantly lower in the vehicle which yields the ultra-low centre of gravity and allows this vehicle to be driven safely at high speed with astounding handling,” said Cole. “This innovative duo demonstrates the tremendous future that exists for the continued growth of plastics, not only in high performance cars, but throughout the entire automotive industry.”





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