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10-29-2013

SPE Automotive Names Hall of Fame Award Winner

The first integrated front-end module by Ford has been named Hall of Fame Winner (figure: SPE Automotive)

The first North American implementation of an integrated front-end module (FEM) system used on 1996 model year (MY) Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable sedans produced by Ford Motor Co. was selected as the 2013 Hall of Fame winner by the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for the group's 43rd-annual Automotive Innovation Awards Competition.

To be considered for a Hall of Fame award, an automotive-plastic component must have been in continuous service in some form for at least 15 years and preferably have been widely adopted within the automotive or ground-transportation industries. This application certainly meets those criteria: it has been in continuous use on Ford vehicles for 17 years, and as of 2012 it is estimated to have been featured on 5-million Ford Taurus derivative vehicles worldwide, plus has been adapted by other automakers including Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Daimler AG, PSA Peugeot Citroën, and Chrysler Group LLC.

According to SPE Hall of Fame committee co-chair, Nippani Rao, president, Rao & Associates, “The integrated FEM has proliferated widely because polymer composites allow engineers to mold in features and locators, and to integrate a number of previously separate subsystems and functions into a single component that saves money, reduces weight, and provides for faster, more accurate, and less costly assembly."

On November 6 at SPE’s annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala held at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich., USA, Michael Williams, manager-Global Exterior and John A. Young will accept the award on behalf of the original Ford team that worked on the program. Other companies that will be recognized include the original system supplier, Toledo Mold & Die, Inc.; the original molder/processor, Budd Plastic Products (now Continental Structural Plastics); and the original material supplier, Budd Plastics (now Continental Structural Plastics).

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