SPE Innovation Award

Society of Plastics Engineer’s (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards program is the world’s oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. Each year the combined ingenuity and creativity of the automotive engineers, designers, and their suppliers yield the latest and best results of the dynamic nature of the automotive industry.

Many teams submit nominations describing their part, system, or complete vehicle module and why it merits the claim as the year’s Most Innovative Use of Plastics. This year Ford took home the SPE award in the Body Exterior category on the 2016 Super Duty pickup partly in thanks to the injection molded, all-composite GOR/front-end module bolster, supplied by Shape Corp.

“We are very excited and pleased to be recognized for this award. This is a great example of both up and downstream collaboration and partnership with our material supplier, and customer, to come up with an award winning product. This win demonstrates how Shape can showcase our expertise in this type of product, from design, to analysis, to manufacturing,” shared Mark Liberatore, director of the Ford business unit.

The application featured Celstran 40-20 black long-fiber thermoplastic (LFT) polypropylene (PP) and was produced via injection molding. This all-composite design, without metallic reinforcement, is the first active grille shutter (AGS)-capable, injection-molded LFT-PP front-end module (FEM) bolster used on a heavy-duty pickup platform. Replacing steel and plastic-metal hybrids, the design offers part consolidation with locating features that aid fit and finish, improve airflow, while meeting structural requirements.

Congratulations to the Ford team, the Comstock plant and all who were involved in this accomplishment.