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Enlighten Awards:


Lighter Land Rover Leads Pack


Governments across the globe are requiring automakers to meet strict new fuel economy targets—a daunt- ing 54.5 mpg by 2025 in the US—and OEMs have quickly realized that they must adopt radically different methods for building vehicles. Foremost is the need for every vehicle to reduce weight as a strategy for improving mileage and thereby decreasing emissions. Recognizing the critical importance


of lightweighting, Altair ProductDesign created the Altair Enlighten Award in 2012, honoring exceptional innovations across the auto industry that contribute to the design and engineering of lighter cars and trucks. Te Enlighten Award winner for 2014 is Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) for the development and imple- mentation of its premium lightweight architecture design concept. JLR’s holistic approach to lower


emissions combines weight reduction in the body, chassis and powertrain with maximum use of recycled materials and an overall lower carbon footprint for the vehicle. Te body and chassis are constructed primarily of aluminum, magnesium and plastics (both compos- ites and thermoplastics) with the aim of cutting weight by 40% compared with conventional steel, spot-welded bodies. As a result, the newest Range Rover


body weighs just 658 lb (296 kg), far less than the 1096-lb (493-kg) body of the previous model. Moreover the chassis weight has dropped by 154 lb (69 kg) and the powertrain by 287 lb (129 kg). To support the use of lightweight


materials, JLR created new computer- aided engineering techniques for the simulation of crash, durability and


noise-vibration-harshness attributes, as well as new manufacturing simulation methods for stamping, casting and join- ing lightweight structures.


The Enlighten Awards honor ex- ceptional innovations across the auto industry that contribute to the design and engineering of lighter cars and trucks.


Such computer-based simulations


increasingly focus on a dual-prong strategy of not only evaluating the use of lighter materials but also actually removing material from the design. Op- timization tools, like Altair’s OptiStruct, generate revolutionary options that literally punch holes in conventional designs, reshape the topography and thickness of structures, and eliminate all nonessential material without sacrificing durability or performance. Te runner-up in the 2014 En-


lighten Award competition was Dow Automotive Systems and its Betamate bonding product applied to Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks. A two-part epoxy, Betamate is the industry’s first material engineered to enable a new automated robotic process for untreated aluminum bonding. Tat capability has allowed for a 20-lb (9-kg) weight reduction and cost savings for truck cabins. Dow also was a finalist in the com-


petition for its epoxy structural adhesive for the Chevrolet Corvette and for a Corvette crash-durable adhesive. Other finalists and their innovations included: • Grede Holdings: lightweight spring hanger bracket casting for Freightliner


• Continental Structural Plastics: composite outer body panels for the


Chevrolet Corvette


• Lanxess: highly reinforced polyam- ide front-end carrier for the Skoda Octavia


• Mahle North America: lightweight connecting rod for the Polaris Indian Motorcycle


• Maruti Suzuki India: rear-engine mounting bracket for the Maruti Alto


• Multimatic: steel front lower control arm for the Chevrolet Impala


• SABIC: optimized instrument panel for the Jeep Cherokee


• Shiloh Industries: acoustic panel laminate for the Cadillac ATS. Each of these new approaches to de-


sign, engineering and materials reflects the intent of the Altair Enlighten Award to honor the greatest achievements in weight savings as a means to inspire interest from industry, engineers, poli- cymakers, educators, students and the public. Altair believes the contest will continue to spur competition for new ideas in the industry and provide an in- centive to share technological advances. Further, the strategies now being


integrated into automotive design— both material substitution and mate- rial removal—have applications to many other industries, with aerospace, defense, electronics, construction, ar- chitectural design and consumer goods among them. Designers in any field who value lighter-weight products can find valuable examples and insights among those who have competed for the Altair Enlighten Award. For more about the creative designs submitted to the com- petition over the past two years, as well as news about progress in lightweight- ing, visit www.altairenlighten.com.


Motorized Vehicle Manufacturing 25 Dave Mason


Vice President, Global Automotive Altair Engineering Troy, MI


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