European suppliers Valeo and Schaeffler as well as the European arms of U.S.-based partsmakers Delphi and Federal-Mogul were big winners at the 2012 Automotive News PACE Awards.
The four companies, as well as other 2012 PACE Award-winning suppliers, will be recognized during the Automotive News Europe Congress on Thursday.
Valeo, Schaeffler, Delphi and Federal-Mogul were winners this year because their products help reduce emissions, which is crucial to automakers racing to meet tougher pollution standards in Europe, the United States and other major markets.
France's Valeo won a PACE Award for its AquaBlade wiper system, which debuts on the new Mercedes-Benz SL. The adaptive windshield washer system, which is called VisioBlade in some markets because of trademark issues, uses internal ducting and a smart pump to distribute washer fluid along the leading edge of the blade. The system helps improve the cleaning performance of the wipers while using half the fluid of conventional systems.
By choosing AquaBlade, Mercedes was able to reduce the washer reservoir in the SL by 1.7 liters, which resulted in a weight loss of 1.7kg. Lighter cars use less fuel and produce fewer emissions.
Schaeffler Technologies of Germany won two PACE Awards (see full list, below) for its UniAir fully variable valve lift system, which improves engine efficiency and reduces CO2 by optimizing the fresh air charge entering into the combustion chamber.
Schaeffler's UniAir technology is a key part of Fiat's MultiAir engine system, which provides up to 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency while also cutting CO2 output by the same level. The technology is in variants of the Fiat 500.
Delphi also won two PACE Awards, both thanks to help from Europe. The U.S. supplier's team based in Wuppertal, Germany, took home a PACE Award for its L-Shape crimp for 0.13 mm² wire. The L-Shape Crimp enables automakers to use smaller, lighter wire resulting in substantial material and weight savings in the wiring harness, which is one of the heaviest parts in the vehicle. Delphi's other PACE Award was for its thermal multiport folded tube condenser, which is quicker and easier to make than extruded tube systems. Other advantages include reduced weight and less vibration. The multiport folded tube condenser was developed by Delphi's team in Ostrow, Poland.
Help from Germany
U.S.-based Federal-Mogul won a PACE Award for its two-dimensional ultrasonic testing for raised gallery aluminum diesel pistons with an assist from its team in Nuremberg, Germany. The new testing method has helped Federal-Mogul's customers reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by about 30 percent.