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04.06.2024

Lightweight Solutions for Automotive Seating Innovation

The future of automotive seating systems is experiencing an epic shift. Vehicle manufactures are racing to win over consumers with enhanced seating functionality, while also meeting safety, lightweighting and cost requirements. Collaboration with tooling experts is proving to be more beneficial than ever in revving up the ultimate in-vehicle experience.

A major benefit of the fineblanking process is effectively reducing vehicle weight without compromising seat functionality or safety. By collaborating with automotive seating engineers, we help them turn conceptual design ideas into workable prototypes that can then be scaled at a record pace.

Function critical components and mechanisms are at the heart of the design of automotive seat structures. With nearly thirty years’ experience in the automotive industry, Feintool delivers solutions to enhance adjustment functionality – even in second and third row seating systems. As a strategic partner in seating design and prototyping, we enable manufacturers to fully scale complex seating mechanisms while meeting lightweighting, safety and cost requirements.

Collaboration: At the heart of our seating innovation

Our highly tailored approach to developing function critical components such as latches, height adjusters, guide plates, seat hearts, cams and pawls allows manufacturers to focus on their core task – the overall seating experience.

Tier one seating suppliers regularly approach Feintool to consult on designs and materials, knowing that we have extensive experience in producing the most complex seating assemblies that meet and exceed all industry standards at the lowest cost possible.

As a collaborative and long-term partner, our fineblanking experts work with seating engineers at the earliest stages of product development – even before the first 3D model is started or prototypes are created. By leveraging our material expertise and production know-how, we work with our customers to increase efficiency by identifying obscure problems that could present themselves in the pre-production phases.

Finite Element Analysis Simulation

After the initial design discussions, Feintool experts employ a finite element analysis (FEA) simulation to optimize the design of the components. The FEA tools developed by Feintool model the flow of metal during the fineblanking process. Specifically, the metallurgical phenomenon particular to this process have been integrated into the tools to predict the effects on the metal during manufacturing.

With its headquarters in Switzerland, Feintool has partnered with some of the most prestigious universities in Europe to refine and improve their FEA tools to streamline our fineblanking production processes. With the concurrent pressures for lightweighting and cost reduction, these simulation tools are critical to producing the most efficient parts possible, saving customers time and money while meeting all the critical functional requirements.

Seat engineers have a distinct advantage with Feintool’s FEA simulation because it eliminates the bouncing back and forth between different designs and CAD models. The tools allow iterations to improve the part design itself, which can then be moved back into the final CAD model for production. What’s more, the FEA simulations conducted by Feintool provide a level of confidence and precision that enables some components to move from design to production without going into prototype or soft tooling.

High-Strength Steel – The Future of Seating Systems

A major benefit of fineblanking processes is effectively reducing vehicle weight without compromising seat functionality or safety. By collaborating with seating engineers, we can minimize part sizes by utilizing stronger materials and complex component geometries.

Crack-free chimneys are a perfect example of Feintool’s prowess in forming high-strength steel. These chimneys have tremendous strength requirements and have become more and more problematic to form with the push to thinner material, smaller parts and higher strength steels. Some parts have chimneys 2.5 times the height of the material thickness and can be formed reliably at high stroke rates. Feintool’s process gives seating designers and engineers more freedom, knowing they can move material this way in an almost plastic, three-dimensional way.

Feintool’s fineblanking processes produce crack-free, high-strength steel components for seating systems to improve safety and reduce material loss.

Cracks in chimneys are always a risk to the integrity of the part with the potential to grow in use and compromise the seat’s structural integrity. Conventionally produced parts can be sorted and checked via a quality control (QC) system, but it comes with increases scrap costs. Producing quality parts consistently with a process a process which is stable and avoids cracking altogether is the best solution.

Curious to learn more our seating solutions?

Be the first to get a free copy of our eBook or contact us today for more details!

Feintool’s new eBook on fineblanking components for automotive seating systems.
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