The recyclable under-floor module uses glass-filled polypropylene shields and baffles, and aluminum thermal components to improve aerodynamics, acoustics, and thermodynamics. A hinged, articulated construction simplifies access to servicable components.
The underside of almost any car is typically a hodgepodge of unrelated components. Even the hottest Ferrari isn't much to look at when viewed from underneath—just a jumble of exhaust pipes, driveline and front-end parts, some heat shields, brake lines, fuel lines, emergency brake cables, and areas of acoustical coating.
Though the structure had never been considered a system before, Rieter engineers elected to design an integrated under-floor module. Their goals? Reduce the coefficient of drag by at least 10% to improve fuel economy; improve acoustical performance by eliminating wind noise; remove several pounds of sprayed-on PVC coatings; reduce in-car floor temperatures at least 15%; and design a system that's 100% end-of-life recyclable and doesn't create any major service impediments.
The resulting module includes an under-floor panel that covers most of the vehicle's underside, heat shields in strategically located positions, air-inlet vents for efficient engine cooling, wheelhouses that aerodynamically route air flow, and a streamlined spare-wheel well. Approximately 500,000 production vehicles currently use Rieter's under-floor module, most notably the Mercedes A class. The company projects that nearly 4 million units will be in production vehicles by 2006.
At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.