Mercedes is augmenting its hybrid vehicle offerings with an S Class luxury car that will be a highlight of its 2009 line. The S Class 400 hybrid will use electric motors and a battery pack to augment its 3.5l, six-cylinder engine. That battery pack will be supplied by Johnson Controls-Saft, a joint agreement between the suppliers of automotive components and batteries, respectively. The battery supplier will also provide the control system that makes sure its lithium-ion batteries operate safely over a long lifetime. Initial performance specifications for the 400 claim mileage in excess of 40 mpg, a high level for a luxury vehicle.
Design collaboration now includes the entire value chain. From suppliers to customers, purchasing to outside experts, the collaborative design team includes internal and external groups. The design process now stretches across the globe in multiple software formats.
A new high-pressure injection-molding technology produces near-net shape parts with 2-inch-thick walls from high-performance materials like PEEK, PAI, and carbon-filled polymers. Parts show no voids, sinks, or porosity, have more consistent mechanical properties, and are stronger.
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