13 Suppliers Take Home PACE Innovation Awards
The winners of this year’s Automotive News PACE Awards (Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contribution to Excellence) for innovation consisted of 13 suppliers from North America, Europe and Asia.
The group was pared from 28 finalists, including two that received multiple nominations.
Jaguar I-Pace features American Axle’s electric driveline. (Image: JLR)
Now in its 26th year, the annual awards are judged by a panel of independent experts based on product innovation and market impact. Winners are recognized for improving vehicle safety and performance, reducing environmental impact and providing greater mobility options.
The awards are co-sponsored by AN, Deloitte, Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Assn. and the Canadian government.
Tenneco Powertrain, which was created last year as a spinoff from the merged operations of Tenneco and Federal-Mogul, was the only repeat winner from 2019. Last year, it took home two awards (one for an aluminum alloy used to produce diesel pistons and another for a predictive software tool).
The full list of 2020 supplier honorees and their product or process innovations are:
- American Axle and Manufacturing: Electric driveline
- Continental Structural Plastics: CarbonPro pickup box
- Delphi Technologies: DiFlex integrated circuit
- Ejot Fastening Systems: Ejoweld friction element welding
- Gentex: Integrated toll module
- Lear: Xevo commerce and service platform
- Magna Exteriors: Composite space frame
- Marelli: H-Digi lighting module
- Mobileye: Road experience management system
- Schaeffler: Compact transmission for e-axle application
- Stoneridge Electronics: MirrorEye camera monitor system
- Tenneco Powertrain: IROX 2 bearing coating
- Valeo: XtraVue trailer
OEM Partnership Winners
In addition to the individual supplier awards, two carmakers won Innovation Partnership awards.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette (Image: Chevy)
General Motors was selected for its partnership with Grand Haven, Mich.-based Shape Corp. to develop the industry’s first curved carbon fiber bumper on the all-new C8 Chevrolet Corvette. The pultruded multi-hollow, thin-wall design allowed engineers to customize the material through various fiber types and orientations, while significantly reducing mass, according to the supplier.
Jaguar Land Rover was honored for its partnership with American Axle and Manufacturing to create an electric driveline for the 2020 Jaguar I-Pace crossover. JLR assisted AAM in overcoming packaging, cooling, electronics and NVH issues.
AN notes that the 2020 awards come at a moment of heightened awareness of the role played by automotive supply chains and their “can-do culture” in the wake of the coronavirus and other global uncertainties.
"The tempo of innovation has quickened," said J Ferron, director of PACE judging. "New materials, processes and business models are reshaping the industry's value chain."
The awards ceremony, which usually is held in conjunction with SAE International’s annual WCX engineering conference in Detroit, was presented virtually this year. WCX was canceled last month due to the coronavirus.
Remember those Saturn commercials showing shopping carts bouncing harmlessly off of plastic body panels? Good idea, right? But apparently the approach never really caught on. Now the question is: will it ever?
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.