SPE announces finalists for Innovation Awards

Finalists have been announced for the annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition. The winners will be announced at the Awards Gala on Nov. 20.

The Society for Plastics Engineers (SPE) has announced the finalists for the 38th-annual SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competition – the oldest and largest recognition event in the automotive and plastics industries. After a pre-qualification round, surviving nominating teams presented their applications before a panel of automotive and plastics industry members during a two-day judging on Oct. 8 and 9. From there, finalists advanced to the next round before the Blue Ribbon Judging panel on Oct. 15, at which time category and the Grand Award winners were selected for 2008. These will be announced during SPE’s annual Automotive Innovation Awards Gala on Nov. 20, a night dedicated to celebrating innovation in automotive plastics and the hardworking teams of automakers and suppliers who make such innovation possible.  

According to Automotive Innovation Awards program chair, Maria Ciliberti of Ticona, “This year’s pool of nominations was especially creative in terms of both design and the use of plastic materials, so the judges sent a larger-than-usual number of finalists forward to the next round of judging.  The Blue Ribbon Judges had their work cut out for them trying to select just one winner each category.” 

The finalists selected from this year’s pool of nominations were as follows:

Body Exterior

-Ford Flex CUV, acrylic appliques with Securecode invisible keypad

-Dodge Ram pickup, cargo management system

-Ford Escape SUV, integrated Rocker molding/running board system

Body Interior

-Ford Flex CUV, integrated frefrigerator/rear-floor console

-Ford Flex CUV, integrated floor shifter/front console

-Ford Focus, TPO for hard seamless passener airbag applications

-Ford Flex CUV, integrated roof shade/auxilliary AC duct/headliner reinforcement

-Ford Escape SUV, open-face floor console with flexible storage

-Ford Falcon Limited Edition, overmolded, hydroformed structural front end module

-Ford Flex CUV, Escape SUF, F150 pickup, Mercury MKS sedan, capless refueling system with mis-fuel inhibitor

-Mercedes Benz C Class, oil pan module

-Ford Mustang, soy foam automotive seat cushions

-GMC Envoy, Chevrolet Trailblazer SUVs, recycled TPO air inlet panel/leaf screen


-Ford Flex CUV, long-glass PP for first-surface overhead console

-Ford Flex CUV, rear footwell ambient lighting

-Saab 9-7X SUV, TPE for slush molding of IP skins 

-International TranStar Class 8 truck, low-mass SMC heavy-truck hoods

Performance & Customization

-Dodge Viper ACR sports car, adjustable epoxy/carbon fiber composite rear wing

-Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 sports care, hood assembly with dual-weave carbon fiber composites

-Chevrolet Corvette IR1, exposed-weave carbon fiber composite roof assembly

Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies  

-BMW 7 Series sedans, twin-sheet blowmolded fuel system

-Ford F-Series pickups, infraweld headliner assembly

-Ford Lincoln MKS sedan, air-extractor grille

-Hyundai Avante, front grille with insert-molded chrome paintfilm


-Ford Focus, polystyrene foam for head-impact protection

-Ford Motor Co., various models, expanded polypropylene foam head-restraint core for FMVSS-202A

This year’s SPE Automotive Innovation Awards gala will be held at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich. on Nov. 20. All nominations accepted for this year’s competition will be on display at the event with signage explaining their innovations. For more information about the Automotive Innovation Awards Competition and Gala, or to
download nomination forms and rules, visit the SPE Automotive Division’s website at www.speautomotive.com/inno.htm, or call (248) 244-8993.