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Johnson Controls contributes to maximum flexibility, comfort, ergonomics, safety and weight reduction for seats in the Vauxhall Meriva
Burscheid (ots) -
- Cross-reference: Picture is available at http://www.presseportal.de/pm/19526 - Johnson Controls sets standards with innovative seat rail for the new Vauxhall Meriva
Johnson Controls, a global leader in researching, developing, designing and manufacturing high-quality interior components and systems for the automotive sector, is renowned for both its individual and innovative solutions. A recent example of the company's technical expertise is a completely new design: the highly flexible rear seat system for the Vauxhall Meriva, designed by Johnson Controls in cooperation with Vauxhall, which offers comfort and safety, as well as optimized weight savings. The flexible vehicle, which can be easily converted from a five-seater into a four-, three- or even two-seater thanks to the revolutionary, ergonomic design of its unique seating concept, launched production in mid June.
"Our unique angular rail enables the two outer rear seats to be moved not only forward and back, but even diagonally in the interior using just one hand to operate. This gives second row passengers extra leg and shoulder room in the four-seater version," explained Dr. Detlef Jürss, vice president of engineering seating, interiors & systems at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience. "This new and effective design also has enabled us to reduce the weight of the rear seat system by 20 percent compared to the previous model, without having to compromise safety and comfort."
The rear seat glides in one continuous movement on two axes along what is currently the only rail of its kind in automotive construction. The conveniently designed one-handed operation means passengers now require significantly less effort to move the seats while maintaining ergonomic body posture. The first generation of the Vauxhall Meriva, launched in 2003, at that time featured a standard-setting crossbar package, but required a multitude of Bowden cables and levers to slide the rear seat both lengthwise and crosswise. The various adjustment options are now enabled by a single angular rail on each of the outer rear seats. Designed in cooperation with Johnson Controls, this rear seat system in the Vauxhall Meriva called "FlexSpace" is versatility at its best, and unique in this vehicle segment.
Another design highlight is the kinematics of the rear seats, developed by Johnson Controls in cooperation with Vauxhall: when folding down the backrests, the seat cushions are pushed forward by a hinge. At the same time, the front cross beam of the seat adjuster, which also serves as a rotational axis for lowering the seats, provides a deeper loading area and a larger trunk. The total weight of the new seats is reduced by 20 percent compared to the previous model, despite increasing comfort and safety.
This reduction is due in no small part to material savings in specific areas that do not affect the high-strength design of the seat frame. This is made possible by continually using the Finite Element Method (FEM), a computer-based mathematical technique for structural analysis. In addition, the seats are made of lightweight metals and high-strength steel - known as a hybrid seat design introduced by Johnson Controls. The design of the seats and the quality and craftsmanship of the materials also far exceed legislative requirements in passive safety.
Safety a top priority
The reactive head restraints available in the front seats of the new Vauxhall Meriva demonstrate Johnson Controls' expertise in passive safety. In a rear impact collision, the riACT head restraints are mechanically activated within only 25 milliseconds by the weight of the front passengers to protect against whiplash, and automatically return to their initial position making them fully functional again - without the need for a costly and time-consuming trip to the auto repair shop. This same system recently received the best rating ever in this discipline by Euro NCAP in the Vauxhall Astra.
Photos are available online at www.johnsoncontrols.co.uk/press.
About Johnson Controls Automotive Experience
Johnson Controls Automotive Experience is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With more than 200 plants worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors, in over 200 million vehicles.
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Johnson Controls GmbH Automotive Experience
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Fax: +49 2174 65-3219