Lear Announces New Seating System with 25lb Weight Savings; ECO Fabrics from 100% Recycled Plastic Bottles and Polyester Yarn
20 May 2010
|The Evolution Seat. Click to enlarge.|
Lear has developed a technologically advanced seating system it calls The Evolution Seat that integrates seven patented technologies that reduce seat weight up to 25 pounds (11.3 kg) compared to conventional seats without sacrificing strength and safety. The Evolution Seat is expected to launch in the Asian market by 2011.
Lear also has developed new automotive fabrics—Lear ECO Fabrics—made from 100% recycled plastic bottles and polyester yarn that reduce landfill waste and conserve energy and natural resources.
The Evolution Seat. Lear is a fully integrated manufacturer of seats, from the metal structure and mechanisms to the foam and seat trim, notes Ryan Burns, vice president of Product Engineering for Lear’s Global Seating Operations. The combination of Lear technologies in the Evolution Seat significantly reduce weight, trim costs and speed time-to-market, he said. The seven first-to-market technologies that comprise the new seat include:
Lear ECO/EVO Structures. Lear ECO/EVO Structures are up to 30% lighter than conventional structures because they integrate lightweight mechanisms and rails, and avoid the use of exotic metals. Lear ECO/EVO Structures are slated to debut in 2010.
Dynamic Environmental Comfort System (DECS). This multi-layer advanced seat comfort system is currently on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. It provides up to a 50% weight savings and reduces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by up to 70%.
Lear ECO Padding. This is a traditional polyurethane trim laminate and foam insert replacement using recyclable, renewable resource-derived fast-growth southern-softwood fibers.
ProTec PluS. This active whiplash protection system reduces whiplash injury by 43% and meets all global safety regulations. It is currently on the Cadillac CTS and Honda Accord.
Lear EVO Mini Recliner. The low mass recliners provide high strength-to-weight ratio, saving 35% in weight and 50% in packaging space compared to traditional recliners.
SoyFoam, made from renewable soybean oil, has been on the Ford Mustang seats since 2008.
Recyclable Expanded Polypropylene (EPP). A lightweight replacement for petroleum-based foams that is 100% recyclable and enhances seat comfort and design. EPP was introduced in 2002 on the Audi A2.
ECO Fabrics. Converting the annual production of a mid-size sedan program to 100% Lear ECO fabric could save approximately 10 million plastic bottles a year from entering landfills, according to Mandy Sarotte, Director of Global Trim and Foam Advanced Sales.
Lear is a leader in developing recyclable and renewable products that meet stringent automotive specifications. We use recycled polyester yarn as a replacement for virgin polyester made with crude oil. This saves natural resources and reduces energy used in the multi-step manufacturing process. In addition, Lear uses post-consumer plastics bottles in its yarn, minimizing landfill waste.
Sarotte said Lear can quickly respond to consumer wants because it is the only automotive seat supplier that benchmarks trends and then designs and manufactures every part of a seat.
Sarotte said other seat fabric trends include smart fabrics that contain sensors for heating and cooling, embossed or quilted fabrics that provide a secondary design effect after processing and premium finishes that enhance fabric performance.
"100% recycled plastic bottles"
I think they and Ford may have a marketing problem here.
How many want to pay a high price for a car with seat covers made from recycled plastic bottles? If they are recycling, the buyer should get a discount.
I understand the principle of not using oil for new polyester and some people may think it is a great thing, like hemp floor mats, but some may not and in marketing you want to reach as many people as you can with a positive impression of the product.
Posted by: SJC | 20 May 2010 at 07:08 AM
We shouldn't be using plastic bottles anyways, what's wrong with tap?
Posted by: ai_vin | 20 May 2010 at 07:48 AM
The Brita filter ad is interesting, they claim that we use enough plastic water bottles every year to go around the earth 150 times. That is a LOT of plastic and some of it ends up floating in the oceans going around the world.
Posted by: SJC | 20 May 2010 at 08:21 AM
Did you see the 20/20 youtube?
Posted by: ai_vin | 20 May 2010 at 08:24 AM
No, but if you post the link then everyone can see.
Posted by: SJC | 20 May 2010 at 08:53 AM
Posted by: ai_vin | 20 May 2010 at 09:15 AM
Reduce waste, weight, fuel consumption and GHG with the same product? That's good news.
Posted by: HarveyD | 20 May 2010 at 10:45 AM
A nice ad. Nothing else.
But I am worried; Next we'll get windows made from sand, tires made from tree sap and axels made from red dirt.
Posted by: ToppaTom | 20 May 2010 at 07:37 PM
and seat coverings made from discarded animal skins.
Posted by: RD | 21 May 2010 at 08:55 AM
Erm, carbon-based life forms tend to consume dead carbon-based life forms - like broccoli, whole grain bread and peas.
Posted by: sulleny | 21 May 2010 at 03:32 PM
Can you even imagine wheels with spokes made from trees instead of magnesium? ..HG..
Posted by: Henry Gibson | 24 May 2010 at 11:45 PM