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Cadillac and ContiTech win 2016 Altair Enlighten Awards for innovation in automotive vehicle lightweighting

Simulation technology company Altair, together with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), announced the winners of the 4th annual Altair Enlighten Award an award program created specifically to acknowledge innovation in vehicle weight reduction.

The winner of the OEM-focused Full-Vehicle category was GM for the 2016 Cadillac CT6, a vehicle 157 lbs (71 kg) lighter than the BFI (body frame integral) construction. For the Module category, which focuses on the achievements from within the automotive supplier base, the winner was ContiTech for its unique polyamide rear crossbeam for the 2016 Mercedes S-Class. The awards were presented during the 2016 CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS) in Traverse City, Mich.

Cadillac’s entry was one of twenty-one finalists that competed for the awards, winning its category for its strategic approach to weight reduction. Simulation methodologies including topology and multi-disciplinary optimization studies were used extensively throughout the vehicle’s development to ensure an efficient use of material. In addition, an innovative use of mixed materials were employed across the CT6 to further minimize weight without compromise to performance. (Earlier post.)

ContiTech’s Polyamide Cross Member developed for the 2016 Mercedes S-Class achieved a 30% weight savings compared to the previous aluminum component. The award judging panel had not seen an application of polyamide materials in this manner before making it a standout entry and a worthy winner of the Module category.

The runners up for this year’s award were BMW for its multi-material 2016 7 Series in the Full Vehicle category, and Alcoa who took second place in the Module category for its Micromill aluminum processing technology used on the Ford F150.

The Altair Enlighten Award is intended to honor the greatest achievements in weight savings each year; to inspire interest from industry, engineering, policymakers, educators, students and the public; to create further competition for new ideas in the industry; and to provide an incentive to share technological advances.

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