Johnson Controls Debuts Lightweight Seating at International Auto Show

14th January 2013

Reducing the weight and complexity, while enhancing comfort and safety, was Johnson Controls’ goal when developing its Gen 3 Synergy Seat. The smart seating solution will be showcased at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) at Detroit’s Cobo Center.

“Johnson Controls’ Gen 3 Synergy Seat truly exemplifies the ultimate in integrated seating system development,” said Thomas Gould, design director, Johnson Controls Automotive Seating. “Targeted at the luxury market, the seat combines eco-friendly materials with our most advanced technologies and integrates advancements in trim materials and foam formulations to enhance dynamic comfort.”

According to Gould, additional benefits of the Gen 3 Synergy Seat include:

  • The newest technologies to provide best-in-class comfort, functionality and appearance tailored to the luxury market.
  • Fiber-reinforced composite back frame that provides a low mass design and improved packaging efficiency.
  • A fully powered seat system that is complemented by a powered four-way, passive head restraint with an integrated fore-and-aft locking adjuster and an up-down height adjuster to  offer maximum flexibility, comfort and ease-of-use.
  • VariTec horizontal layering cushion that combines dual layers of foam with varying hardness into one cushion to achieve short and long-term comfort.


Johnson Controls’ Synergy Seat


In addition to the seat, the company will debut its lightweight and renewable Compression Hybrid Molding (CHyM) process technology in a door panel substrate component at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

“With years of experience in natural fiber solutions, we continue to produce products that meet the changing needs of our customers and the industry,” said Han Hendriks , vice president, Advanced Product Development for Johnson Controls’ Automotive Electronics & Interiors. “CHyM is the latest example of our efforts to develop and differentiate ourselves in the industry through sustainable and innovative lightweight technology.”

The CHyM process technology integrates the advantages of both natural fiber and thermoplastics, allowing these technologies to be positioned exactly where they are needed for maximum product performance. A unique manufacturing process also contributes to the overall value of CHyM.

Additional benefits of the process technology include a 40 percent weight reduction compared to traditional polypropylene; an increase in stability through the combination of natural fiber and glass-filled polypropylene. CHyM provides among the highest strength-to-weight ratio when compared to products in the same cost category, a 30 percent increase in product stiffness and improved assembly to the body-in-white and part-to-part craftsmanship.

This is the 19th year that Johnson Controls will be involved in NAIAS as an event sponsor and exhibitor. Its 10,000-square-foot exhibit in room D2-15of Detroit’s Cobo Center will be open to media and invited guests. A product overview press conference will be held at 6:30 a.m. EST on Monday, January 14.