Innovative battery mounting wins Swedish Steel Prize
November 22, 2004 10:05 CET 6 min read
The winner of the Swedish Steel Prize 2004 is the American company Trim Trends Co. The company wins the prize for a new battery mounting for the large drive battery used in Ford’s new Escape Hybrid SUV. The jury was impressed by the company’s method of matching the tool design and geometry of a large part with the unique combination of properties offered by ultra-high strength steel. The winning entry came first under most of the criteria used to choose between the four nominated entries. The purpose of the Swedish Steel Prize, instituted by the steel producer SSAB Tunnplåt, is to celebrate and reward innovative design in high-strength steel. This year’s winner has developed a battery mounting that is manufactured by an advanced pressing technique which marks a technical breakthrough in the working of high-strength steel.
Trim Trends’ work shows that even large and complicated components made from advanced high-strength steel can be manufactured in serial production. This opens the way for the continued development of lighter, safer, and more environmentally appropriate vehicles that can be produced at reasonable cost. In the longer term, Trim Trends’ work may play a part in enabling more car buyers to drive environmentally appropriate cars. “Trim Trends’ new battery mounting is more than just an example of innovative thinking,” says Jan Kuoppa, a member of the Swedish Steel Prize jury. “It ensures that the environmentally attractive hybrid drive, which requires a large drive battery, is compatible with high passenger safety. The product is already of commercial utility for a large category of buyers, as well as embodying technology that can be applied in other designs in the future.” The Swedish Steel Prize is an international award in which any company that uses high-strength steel in its designs may enter. This is the sixth year the prize has been awarded. The prizegiving ceremony took place at the Vasa Museum, internationally renowned as the home of the Vasa, a well-preserved seventeenth-century warship. “The Swedish Steel Prize is a distinction that is intended to stimulate innovation and encourage companies to take advantage of the potential of high-strength steel,” says Anders Werme, President of SSAB Tunnplåt and chairman of the jury. “These steels, which often possess more than five times the strength of traditional structural steels, give users great opportunities to create light, strong, environmentally attractive products at reasonable cost. We were delighted to be able to hand over the prize at the Vasa Museum, a venue which truly fires the imagination and stimulates the creative juices.” Besides the first prize, three second prizes were awarded. Two of them went to Fainsa S.A. of Spain and Grammer S.r.l. of Italy, which have both independently developed lighter passenger seats to improve passenger safety in buses. Both seat designs incorporate built-in three-point belts. The Swedish company Haki AB also received a second prize for its high-strength steel scaffolding system. Scaffolding is used to set up temporary workplaces for building construction and maintenance work. In addition to the four finalists, the Swedish company Ortic AB and the German company Bemo System GmbH & Co. KG received honourable mention. The companies have developed a new method of roll-forming steel sections into curved, varying forms with curved sides and variable cross-sections. The method has great future potential for vehicle production. Caption: The winner of the Swedish Steel Prize 2004 has been announced. The first prize went to Trim Trends of the USA for a new drive battery mounting for hybrid-drive vehicles. For further information on the Swedish Steel Prize, please visit www.steelprize.com For texts and digital photographs please visit www.ssabtunnplat.com or www.swedishsteel.co.uk For additional information please contact: Tommy Löfgren Information Manager SSAB Tunnplåt AB 781 84 Borlänge Tel: +46 243 712 00 Fax: +46 243 714 48 E-mail: [email protected] Cecilia Dalén Public Relations Manager SSAB Tunnplåt AB Marketing Communications Tel: +46 8 679 17 67 Mobile: +46 70 648 80 72 Fax: +46 8 611 20 89 E-mail: [email protected] Facts about SSAB Swedish Steel: SSAB Swedish Steel is Scandinavia's largest steel manufacturer and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-tensile steel. The product range within the steel sector is limited to sheet and heavy plate. The steel sheet production is operated within SSAB Tunnplåt and the heavy-plate operations within SSAB Oxelösund. The number of employees is 9,300 and the total production amounts to 3.6 million tonnes. Annual sales are about SEK 20 billion.