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Technology and Innovation are the Key to Winning Chinese Automotive Market

From | November 11 , 2010

Technology and Innovation are the Key to Winning Chinese Automotive Market

Interview of Weng Weibo, Technology Engineering Vice President of Asia-Pacific Federal Mogul

Gasgoo.com: It’s well known that, Federal Mogul's QuietShield GRN and Bayonet Connection System for Profile Wiper Blades have won the Khoahocxaydung PACE™ Awards. Would you please give us a brief introduction about them and other typical innovative technologies in your company?

Mr.Weng:Federal-Mogul's QuietShield® GRN did not win a PACE award, but was a finalist. It is an eco-friendly acoustical padding that is manufactured from by-product materials that offers customers a new solution to reduce vehicle cabin noise. It is made of cardboard, carpet fibers, recycled yarns and fabrics, plus certain Asian cardboards, not previously thought to be recyclable due to short fiber length construction. The recyclable by-products collected at the manufacturing plant are shredded, combined with other recycled materials, formed into a web and bonded in a unique Federal-Mogul manufacturing process. The manufacturing process was developed by Federal-Mogul's engineering experts, drawing on their expertise in the development and manufacture of high performance textile-based protection products. The padding can be used by automotive manufacturers and other industries to fabricate linings and sound deadening padding in headrests, headliners, door and kick panels, and trunk liners to abate noise entering the occupant compartment of the vehicle. QuietShield GRN can also be used in other habitat or industrial environments where noise isolation is required.

Federal-Mogul’s Bayonet Connection System for flat blade wipers has emerged as the choice in premium wiper blade technology. The innovative flat blade system enables vehicle manufacturers to deliver a superior wiping solution that is extremely effective and easily installed by automotive professionals and consumers alike.

The Bayonet Connection System features a unique “double-lock” safety design, helping to prevent accidental wiper disconnection; a locking button provides an audible “click” so the installer knows that the blade is securely attached. Specific design elements not only present a clean, integrated appearance, but also prevent wiper blade installation in the wrong position or on the wrong wiper arm.

The F-M system’s advanced wiper retention design also helps protect the blade and attachment from possible wind, ice, snow and automatic car wash damage. The system’s design provides exceptionally high retention force of 200 N as opposed to 70 N for leading competitors. Additionally, the system helps provide controlled blade sweep and prevent wiper damage if the wiper falls back to the glass from the service position.

Wiper blades often need to be replaced several times over the life of a vehicle. While new wiper blades usually always improve wipe quality and reduce noise, the level of improvement also is dependent on the blade’s articulation, which can degrade over time. Federal-Mogul engineers solved this issue through the innovative design of the Bayonet Connection System, which also isolates and restores articulation and enhances wipe performance.

Gasgoo.com: After two months’ running here in Asia Pacific headquarters and Technical Center, what is your most impressing part of your present work, and what is the status quo now in the center and is there any fine turn on your original plan? As we all know that as the time goes on, you always need to adjust your plan to accomplish your goal.

Mr.Weng: With the technical center up running, we are able to meet the customers needs on time as well as to validate the design, evaluate the parts by engine/rig tests. We are still continuously expanding our test/analysis capability by importing more advanced test/measurement equipment to the technical center to cover more customers’ as well as our internal development needs. The technical center has become one of major tools to grow our business in China and to serve our customers better.

Gasgoo.com: Federal-Mogul Corporation has become a leading global supplier of powertrain and safety technologies. What are the critical factors of your success?

Mr.Weng: Technology is a key to being successful in China. As you know, with the Euro IV, Euro V, and Euro VI coming to China, the technology requirements for our products are more and more challenging. Federal Mogul focuses on the development of leading technology and innovation, and has invested in the needed resources to develop technologies to meet the future customer needs in light of new regulations. Part of these resources include local Federal-Mogul engineering and research and development professionals, who are instrumental in enabling us as a company to serve the needs of our customers.

Gasgoo.com:Which are the target customer bases that you would like to expand? Do you have some detailed plans about that?

Mr.Weng: We basically cover all the segments in automotive, heavy-duty, and industrial applications. We also serve the aerospace, marine and rail industries. Part of Federal-Mogul’s success is the result of the diversification of our customers and the markets in which we operate. We continually strive to grow our existing customer relationships and to develop relationships with new customers. Our Asia Pacific Headquarters and Technical Center contains some of the most sophisticated testing equipment in the world and we remain committed to utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to support our customers and our growth in China and around the world.

Gasgoo.com: Please analyze and judge the future development trend of powertrain and safety technologies.

Mr.Weng: Federal-Mogul’s global strategy is to develop leading-edge technologies and innovative solutions that improve fuel economy, reduce emissions and enhance vehicle performance. Our products do just that. There is no doubt that OE manufacturers will continue to utilize higher load engines and will require the appropriate safety technologies to work in harmony with these engines and with the vehicles that contain those engines. We will continue to work closely with our customers to understand their requirements, and to make sure our development of powertrain and safety technologies are in line with their future needs.

Gasgoo.com:For the traditional gasoline engine, what kind of technology package do you think could achieve the best effect in energy saving and emission reducing?

Mr.Weng: As you know, the gasoline engine in China is moving toward smaller in displacement, higher in power density. To do so, we start to see a lot of customers working on the development of turbo-charged or direct injection engines, which require much more advanced piston/piston ring/bearing/sealing technologies due to the higher loads. Federal-Mogul has the technologies to meet the customer needs. We also have developed low-friction technologies for piston, bearings, piston ring, dynamic seals, etc. by improving the piston skirt profile, reducing weight, advanced piston ring coating/shape/features …

As a few examples, LKZ® oil control ring utilizes a specific design to reduce oil consumption by up to 50 percent and friction by up to 15 percent, compared to the best conventional two-piece oil rings. The new EcoTough®-coated piston offers superior wear resistance and reduces fuel consumption up to 0.8 percent, as well as reduced CO2 emissions, compared to conventional piston coatings. The EcoTough-coated piston is compatible with existing and advanced cylinder bore finishes and can be introduced seamlessly in volume engine production as a running change.

Federal-Mogul has expanded the performance capabilities of engine bearings by developing an innovative polymer coated bearing shell that can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by withstanding mechanical loads produced by heavily boosted engines. Called IROX™, the new technology addresses the lubrication challenges associated with frequent engine re-starts found in hybrid and other future stop-start engines by protecting both the crankshaft and the bearing shells from damage where metal-to-metal contact would otherwise occur. It is estimated that the IROX bearing overlay can help increase the life of crankshafts and bearing shells by more than five times in more extreme applications, such as direct-injected engines and engines with stop-start systems.

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