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Johnson Controls presents fresh styles for seat systems

Paris Interior Motives Design Awards 2014 Johnson Controls will present current and future trends in automotive seating design during the Interior Motives Design Awards 2014, which will be held before this year’s Paris Motor Show. In addition to meeting automakers’ demands for differentiation, the new design options cater to vehicle buyers’ requirements with regard to … Continued

Paris Interior Motives Design Awards 2014

Johnson Controls will present current and future trends in automotive seating design during the Interior Motives Design Awards 2014, which will be held before this year’s Paris Motor Show. In addition to meeting automakers’ demands for differentiation, the new design options cater to vehicle buyers’ requirements with regard to personalization and customization. With this in mind, Johnson Controls will showcase the “Synergy Seat Gen 3” seating concept in Paris, along with innovative design approaches for backrests and seat covers.

During the awards presentation, Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, will use design prototypes to showcase versatile styling options for automotive seat covers. Thanks to special haptics and the materials selected, they are refreshingly different from traditional solutions. Surfaces with a 3D effect or different contrasting patterns also enable a variety of designs. For example, a sporty design uses high-contrast patterns, decorative stitching and intense colors to achieve a fresh and dynamic look. The world’s leading supplier of automotive seating also will display printed seat covers that can be personalized by a unique inkjet process.

The Synergy Seat Gen 3 combines reduced mass, complexity and a high degree of personalization with enhanced comfort and safety in a unique way
The Synergy Seat Gen 3 combines reduced mass, complexity and a high degree of personalization with enhanced comfort and safety in a unique way

Seats are the primary design element to differentiate vehicle interiors

“Seats are becoming a central design element for automotive interiors. In addition to lightweight construction, increased comfort expectations and safety guidelines, we are looking at style trends, colors, shapes and material selection more closely than ever before. How can the interior reinforce the core brand and help to differentiate the various models? This and other questions are considered in the product development process,” said Andreas Maashoff, director industrial design and craftsmanship and consumer and market research at Johnson Controls Automotive Seating. “We have a high degree of vertical integration, because we develop and manufacture all core components for a complete seat system ourselves at Johnson Controls. From structures to mechanisms and foam to trim and fabrics, we are able to influence the desired differentiation through different approaches and to achieve a coherent overall result.”

Johnson Controls is currently working on an innovative inkjet process enabling additional personalization options for seat surfaces in automotive line production.
Johnson Controls is currently working on an innovative inkjet process enabling additional personalization options for seat surfaces in automotive line production.

Strong in design and craftsmanship: The Synergy Seat Gen 3

Johnson Controls demonstrates its extensive capabilities in seating systems with the Synergy Seat Gen 3. The expressive, three-dimensional design is implemented using striking framework structures with light outlines and dark interior zones. The contours are accentuated and the seat design is highlighted with decorative stripes and stitching. Emphasizing the concave surfaces reduces the seat’s visible volume to achieve a lightweight effect. This is continued in the interior seat construction, for example, with an innovative backrest made of organo sheets. The Synergy Seat Gen 3 offers extensive flexibility in surface design: for instance, the color, sheen and feel of the shell material can be varied using thin films applied directly to the seat. Different effects also can be achieved with lacquer or fabric and leather-covered surfaces.

Unique in the automotive industry: Seat covers printed by an inkjet process

Johnson Controls is working on a production process to personalize interiors that is entirely new in automotive production: an inkjet process for seat covers. The company will present a prototype of this seat in Paris.

“This manufacturing process can be likened to a paper printer. Each seat cover version is a single file; and these are printed successively, so that each seat cover can feature a completely individual design,” said Maashoff.

With this processing method, it will be possible to design and mass produce each seat as an individual unit. Inkjet-printed fabrics have been used for posters in fashion and advertising for years. The challenge for their use in automotive production lies in developing inks, a printing process, and packaging for the materials that meets all customer specifications. In addition, colors must not fade after exposure to sunlight and repeated movements entering and exiting the vehicle.

“In our market research, we see that customizing and personalizing the interior design is becoming increasingly important to vehicle buyers. The seat and its design options are ideally suited to catering to these needs. Johnson Controls can help automakers accomplish this without significant additional cost by using variations in the color, pattern, material, stitching, haptics and surface effects,” said Maashoff.

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