Simoldes Plásticos has developed a large central console for cars with a panoramic roof that allows a substantial cost reduction as compared to existing solutions. The project, in collaboration with CEiiA, had the support of PSA Peugeot Citroën.
MODUTOP is the code name for an R&D project that allowed the development of a central roof console for cars compatible with a roofless bodyshell, ie, with a rooftop covered with glass.
This solution, which allows the natural light to pass through, is a result of the console layout, placed longitudinally in the vehicle, being fixed and suspended on four points (two at each end) which support the entire load and the efforts.
... and process innovation
This design also induced a significant innovation in the assembly process. As the console and the roof are now decoupled, it enables a reduction in both the assembly costs and the costs of handling and transporting the components from the production sites to the assembly line. The procurement process also became more competitive. In addition to reducing the cost of the console, the project also allowed a reduction in weight.
CEiiA in collaboration with the national industry
MODUTOP is a result of an intense and articulated work between CEiiA and Simoldes Plásticos, a world reference in the production of plastic components for the automotive industry, and the main promoter of the project. The work caught the attention of the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, which resulted in the sharing of information and referral requirements of one of its products, helping to create a more realistic case study, following specifications and standards required in the automotive sector.
The challenge of this project forced a "rethinking" of the ceiling consoles concept, in line with the current trends of car interiors, naturally lit through panoramic roofs. At stake were not only the definition of new interior spaces using console proportions never before developed but also considerable challenges in engineering, new materials and assembly methods. The participation of Simoldes Plásticos focused on their expertise in plastic injection, mould manufacturing and their experience supplying the automotive sector. CEiiA contributed with its expertise in product development, structural validation and prototyping level. In fact, CEiiA has skills and capabilities in integrated product development and processes, working throughout the development cycle from the design phase to the industrialization support.
Impact of MODUTOP project
The MODUTOP project lasted 27 months and involved more than 9,000 hours of engineering and was completed with the construction of a prototype of the solution and its presentation to the PSA Procurement and R&D departments.