Every year, the Steel Market Development Institute presents the Automotive Excellence Award at the annual Great Designs in Steel (GDIS) conference. Now in its 16th year, the conference features the best and brightest of the automotive and steel industries and is the largest material-focused conference in the world. GDIS features multiple technical presentations from across the industry – there’s truly something for everyone!
The Automotive Excellence award is bestowed upon the winning presentation from last year’s conference based on a series of criteria such as challenges and benefits associated with costs, mass reduction and performance; overall contribution to the advancement of steel; and implementation in production.
At GDIS 2017, Henric Lindberg and the Volvo Car Corporation body structure team won the award for their presentation titled, “Advanced High-Strength Steel Technologies in the 2016 Volvo XC90” shown at GDIS 2016.
The presentation featured Volvo’s newly designed body architecture for the XC90, the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). Stiffer, stronger, larger and lighter, the XC90 architecture is designed to improve the driving performance through increased use of Advanced High-Strength Steel (AHSS).
“Volvo’s innovative use of steel will launch a new generation of applications of the material,´ said Jody Hall, SMDI’s vice president of the automotive market. “Their new architecture exemplifies the use of the right material in the right application. By utilizing a steel-intensive structure, they were able to reduce mass without sacrificing strength and safety.” Hall also noted how exceptional innovation using steel in automotive design and manufacturing is shown by award winners.
Along with winning the Automotive Excellence Award, the structure played a significant part in the XC90 being named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in 2015. It was also awarded the 2016 North American Truck/Utility of the Year at the North American International Auto Show – an award that continues to be given to advanced high-strength steel-intensive vehicles.
Starting in 2002, GDIS grew from 475 registrants to over 1,600 today – making it one of the largest and longest running materials focused conferences in the world.
Join us in congratulating Henric Linberg and the Volvo team! What do you think is the best-designed vehicle on the road today? Let us know in the comments below.