For the second time in three years, Magna has won an AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Award from the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Germany. Magna was recognized as the Most Innovative Automotive Supplier in the chassis, car body and exterior category for its new process of welding steel and aluminum together.
With Magna’s new welding process, aluminum components can be joined to steel to make a multi-material vehicle structure with less mass and weight than an all-steel version. Magna’s innovation makes use of traditional spot-welding techniques, which means no additional assembly line machinery or steps are necessary.
“This innovation includes cross-group collaboration within Magna, where Magna Steyr and Cosma are working together to industrialize this new process into our Graz contract manufacturing facility,” said Gunther Apfalter, president of Magna Steyr. “In the future our customers will be able to benefit from this cost-effective lightweighting technique we can offer as part of our full-vehicle expertise.”
For more than 10 years CAM and PwC have been conducting an annual study of the most innovative companies in the automotive industry. Based on the results, they honor the industry’s most outstanding achievements.
“Innovation comes in many forms and for Magna that means both in product and process,” said Swamy Kotagiri, Magna Chief Technology Officer. “As global automakers continue to look for ways to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions by making their cars and trucks lighter, the ability to join different materials becomes a market advantage.”
In 2015, Magna received the Most Innovative Automotive Supplier award in the driveline technologies category for its FLEX4™ technology. This is the first all-wheel drive (AWD) disconnect system that automatically shifts between true two- and four-wheel drive and reduces fuel consumption by up to 10 percent compared to other AWD systems.