A brand new leather-wrapping answer developed by French provider Faurecia might permit automakers to make extra distinctive designs of their car interiors and localize extra of the manufacturing course of.
Historically, wrapping an inside part similar to a door panel or heart console in leather-based or one other materials is a pricey, time-consuming course of. It is one thing that usually must be carried out manually and might typically end in seams that change barely from car to car as the fabric is stitched in place.
“There is a trade-off between inserting the seam accurately after which attempting to tug the corners over,” mentioned Shefic Khoury, vice chairman of engineering for interiors at Faurecia North America, a Forvia group firm. “It is simple to misplace issues just a bit bit. It is a very guide course of that takes numerous labor.”
Faurecia’s new PREPO 3.0 answer is designed to alter that. The leather-based — or synthetic leather-based — to be wrapped round an inside part comes pre-aligned, with the seam primarily being connected to a plastic insert. That insert is then positioned into the part, and the fabric can then be wrapped across the half.
The result’s extra consistency from car to car, Khoury mentioned.
A conventional leather-based wrapping operation might end in small variations from car to car of about 2 millimeters on elements with complicated, 3D shapes —”which by way of high quality is questionable,” he mentioned.
PREPO 3 cuts that variation all the way down to as little as 0.5 millimeters, Khoury mentioned.
“You not must sacrifice design high quality,” he mentioned. “We’re offering the liberty to permit for a similar expectations and the identical high quality on any sort of geometry. There’s a lot extra design freedom.”
Faurecia validated the know-how in 2021, and its first buyer was electrical truck startup Rivian. Khoury didn’t disclose different prospects within the wings, however he mentioned “many extra functions” are within the works.
PREPO permits automakers to rely much less on easy, straight traces relating to inside design, he mentioned.
“For instance, in case you take a look at most automobiles available on the market, you do not see many seam traces masking and following the form of the instrument cluster as a result of they might not wish to sacrifice high quality with variations from automobile to automobile,” he mentioned. “That is not an issue anymore.”
The brand new leather-wrapping course of might additionally assist corporations scale back labor prices and on the cycle concerned in getting a component wrapped.