Yazaki Underhood Electrical Center Saves Space, Adds Capacity

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Addressing a request by General Motors for an optimized underhood electrical center, engineers at system supplier Yazaki North America developed a unique single lever self-locking design that delivers multiple benefits. DuPont™ Zytel® glass-reinforced PA66 plays a key role in this underhood electrical center.

Application Description

First single lever self-locking underhood electrical center not only reduces footprint size and weight, but enables additional spare electrical content and simplifies assembly.

It was developed by Yazaki North America, a leading system supplier that has built its reputation on using advanced technologies, innovative materials and robust processes to deliver solutions that meet the demands of feature-rich vehicles and government regulations.

Developed for use in General Motors vehicles, this single lever self-locking underhood electrical center was a finalist in the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Automotive Innovation Awards competition in the process/assembly/enabling technologies category in 2016.

Unmet Need

Managing the ever-increasing electrical load on today’s feature-rich vehicles requires optimizing engine compartment packaging space while providing additional capacity within the underhood electrical center.

Challenges

  • Component must be able to withstand harsh underhood operating conditions.
  • Component must be easy to assemble in a quick and safe manner.

Solution

Engineers at Yazaki North America took “top-down design” of underhood electrical centers to the next level by developing the first single lever self-locking unit that is smaller, lighter weight and easier to assemble than other underhood electrical centers on the market today.  

The unique Yazaki design:

  • Provides a 10% reduction in footprint size, enabling more content or reduced engine compartment size.
  • Enables an additional 8% spare electrical content.
  • Reduces weight by 7% for greater fuel efficiency and lower shipping costs.
  • Enables improved sealing to ensure that water, dust and other contaminants remain outside of the critical areas of the electrical center—even during shipping and handling.
  • Is more ergonomically friendly to assemble, requiring less time and significantly less operator effort.

DuPont Material Chosen and Why

DuPont™ Zytel® glass-reinforced PA66 was chosen for this application due to its excellent balance of properties, specifically:

  • Strength and stiffness
  • Dimensional stability
  • Resistance to elevated temperatures and chemicals found under the hood
  • Ease of processing/good moldability 

PART OF THE 2016 SPE AUTOMOTIVE INNOVATION AWARDS PROGRAM PROCESS / ASSEMBLY / ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES CATEGORY