The expo also provided a backdrop for workshops and discussion panels, as well as the annual Automotive Interiors Expo Awards, which are quickly becoming established as some of the most sought-after awards in automotive interior design.
This year, some of the biggest names in the industry were honoured for their work over the previous year, with Mercedes-Benz’s head of design, Gorden Wagener taking the Interior Designer of the Year accolade. “I’m very honoured, as this is a personal award and it’s always nice to receive one of those,” explained Wagener. “The show is great. Interiors is such a complicated industry field. It isn’t just a case of creating a shape that looks good. To achieve a great interior you have to work with the suppliers to make sure the quality and the finish of the materials is there, and that is the hard part. It’s great that everyone is brought together here.”
The highlight of Day 1’s workshop programme was an enthralling presentation by McLaren Automotive’s design director, Frank Stephenson. An acclaimed interior and exterior designer, Stephenson gave an hour-long extended presentation to a capacity audience, offering insight into all aspects of his work, how to approach design projects, and how form most certainly does not follow function.
On the show floor, over 80 exhibitors showcased their products to great effect. One such company was Silentium, which demonstrated its Quiet Bubble technology.
QB2 is a headrest with an embedded Active Noise Reduction system, which induces a personal ‘quiet zone’ around the occupant’s heads. Operating over a range of 100-1,500Hz, the system is proven to reduce ambient noise by around 14dB(A); something Silentium was keen to relay to visitors, with a working demonstration model on the show stand.
“The show has been very good. Some key people have been by the stand to visit, and the demonstration proved to be very impressive – we don’t need to do much talking!” explained Silentium’s CPO, Yoel Naor. “The quality of the people at the show is proving to be very good.”
MacDermid Autotype used the expo to debut its Fototex 3D texturing lacquer range. The hybrid cure, formable lacquer enables any fully formed 3D component to feature a highly customisable surface texture. The high transparency of Fototex 3D also allows designers to incorporate efficient backlit effects into components. “With Fototex, we wanted to bring to the market a bespoke solution for high-quality automotive component manufacturing, based on durability, strength, maximum versatility and simplicity of use,” explained Kevin O’Hara, automotive business manager at MacDermid Autotype.
Slovenian exhibitor, Flic, showcased its range of decorative non-woven textiles for use in headlining and parcel shelves. Already utilised by Toyota, Renault, Lada, Mitsubishi and many other OEMs, the needle-punched 100% polyester fabrics are available in a variety of thicknesses from 1.0 to 3.0mm, with weights between 180 and 230g/m2. The material is also customisable, with colour matching, printing and embossing options available.
Elsewhere, RMIG Nold showcased its range of perforated, formed metal products and components. The German supplier manufactures loudspeaker grilles and ventilation system grilles, as well as other precision-made perforated parts. RMIG also presented its range of finishes, from simple lacquering to anodised and PVD-coated items.
The show was full of innovation and continues to be a must-attend for everyone in the auto interiors world.
For the 2015 show, Automotive Interiors Expo is expected to have over 75 exhibitors displaying the very latest products and technology that are shaping the interior design of vehicles. From seat manufacturers to precision plastic components companies, Automotive Interiors Expo will bring together car designers and manufacturers, styling houses and studios, and the full spectrum of car interiors suppliers – all under one roof.
The show that goes from concepts and colours to interiors parts machining and finishing. A wide range of interiors accessories including headlinings, carpets and insulating materials, switches, finishes and illuminated textiles will be on show. For makers of interiors components as well as for OEMs.
Once again, the FREE-TO-ATTEND Styling and Technology Studio will have a series of presentations that will discuss future styling trends and technical innovations from industry OEMs, Tier 1 and Tier 2 manufacturers, suppliers, research institutions and styling houses.
Categories of equipment and technologies that will be on show:
• Fastening solutions
• Floor mats
• Noise insulation materials
• Fire-retardant materials
• In-car entertainment systems
• Speaker systems
• Satellite navigation systems/telematics
• Infotainment software providers
• MP3/4 compatibility
• Wood veneers
• Carbon-fibre veneers
• Lightweight materials
• Rear-view mirrors
• Vanity mirrors
• Sun visors and sun blinds
• Interior lighting
• Door panels
• Seatbelts/restraint systems
• Door sill mouldings
• Information displays
• Roof linings
• Cockpits and dashboards
• Parcel shelves
• Boot linings
• Loadspace systems
• Cup holders
• Hinges (gloves boxes, etc)
• Wiring looms
• Electronic fasteners
• Interior door releases
• Switches and toggles
• Springs and latches(for switchgear)
• HVAC systems
• Power outlets
• Screens and monitors
• Electric motors (motorized monitors and sun screens)
• Hydraulic struts
• Grab handles
• Blanking plates for covering fastenings