Brose (Auburn Hills, MI; www.brose.net) has developed a direct drive window regulator that replaces the traditional cable and lifting arm with an assembly that attaches directly to the glass and pulls itself up or down a toothed rack via an electric motor driving a small gearbox. The main components are made of plastic reinforced with fiberglass, and the unit has a claimed mechanical efficiency of more than 90%. “Automakers see an up to 10% cost savings compared to a single guided regulator,” says Kowal, “and a weight savings of about 20%.” The electronics are contained on a single flexible printed circuit board that eliminates the need for additional contact pins and controls anti-pinch, express up and down, and other functions.
The company also has a power spindle drive to raise and lower a vehicle’s tailgate that eliminates the need for gas struts. Kowal says the speed-controlled drive unit will arrive at assembly plants in 2008 pre-assembled and tested, and can be added to the vehicle online with no additional tooling. Since the spindle drive acts directly on the tailgate itself and not through the hinge, space is preserved. Plus, there is no need to design a new hinge for versions of a vehicle fitted with a power tailgate. The drive unit sits in the water channel where a gas strut normally would reside. This device also can be integrated with a power rear-seat folding mechanism to allow one touch access to the load floor of an SUV or crossover.
Speaking of seats, Brose also introduced a seat back reclining lever with a weight of 370 grams and adjustment increments of 1.8?. It’s part of a modular manual comfort seat design that includes an infinitely variable height adjuster, two-way lumbar support, and seat cushion adjustment. “Generating variants of this seat for different vehicles in the same platform family is simple,” says Kowal, “and use of standardized interfaces means it is simple to adapt a powered version from this basic design.”—CAS