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Findings of the jury:
The winners of the Swedish Steel Prize 2006 have displayed great competence and deliberate determination in their development work. All opportunities offered by advanced high strength steel have been put to use with world-class innovative engineering work. The result is a very competitive design characterized by strength, low weight and lean resource utilization. This is an excellent example of modern design thinking that meets strict user requirements at a time when the focus around the world is on environmental issues.
High energy absorption capacity in spite of a very slender design characterizes the winning entry for the Swedish Steel Prize 2006 announced at the Berns Conference Centre in Stockholm on 29 November. The winning entry is an internal waistline reinforcement in the front doors of the recently launched Fiat Grande Punto. The jury was impressed by the way the designers have utilized advanced high strength steel, which has resulted in a component that can meet the highest collision protection demands in an efficient manner that is economical on resources, space and the environment. The design was developed and realized by Fiat and the roll-forming specialist company, Wagon Automotive.
The Swedish Steel Prize was founded by the SSAB Tunnplt steelmaking company in order to highlight and acknowledge innovative designs and solutions for which advanced high strength steels are employed. Over the years, the Prize has been awarded to companies in several parts of the world.
The Swedish Steel Prize 2006 has been awarded to the two Italian companies Fiat and Wagon Automotive that have developed and realized an advanced safety component for the front doors of the newly launched Fiat Grande Punto. Wagon Automotive specializes in working steel by roll forming. The internal waistline reinforcement is very thin, lightweight and strong, and is of space-saving design. It performs a vital task, while being suitable for mounting in the confined space just below the windows of the front doors. The designers have put to use the latest developments in materials and production technology. The Fiat Grande Punto has been awarded highest marks in the Euro NCAP safety test, and the car is characterized by high safety, low fuel consumption, good environmental properties and an attractive price. The prize-winning safety component of advanced high strength steel contributes to the car having all of these properties.
"Advanced high strength steels are continually gaining ground among designers around the world, and the Swedish Steel Prize has contributed to increasing the interest in the opportunities offered by the steels," says Gran Carlsson, Head of Division at SSAB Tunnplt and Chairman of the Swedish Steel Prize jury. "High strength steels make it possible to develop products with better properties and at reasonable cost. This is extremely well illustrated by the winning entry, and the two companies have shown great innovativeness in their work. They are both worthy winners of the Swedish Steel Prize."
Any company or individual that uses high strength steel in the design of a product or has developed a method of working high strength steel can enter for the Swedish Steel Prize. The Prize is awarded annually and is announced at a banquet in Stockholm.
In addition to the first prize, two runner-up prizes are also awarded. The latter were awarded to the Spanish IMEM lift (elevator) manufacturer for a new, lightweight lift chassis, and to the Canadian company Multina for a new, lighter and more comfortable bus seat. Both companies use advanced high strength steels in their products.
The jury also decided to award honourable mention to the Brazilian company Pastre for its design of a new lightweight trailer for sugar transport.
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Facts about SSAB Swedish Steel:
SSAB Swedish Steel is Scandinavia's largest steelmakers and is one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-tensile steel. The product range in the steel sector is limited to sheet and heavy plate. Steel sheet is produced by SSAB Tunnplt and heavy-plate operations are concentrated to SSAB Oxelsund. The number of employees is 8400 and the total crude steel production amounts to 4 million tonnes. Annual sales are about SEK 28 billion.