Cross-Car Beam integrates 5 vehicle subsystems.

Press Release Summary:

Steel Hybrid Cross-Car Beam integrates cross-car structure, HVAC ducting and case support, airbag system, steering column, and electrical component supports into one steel beam overmolded with plastic. Attachment features and functional components are molded directly into design of beam. Crashworthiness and side impact protection are optimized since beam passes straight through HVAC module rather than bypassing it.

Original Press Release:

Delphi Makes True Vehicle Cockpit Integration Possible with New Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam

Streamlined subsystem engineering produces below-the-surface performance benefits including optimized crashworthiness, side impact protection TROY, Mich., March 20 -- For the first time, an automotive supplier is offering a product that brings together components of five highly technical vehicle subsystems into one convenient package to help save space, reduce mass, improve warranty and lower costs by up to an estimated 15 percent for vehicle manufacturers. Delphi's Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam integrates the cross-car structure, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) ducting and case support, airbag system, steering column and electrical component supports into one beam made of steel overmolded with plastic. The product is able to reduce overall part count while maintaining serviceability and integrity of the vehicle steering column support, HVAC, electrical, center stack and energy-absorbing components. "Only a supplier such as Delphi, with a depth of engineering expertise in every vehicle subsystem, could develop and manufacture this product," said Lon Offenbacher, global business line executive, cockpits and integrated closure systems, Delphi Thermal & Interior. "We were able to develop, prototype, test and manufacture the Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam completely in-house. It is on-the-shelf technology we are offering to our customers and we're confident they will see its clear value proposition." The process begins with Delphi's proprietary welding technologies resulting in an engineered steel structural member which then undergoes an overmolding process. Rather than using separate brackets for attaching subsystem components, attachment features and functional components are molded directly into the design of the beam. This integrated design offers a cost savings to the vehicle manufacturer while offering enhanced dimensional stability, reduced component part count and assembly labor, and reduced mass as compared to a traditional design configuration. Additional subsystem efficiencies are gained from the integration, such as better performance in squeak and rattle as well as a reduction in the number of possible HVAC leak paths. Engineering all of the individual subsystems into one part results in up to 50 millimeters of additional space in an area of the vehicle where real estate is at a premium. Crashworthiness and side impact protection are optimized because the beam passes straight through the HVAC module rather than bypassing it. The beam design helps assure cross-car structural performance, a major contributor to achieving five-star side impact ratings. "Delphi's capabilities in crossing subsystem boundaries is what led to this truly integrated product offering. It brings forth a new way of thinking about how the industry designs and develops the vehicle systems that come together in a cockpit module," said Offenbacher. Delphi's Steel Hybrid Cross-car Beam is production ready and targeted for the 2009 model year. At Delphi, we help make cars safer, cleaner, more efficient, and fun to drive. For more information about Delphi Corp. (Pink Sheets: DPHIQ), visit . CONTACT: Barb Barkley of Delphi Corporation, +1-716-439-2594, Web site:

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