HUTCHINSON S.A. Business Report FY2009
Major Contracts in 2009Sealing Systems
-Mass production of bonded pistons for the new eight-shift automatic gearbox ZF8HP.
This next-generation gearbox will be fitted onto many prestigious models by BMW, Audi as well as Jaguar. ZF and the Company are expecting strong development in this segment over the next few years.
-The Company filed significant orders for engine mounts and chassis to equip the Ford Focus and the Mercedes Class B.
Transmission and Mobility
-The Company prepared the transmission belts of the new engines from Hyundai and from Mazda.
Development Outside France-The Company disclosed plans to double its current 5 percent share in sales for Japanese automakers within the next five years. The Company predicts that when the current downturn in the economy turns around, a high demand for Japanese vehicles will return to the global market. Based on collaborations constructed with Japanese suppliers, the Company is poised to establish firm supply bases of components for Japanese vehicles produced in Europe, North and South America. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 1, 2009)
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-In 2009, the Company invested in R&D at 5.4% of total sales.
Product DevelopmentsFluid Transfer
-The Company designed an "Internal Heat Exchanger", air cooling system which needs less energy and reduces vehicle consumption. For low-pressure products, instead of rubber, the Company use thermoplastic elastomers which have the advantage of being recyclable. The integration of sensors and measuring instruments enhances the functionalities of its cooling, air conditioning and braking systems and offers breakthrough pathways to other functions.
-The Company developed new recyclable thermoplastic elastomer materials which are lighter and more economical than rubber when it comes to developing various parts for the automotive industry, such as a new Engine Interconnection Unit. This unit is an essential part linking the pneumatic, hydraulic and electric circuits of the various elements of the engine and must withstand increasingly high temperatures. Recent formulas for new polymers and suitable vulcanization systems were necessary to develop this smart unit.
-The Company established partnerships to enhance its range of products, one with a car manufacturer to modify the cradle of the running gear mount and of the gearbox, and another with a tire manufacturer to reduce the noise and vibrations of the chassis, the weight of the parts and energy consumption.
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