DS Smith Plastics, Extruded Products’ OEM Product Manager Explains the Advantages of AkyDrive® Automotive Interior Protection
AkyDrive is a lightweight line of OEM components designed to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions in commercial vehicles.
Jeremy Freneat, product manager for DS Smith Plastics OEM components, talks about the advantages of strength and lightweight embedded on the new line of AkyDrive flooring and lining components for commercial vehicles.
As the new OEM marketing manager what is your goal for this segment of the business?
In my role, I serve as the central point of contact for all our OEM customers throughout Europe. My mission is to provide support to our customers and facilitate the development of new products and innovation.
Could you briefly describe AkyDrive?
AkyDrive is a line of protective and reinforcement OEM components for utility and passenger vehicles. The AkyDrive line covers three main auto segments: Lining, flooring and interiors.
AkyDrive OEM components are made of extruded polypropylene known for its durability, lightweight and impact resistance. These three properties make AkyDrive an attractive alternative to traditional materials such as wood, which makes cars heavier and less resistant to regular wear and tear.
What are the benefits to making flooring and interior car parts out of polypropylene with bubble structure?
Traditional protective OEM components are generally made with wood which is heavy and has low impact-resistance, polypropylene offers advantages of durability and lightweight. OEM components made of extruded polypropylene bubble-structure offers advantages not found in wood such as humidity resistance, non-slip surfaces, easy to form and cut, and colour aesthetics. Furthermore, extruded polypropylene OEM components can reduce a vehicle’s weight and fuel consumption and is fully recyclable at the end of its useful life, creating a more sustainable solution.
As an expert could you tell us more about is the new legislation for WLTP Tests and some of the benefits?
Due to evolutions in technology and driving conditions, the European Union has developed a new test, called the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) to verify emissions outputs for vehicles. The EU automobile industry welcomes the shift to WLTP and has actively contributed to the development of this new test cycle.
Because of improvements in automotive regulations, WLTP will provide a much more accurate basis for calculating a car’s fuel consumption and emissions.
This will ensure that lab measurements better reflect the on-road performance of a car.
How will the new legislation (WLTP Test) effect AkyDrive?
The old testing system did not consider the body of the vehicle to its extent of consumption. The WLTP, is more realistic and will take into account the influence of equipment, rolling resistance and any element that plays on the weight and aerodynamics of vehicles.
Here is where AkyDrive OEM components are superior to alternative materials as its lightweight can reduce the overall weight of vehicles and can be a contributor to improved vehicle aerodynamics.
Respect for the reference mass of a vehicle will no longer be the sole concern of the coach builder who must now ensure that the vehicle meets the various criteria determined by the manufacturer.
What is the link between the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of a car? What about AkyDrive’s polypropylene components that makes reducing fuel consumption possible?
The amount of CO2 a car emits is directly related to the amount of fuel it consumes. For instance, a diesel car emitting 95g CO2 per kilometre consumes around 3.7 litres of fuel per 100km, while a petrol car consumes around 4 litres per 100km for the same CO2 emissions.
The lightweight of AkyDrive OEM components increases fuel efficiency by lowering CO2 emissions.
As the new AkyDrive Flooring HX is being launched what are the benefits that distinguish this product compared to other flooring options?
AkyDrive Flooring HX has been specially developed to answer the environmental and economic concerns regarding the commercial vehicles.
Due to a new composition and a new manufacturing process, AkyDrive protective and reinforcement OEM components can compete economically with traditional wood protection solutions while providing commercial vehicles with a double advantage consisting of lightness and superior impact resistance.