Five Star Safety-capable LATTICELL Knee Bolster Launched

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INDUS Concepts & Engineering, LLC of Troy, Michigan, announced today the launching of its five star safety-capable LATTICELL Knee Bolster. "This product helps the car companies obtain five star frontal crash rating," said Dr. Mani Ayyakannu, Director of Engineering at INDUS.

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'To get the five star rating, OEMs resort to knee airbags. A typical five star safety-capable LATTICELL driver side knee bolster is only 2.5 lbs, costs a fraction of the knee airbag and has no out-of-position occupant injury concerns,' said Dr. Ayyakannu.

INDUS’s proprietary LATTICELL knee bolster is in production in many passenger cars and light trucks today. The key advantage of LATTICELL systems over other structures is its remarkable tunability, which crash/safety engineers love. These are low-cost, light-weight structures that are capable of fully meeting the femur load requirements per the FMVSS 208 frontal crash standards with unbelted occupants. The government’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) publishes star rating based on belted occupant testing. Recently, the government’s five star rating in frontal crash started including leg injury criteria, in addition to chest and head injury criteria. The femur loads need to be very low to obtain the five star rating. This is a challenge because the structure needs to be made "softer" to reduce the femur loads in NCAP testing; however, a "softer" structure may not pass the unbelted testing due to the higher impact energy involved. INDUS’s new five star safety-capable structure provides very low femur loads in NCAP belted testing while meeting the FMVSS 208 unbelted testing requirements as well.

With the tightening of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) requirements, OEMs are looking for light-weight structures throughout the automobile. "To get the five star rating, OEMs resort to knee airbags. However, these add several pounds to the weight of the car and are also much more expensive. In contrast, a typical five star safety-capable LATTICELL driver side knee bolster system (comprising of 2 energy absorbers and a reaction plate) weighs about as 2.5 lbs, costs a fraction of the knee airbag and does not have any out-of-position occupant injury concerns," said Dr. Ayyakannu.

"The manufacturing of high-strength steel LATTICELL energy absorber is performed in a sophisticated Bihler manufacturing cell. The automation of the process helps us to keep the piece cost down and provides configuration flexibility. We are currently manufacturing 1.5 million LATTICELLs every year and we have installed capacity to make another 2 to 3 million," said John Miller, President of Superb Industries. "INDUS chose Superb as its LATTICELL manufacturing partner because of its proven expertise in automated processing capabilities and its commitment to quality," said Latha Subbiah, INDUS’s business and marketing manager.

INDUS Concepts & Engineering, LLC, based in Troy, Michigan, is a 15 year old company that provides innovative structural and safety product solutions and engineering services.

SUPERB Industries was ranked in the top 100 fastest growing manufacturers in the US by Inc. magazine for the past 3 years and is located in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

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Latha Subbiah
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