TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. is introducing its range of modular airbag kits which have been developed to significantly reduce implementation time and make the systems more affordable. The products are designed to fit multiple vehicles and consist of a 'baseline' product that can be scaled and adjusted to meet global vehicle platforms.
Norbert Kagerer, vice president engineering for TRW Occupant Safety Systems commented, said: "Car manufacturers are now creating new models in a timeframe where core safety technology suppliers have to be more efficient in implementing the multiple airbag modules fitted to them. TRW is working hand in hand with vehicle manufacturers in achieving these product lead times with its modular airbag kits - which deliver the same levels of design flexibility, performance and reliability as previous airbag modules.
"With the increasingly global nature of our industry, we have to find ways to be more efficient,” he continued. “TRW delivers solutions for a range of models from the luxury segment to low cost vehicles in emerging markets, while looking to deliver the best possible value to our vehicle manufacturer customers and consumers. We improve the affordability of occupant safety products through standardization and improved scale."
Until recently, airbag modules have often been 'individual' solutions designed around the inflator to fit into the desired package space which could take several years to develop. Similar cars - even those from the same company - would frequently require varying equipment levels for different global regions making the task of airbag development increasingly complex.
TRW has addressed this challenge with modular airbag kits for driver and passenger-side airbags, side impact airbags, curtain airbags, and knee protection airbags.
For example, its latest generation of airbag inflators - the DI10 series - is a major innovation in modular airbag development. The products are designed to be assembled from construction kits of standard components with many parts common to all types.
All such DI10 inflators have the same diameter with the gas volume controlled by having designs of different heights to accommodate the required propellant loads. Due to compact dimensions and its scalable gas output, TRW can integrate DI10 inflator technology in both driver and passenger airbag modules.
“Regulations and industry pressures - including the boom of automotive industries in developing markets - are driving the uptake of occupant safety technology on global vehicle platforms,” said Kagerer.