12 Mar 2019
Mobility Solutions for Tomorrow
FoamPartner collaborates with Rinspeed in the development of high-quality automotive interiors based on polyurethane foam
FoamPartner, the Swiss polyurethane foam specialist, has partnered with Rinspeed, the renowned creative think tank and mobility lab for the automotive industry, to develop advanced concepts for the mobility of tomorrow. The microSNAP concept car developed by Rinspeed illustrates the potential of innovative foam technology for automotive interiors as well as acoustic and thermal insulation.
“The automotive world is undergoing radical change,” says Kay Kosar, Vice President of the Acoustics & Thermal Solutions (A&TS) global business unit at FoamPartner. “Smart cities, autonomous driving, car sharing and artificial intelligence are all demanding visionary mobility solutions. The growing electrification of road traffic, including the use of information technology and sensor systems in modern vehicles, shows a clear trend towards encompassing and value-added concepts that will provide significant benefits in both transportation and driving experience.”
The microSNAP illustrates this comprehensive approach by means of a chassis with an electric drive and variable superstructures, including a robotized change station, all targeted at the autonomous local transport of goods and people. “The passenger compartment module has all the features required for tomorrow’s smart passenger transport, such as a digital cockpit, a voice assistant and, last but not least, a durable, rugged yet comfortable interior design,” says Frank M. Rinderknecht, CEO of Rinspeed AG.
Presented first early this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and now making its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the microSNAP benefits from several innovative foam solutions. FoamPartner specializes in solutions for high-quality, low-emission and low-odor applications based on polyurethane ester and polyurethane ether foams. These are developed by its Acoustic & Thermal Solutions (A&TS) business unit as well as its Automotive Rolls (AR) business unit for automotive interiors, e.g. headliners, door panels and arm rests.
While engine sound-proofing is paramount for conventional combustion vehicles, considerably quieter electric vehicles have an increased need for reducing the rolling and wind noises transmitted into the passenger compartment. At the same time, thermal insulation is becoming ever more important to protect the battery from heat and cold and minimize the energy consumed for heating and air conditioning.
“FoamPartner is a small but extremely customer-focused niche supplier,” Kosar emphasizes. “We offer tailored solutions that make use of our expertise in polyurethane foam materials and processing, through to prototyping. The partnership with Rinspeed fits perfectly in our existing network with other manufacturers and suppliers of the industry, and has already resulted in several further innovation projects.”
Among its various customer services, the application development operation at FoamPartner includes comprehensive facilities for 3D component simulation. For prototyping, non-woven, leather and other surfacing materials are sourced from qualified network partners. Foams and components can be tested in-house at the company’s Acoustic/Thermo Center.
“FoamPartner is the perfect address for us to implement our ideas for the comfortable passenger compartment of tomorrow,” says Rinderknecht. “Their application and development engineers share our passion for sustainable innovation and have an excellent sense of the art of the possible in foam.”
The microSNAP can be seen on Rinspeed’s booth, 6240, during the Geneva International Motor Show, which runs until March 17.
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Notes for editors
About FoamPartner Fritz Nauer AG
FoamPartner, with headquarters in Wolfhausen (Switzerland) and 14 Centers of Competence across Europe, America and Asia-Pacific, is a global leader in foam technology. The company offers its customers a broad portfolio of best-in-class foam and other material solutions engineered to the highest standards of form, function and quality. More than 1,100 employees worldwide develop, manufacture, process and distribute custom-tailored polyurethane foam products focused on three market segments: Mobility, Specialties, and Living & Care. FoamPartner was founded in 1937 and has been a member of the Conzzeta Group since 1980. Visit www.foampartner.com and www.conzzeta.com for further information.
About Rinspeed AG
Rinspeed was founded in 1979 by Frank M. Rinderknecht and is recognized as a brilliant Swiss think tank for forward-looking mobility concepts. Starting with the import of solar roofs and the fabrication of vehicles for disabled people, the business soon advanced to various demanding design creations for renowned automotive manufacturers. Since 1990, Rinspeed has been operating with headquarters in Zumikon near Zurich and has repeatedly redefined the theme of mobility with numerous visionary concept cars, from the RINSPEED Roadster and the transformable RINSPEED Presto city speedster or the RINSPEED sQuba zero-emission submersible to the variable RINSPEED microSNAP, the latter including a robotized change station for the vehicle’s modular superstructures. Further information can be found at www.rinspeed.eu.