The PACE (Premier Automotive Suppliers'' Contribution to Excellence) Awards, also sponsored by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and the Transportation Research Center, Inc., is one of the most coveted awards in the automotive supplier industry. Automotive News PACE Award winners will be announced in March of 2004.
Solutia was recognized for its Vanceva(TM) Quiet acoustic-grade glass interlayer for automotive applications. The product saw its first production use in the windshield of GM''s 2004 Buick Rainier. Solutia partnered with Guardian Automotive, one of the leading global automotive glass suppliers. Solutia supplied Vanceva(TM) Quiet to Guardian, which produced the windshield system for the Rainier.
"This is a testament to the dedication of Solutia scientists and the company''s philosophy of constant improvement for the benefit of its customers and its customers'' customers," said Jay Pyper, North American market development director for Solutia Automotive. "It is an honor to be recognized in the company of such distinguished and accomplished automotive suppliers."
Solutia''s PACE Award finalist - Vanceva Quiet:
Vanceva Quiet was first conceived when Solutia''s automotive market development team learned of the frustrations of engineers specializing in the area of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). While other hardware improvements solved many problems related to ride and mechanical noise issues, one of the last areas to be considered was the attenuation of wind noise entering the vehicle. Tempered glass, which is most commonly used in vehicles, did very little to correct this problem due to a physical phenomenon known as coincident effect, which is the result of wind causing frequency vibrations in glass. As the wind and glass vibrations reach the same frequency, the glass essentially becomes transparent, allowing noise to pass through unabated.
The first solution to address this problem was the use of a plastic interlayer, Saflex, sandwiched between two pieces of glass in side windows. The tough polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer minimized coincident effect. However, by reducing the sound entering through the side windows, the sound entering the vehicle from the windshield was more noticeable, even though the windshield also has a PVB interlayer.
Solutia scientists formulated a more acoustically robust PVB that retains the same benefits as standard PVB (weight reduction, blocking harmful UV rays, resistance to intrusion), yet blocks sound more effectively.
In addition to addressing the needs of NVH engineers, Solutia''s Vanceva Quiet provides a tool for automakers to use in positioning their vehicles in a marketplace that demands quality. According to the 2002 J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Acoustic Study, there is a direct link between the noise level in a vehicle and a consumer''s perception of quality.