Innovation, design, collaborative work and functionality. These are the four pillars on which the Vehicle Information and Access System that Walter Pack has developed alongside Grupo Antolin is based, and which has won the innovation award at the latest edition of the CES in Las Vegas, the most important consumer electronics fair in the world.
This is a state-of-the-art solution that integrates a digitized information and door opening system in the so-called B-pillar, the exterior part that sits between the front and rear doors. Walter Pack has combined its know-how in the development of high value-added plastic solutions with Grupo Antolin’s innovative core in the production of this type of element to create a decorative exterior part that incorporates an intelligent interface (HMI) for accessing the vehicle with multiple additional functions.
A series of challenges
To produce the plastic solution, Walter Pack’s R&D and Color&Trim departments had to face several challenges. First, it was an exterior part that had to meet the characteristics and receive the specific treatment required for this type of solution in terms of humidity, weather conditions, infrared rays, lighting, etc. In addition, it had to be able to integrate an interface with multiple functions: a fingerprint sensor, an infrared camera, a 6-inch display to provide information on temperature, climate, etc., and to project the images captured by the camera; an NFC connector to access the vehicle with a smartphone and dynamic backlighting, among others. And finally, the part had to meet the sophistication and innovation requirements imposed by the demanding automotive industry in order to become a state-of-the-art solution that could be fully integrated into any vehicle model.
To meet these challenges, Walter Pack’s R&D department used its expertise to choose the right technology and materials to carry out the project and prepared the necessary molds and tooling to ensure its feasibility. Regarding design, the Color&Trim department collaborated with Grupo Antolin to design a solution that combined gloss and matte effects, after considering the Black Piano option. Finally, Walter Pack used In-Mold-Forming (IMF) technology to profile the part’s foil and give it an optimum quality, robustness and abrasion resistance finish, and supported the injection process carried out by its partner.
The result was a high value-added part that won one of the innovation awards at the CES show in Las Vegas, out of more than 2,100 entries. These awards, which are sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, aim to recognize and reward outstanding design and engineering in 28 categories of consumer technology products.
A successful collaboration for Walter Pack and Grupo Antolin
The VAS designed and produced by Grupo Antolin and Walter Pack is a combined software and hardware solution that is integrated into the vehicle’s B Pillar and allows access to the interior in a convenient and intuitive way through different authentication methods, from the different biometric data to the digital key and PIN code. This solution also incorporates multiple functionalities such as light and acoustic signals to alert cyclists and pedestrians when the doors are opened, battery charge warnings, weather information, image recording in the event of attempted theft, etc.
Grupo Antolin and Walter Pack have worked with other technological partners to offer a solution capable of meeting the future demand of automotive manufacturers in access systems and contributing to improve the driving experience.
The Vehicle Access System has been awarded in the Vehicle Tech & Advanced Mobility category, which recognizes those automotive and transportation products and services that use technology to improve the driving experience in areas such as safety, navigation, passenger comfort or enabling autonomous driving.