Handle assemblies used in Ford Explorers are less expensive to produce, thanks to a family of precolored compounds from RTP Company. “We definitely saved money by eliminating the painting process,” said Brian Kiser, Purchasing Agent for Porter Systems of Westfield, Indiana. “We also view this as a quality improvement, since it eliminates the scuffing and marks that can appear with painted parts.”
The handles are molded from an RTP 200 Series nylon 6/6 specialty compound reinforced with glass fiber. The multiple components meet a critical color match with the adjacent plastic parts on the vehicle’s seat. Current colors are Dark Prairie Tan, Dark Graphite, and Medium Tan.
The compound processes easily and provides ample tensile strength at 16,000 psi (110 MPa) and flexural strength of 25,000 psi (172 MPa). “The big thing with glass fiber reinforced compounds is that glass tends to come to the surface,” explained J.R. Spitznogle, President of Global Plastics in Indianapolis, Indiana, whose company molds the parts. “That’s not the case with the RTP material. The color is very consistent, and they matched the colors correctly the first time.”
“We haven’t had any issues on color variations since we moved to the precolored compounds,” continued Kiser. “It’s been a great solution that’s consistent, cost effective, and top quality.”
Porter Engineered Systems, Inc., has provided mechanical seating and steering column adjustment systems to the automotive OEM and after-market since 1977. Contact them at (248) 799-9070 or visit their website at www.porteres.com. Global Plastics, Inc., offers rapid tooling, engineering, molding, and assembly in products from small prototypes to high volumes. Contact them at (317) 872-2345 or visit their website at www.global-plastics.com.