With growing demand for fuel efficiency, vehicles have had to become smaller and lighter. Still, consumers don’t want to sacrifice roominess or comfort. So, manufacturers need new ways to maximize interior space. One potential solution: Thinner seats. But there’s a practical limit on how thin a seat can be and still deliver the comfort consumers want.
Johnson Controls researched alternatives and found one in, of all places, a mattress. Not just any mattress, but the kind produced by British luxury bedding manufacturer Harrison Spinks. They developed an innovative technology whereby scores of small metal springs are individually wrapped in pockets and enclosed in a mat that covers the mattress, delivering superior comfort.
Our engineers demonstrated that this technology could be adapted to automotive seatbacks and produced cost effectively. In fact, seatbacks constructed with this pocketed coil technology are up to 20 percent thinner than conventional polyurethane foam based seatbacks and just as comfortable, for occupants of all sizes.
See “The ComfortThin Breakthrough”
We call this innovation ComfortThin, and only Johnson Controls has it. Through a joint agreement, Harrison Spinks will supply the pocketed coil spring mats exclusively to Johnson Controls.
Because ComfortThin seatbacks are dramatically thinner, they may also help reduce the mass of the vehicle, thereby enabling increased fuel efficiency. What’s more, unlike foam, metal springs can be recycled, making ComfortThin seat backs 100 percent recyclable.
Customers are definitely interested. “Vehicle manufacturers want a solution that balances the need for smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles with the demand for comfort,” said Scott Donegan, Business Development Director for Johnson Controls Complete Seats. “We’ve shown them an innovative way to strike that balance.”
ComfortThin seats will be available for the 2015 model year. ComfortThin gives OEM customers a way to differentiate their vehicles with industry leading technology.
For more information please download the news release.