Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

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Thread: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

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    Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture



    Most automakers focus on chassis designs as success stories in the shift toward modular product architecture. Ford has instead highlighted the many advantages of a common structure for its front seats, which are now shared between the Focus, F-150 and most other models.

    Taking inspiration from office furniture and airliners, the modular seat design is based on a common skeleton that can be clad in various 'top hat' leather or cloth seat covers. Designers aimed to make the seat snug near the hips, preventing sliding while driving, but with freedom of movement for the arms and legs.

    The universal skeleton supports a "plug and play" system with more than 30 different individual configurations. Add-ons include inflatable lumbar, bolster and massage bladders, adjustable lumbar supports, heating and cooling systems, cushion extensions and independent thigh supports, among other components.

    The structure is now used in 90 percent of Ford's North American vehicles, most recently the 2016 Ford Explorer. It will continue to be expanded gradually to global markets in the coming years.

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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    Cool!
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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    The structure is now used in 90 percent of Ford's North American vehicles, most recently the 2016 Ford Explorer.
    That's impressive! Reducing platforms, reducing engines, reducing transmissions, reducing seat frames... this kind of consolidation is what Sergio was calling for, and it seems like Ford is making an effort to get their own house in order. That might allow them to resist more massive industry consolidation in the future. Spend less money designing seat frames, and spend more money on better padding, better adjustability, better materials... THAT'S the stuff we want to pay for, after all, not the frame we never see.
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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    Quote Originally Posted by paul8488 View Post
    That's impressive! Reducing platforms, reducing engines, reducing transmissions, reducing seat frames... this kind of consolidation is what Sergio was calling for, and it seems like Ford is making an effort to get their own house in order. That might allow them to resist more massive industry consolidation in the future. Spend less money designing seat frames, and spend more money on better padding, better adjustability, better materials... THAT'S the stuff we want to pay for, after all, not the frame we never see.
    The fact that this wasn't an already established practice boggles the mind. Parts standardization is how Cadillac made a name for itself 100 years ago.

    100 years later it's a PR story that we now have a modular seat frame. How far we've come.

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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    @paul8488 , ...oh that's right, GMI doesn't have that feature...yet
    before you started hanging out at FiN, fairly early in Mr.Mulally's reign,
    there was a story about how he discovered that there were something like 8 different prop-rods used to hold hoods open.
    He made a point of reducing that kind of redundancy**

    ** remember the Dept. of Redundancy Dept.?
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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbreh View Post
    The fact that this wasn't an already established practice boggles the mind. Parts standardization is how Cadillac made a name for itself 100 years ago.

    100 years later it's a PR story that we now have a modular seat frame. How far we've come.
    Maybe it was done, but it would seem that many automakers got away from that? I dunno, maybe all are working towards this simplification, but if not, they should!
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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    Quote Originally Posted by sfbreh View Post
    The fact that this wasn't an already established practice boggles the mind. Parts standardization is how Cadillac made a name for itself 100 years ago.

    100 years later it's a PR story that we now have a modular seat frame. How far we've come.
    One person's differentiation is another person's lack of commonality.

    It's only when companies are pushed to the brink of extinction do they get religion of scales of economy and what
    the use of modular engineering can do for their viability. Lots of small inconsequential parts in cars should and will
    become common. Most of it gets taken out of the hands of motor companies and handled by Tier 1 suppliers.

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    Re: Ford's front seats highlight shift toward modular architecture

    IMHO also would allow FORD to cheaply make a "platinum" seat for even basic level cars like the FOCUS as the R/D is done for the Lincoln/F150 Platinum

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