MANN+HUMMEL USA has recently launched a new air cleaner system for a very important line of mid-sized SUVs of General Motors. This program is the first air induction system for General Motors, which is produced in the MANN+HUMMEL plant in Dunlap, Tennessee.
Much of the system is vertically integrated into the Dunlap production including the blow molded dirty air ducts, the air cleaner assemblies and clean air ducts with integrated engine cover. The engine cover is designed at the same time as a side branch resonator dampening undesired engine noise. As a rather new product for MANN+HUMMEL, the system incorporates what is known as a splash shield. It is a large injection molded dirty air inlet component that spans the front of the vehicle from left to right, headlamp to headlamp, providing a front hood seal. This large plenum has been designed to deliver air from the front of the vehicle. The air is pulled through a number of preseparator planes before entering the dirty air inlet. This eliminates the biggest portion of water droplets from the intake air. The MANN+HUMMEL engineers worked very closely with General Motors to ensure that this crucial component interfaces with the variety of parts situated in the front of the vehicle.
The company innovated by producing the clean air duct as a TPE injection molded bellow. Significantly this delivered lower weight with attention to constant and defined wall thickness compared to blow molded ducts. The design of the bellows and the local reinforcement ribs fulfill all the requirements regarding collapse robustness on the one hand and the required decoupling characteristics on the other hand. This challenge is often considered to be conflicting demands.
As reduction of engine noise is an important priority for many car manufacturers, the MANN+HUMMEL development is designed to deliver improved acoustics. By using TPE injection molding technology the company has been able to improve the decoupling characteristics through the use of a soft material, but at the same time to reduce sound emissions. Therefore, the bellows make an important contribution to the desired acoustics of the vehicle.
A further key element of the air cleaner system is the five sided filter element which makes the most of the available space. An integrated plastic grid helps to stabilize the filter element particularly in wet conditions or at full engine load and therefore maximum airflow.
As a valued supplier, MANN+HUMMEL continues to work with General Motors on future vehicle developments that will incorporate much of the new thinking and developed technology of this latest program.