Jason Incorporated: Janesville Acoustics earns prestigious Automotive News PACE Award for outstanding product innovation

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Chris Davidian



Company also honored with innovation partnership award for collaboration with Chrysler Group LLC

SOUTHFIELD, MICH. (APRIL 13, 2011) – Janesville Acoustics, a Jason Incorporated company, today announced it has earned a prestigious 2011 Automotive News Premier Automotive Suppliers’ Contributions to Excellence (PACE) Award for superior innovation in its development of a molded fiber instrument panel (IP) closeout with integrated lighting and ducts. The award was presented at the 17th annual Automotive News PACE Awards Ceremony held Monday evening in Detroit. In addition, Janesville Acoustics, together with its customer, Chrysler Group LLC, received an Innovation Partnership Award at the event, in recognition of outstanding collaboration in the development of the product.

“We’re honored to have had such a strong showing at the Automotive News PACE Awards Ceremony in this, our first year entering the competition,” notes Dave Cataldi, president of Janesville Acoustics. “To have our work, along with our partnership with Chrysler Group LLC, recognized with what is undoubtedly the industry benchmark for innovation is quite gratifying.”

The molded fiber IP closeout with integrated lighting and ducts represents a game change within the automotive components industry. While traditional IP closeout panels – the decorative closure to the under dash – are constructed of injection molded plastic, the use of molded fiber offers significant improvements and enhancements. Janesville Acoustics’ incorporation of structural design, fiber insulation requirements, air ducts and LED lamp features into a single unit allows customers to realize significant cost and weight savings, superior acoustical benefits, improved safety for vehicle occupants during impact, and simplified installation – all while being 100 percent recyclable.

Janesville Acoustics first began developing molded fiber closeout panels in 2000. Recognizing the advantages of using a molded fiber product over plastic, Chrysler was the first auto manufacturer to utilize the technology, including it on the 2001 Chrysler 300. In the years that followed, the functionality of the molded fiber IP closeout product evolved and, while manufacturers including Peugeot, Opel and GM North America have utilized variations of it, Chrysler embraced the full potential of the design. As Janesville Acoustics began integrating electrical connection features, followed by LED lamps and, finally, HVAC ducts, Chrysler continuously placed the latest variations on its vehicle models. Today, the 2011 Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are the first vehicles to feature the molded fiber IP closeout panel with integrated ducts and lighting. It was this ongoing collaboration that led the Automotive News PACE Awards judges to award the two companies with a Partnership Innovation Award.

“Collaboration has been a hallmark of our long-standing relationship with Janesville Acoustics and has allowed for the creation of some truly exceptional products for use on a variety of our vehicles,” said Stephen Williams, vice president of vehicle architecture and advanced engineering at Chrysler Group LLC. “We see the Partnership Innovation Award as recognition of the positive results that may result when a manufacturer encourages the innovative spirit of its supplier.”

Currently, a number of automotive manufacturers are reviewing prototypes of molded fiber IP closeout panels with integrated ducts and lighting for consideration in their vehicle line-ups. This is good news for Janesville Acoustics, given the company has identified growth of its molded fiber products segment as a strategic focus due to the broad potential applications of the technology within the automotive market.

“In our role as a Tier 1 and Tier II supplier to the automotive industry, we’re focused on continuously finding ways of bettering the products we offer our customers while seeking opportunities to provide engineered solutions for products currently using other materials,” adds Cataldi. “We have a number of new innovations underway and therefore hope to have a presence at many upcoming Automotive News PACE Awards ceremonies.”

Janesville Acoustics

Janesville Acoustics is a leading global producer of acoustical and thermal fiber insulation and molded fiber products. A Tier I and Tier II supplier to the automotive and transportation industry worldwide, the company is the recipient of numerous “outstanding supplier” awards from the automotive manufacturers with which the company does business and the industry at-large.

Founded in 1875, Janesville Acoustics is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, with manufacturing plants and satellite offices in Ohio, Mississippi, North Carolina, Germany and Mexico. For more information about Janesville Acoustics, visit http://www.janesvilleacoustics.com.
Janesville Acoustics Receives Industry Award Page Three of Three

Jason Incorporated

Jason Incorporated is parent company to a global family of manufacturing leaders within the seating, finishing, components and automotive acoustics markets, including Assembled Products (Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Janesville Acoustics (Southfield, Mich.), Metalex (Libertyville, Ill.), Milsco (Milwaukee, Wis.), Osborn (Cleveland, Ohio and Burgwald, Germany) and Sealeze (Richmond, Va.). All Jason companies utilize the Jason Business System, a collaborative manufacturing strategy applicable to a diverse group of companies that includes business principles and processes to ensure best-in-class results and collective strength.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Jason employs more than 3,600 individuals in 19 countries. To learn more, visit http://www.jasoninc.com.