Case Studies

PULSE™ GX50 replaces PC in MINI gear shift bezel

MINI gear shift bezel

BMW requests Trinseo products

BMW and their part supplier Widmaier approached us with a special task: they were looking for an alternative material in order to improve the production process and the quality of the gear shift bezel in several MINI series. In previous editions of the MINI F54, F55 and F56 the part featured polycarbonate and was painted after molding.

Also for this project, BMW and their tier 1 started off with the common material and with a tool that was designed for molding PC. But in order to put the manufacturing process of the MINI gear shift bezel to the proof, Trinseo's distribution partner, Nexeo Solutions, suggested testing our PC/ABS engineering resin PULSE™ GX50 against the status quo.

MINI gear shift bezel detail

40% cost savings with PULSE™ GX50

PULSE™ GX50 is known for its low-gloss performance, which was one of BMW's main requirements. Also, our PC/ABS was an excellent fit for the tool – although this was initially designed for molding polycarbonate. On top of that, by switching to factory colored PULSE™ GX50 tier 1 Widmaier was able to eliminate the painting step after molding. These change results in cost savings of at least 40%. 

Other outstanding features of PULSE™ GX50 are:
•    Low density
•    Easy flow
•    High heat resistance
•    Approved against BMW specifications GS 93016

MINI gear shift bezel detail back

Though optimized for visible interior parts such as mid consoles, door panel trims and pillars, GX50 also meets the requirements of the MINI interior application meant to fulfill mechanical functions such as moving a switch. The case at hand is proof of the versatility of our PC/ABS.

Perfect solution for a perfect design

The MINI dashboard comes with a simple design that has a certain retro charm to it. The iconic interior is highly appreciated by fans of the British car. Although these design features are inspired by elements from the past, from a production perspective they are not old-school at all. If anything, they impose a new level of requirements on materials and developers. Elements such as the huge centered speedometer or the ring-shaped gear shift bezel break with traditions of interior automotive design. With the support of the development team at Nexeo Solutions, our PULSE™ GX50 contributed to that unique design approach.

MINI gear shift bezel

Cases like these, where unconventional applications meet a versatile, or even exotic, use of a Trinseo material, are of high value for our team. Trinseo’s Fabian Ramos-Meija states that sooner or later traditional automotive cockpit design will be disrupted by trends like autonomous driving. So, in future the ability to think outside the box is crucial.

If you want to learn more about this case, our PULSE™ PC/ABS Engineering Resins, or the Trinseo product portfolio please reach out to Fabian Ramos-Mejia, Distribution Sales Manager E.M.E.A., via email to framosmejia@trinseo.com

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