Automotive designs are accommodating for new trends every year. Vehicle interiors are seeing demands for aesthetics and comfort, requiring advancement in materials and performance to reduce costs and adapt to evolving designs. Since the 1980’s, VELCRO® Brand fasteners have improved the functionality and installation of automotive seats all while helping manufacturers align with the constant changes of the industry.
Automotive seats in the 1980’s – Hook & Loop Relieves Installation Pains
Wire and hog rings had been a common solution to secure trim attachments to the seat foam, but the repetitive process of installing hog rings with a pneumatic gun often caused injuries to operators. To solve this, manufacturers chose hook and loop fasteners as an alternative. The hook fastener was molded into the recessed trench in the foam pad and the loop was sewn into the seams of the seat trim. This VELCRO® Brand mold-in fastener improved the ergonomics of assembly and reduced time and injury. The fastener was over 50 mm wide which aligned with the simple and straight seat trim designs of the decade.
1990’s – Narrower Designs & Coverless Hooks
Improvements on design aesthetics demanded narrow and curved seams so Velcro Companies produced its Mold In Gasket Generation (MIGG) products with widths reduced to 24 mm. The VELCRO® Brand molded, die cut HTH product easily fit into the narrow and deep designs in the foam. This enabled curved trim seams to enhance seat design aesthetics.
Previously, the fasteners arrived at the manufacturing facility with a cover over the hooks and workers had to remove this prior to assembly. The MIGG products were designed without a cover, eliminating the extra step and reducing time.
In the 90’s Velcro Companies embraced the ISO Quality System starting with certification to ISO9001-1994. With our dedication and focus on the automotive industry we extended into QS9000 certification. An additional automotive set of requirements defined for North America built on the ISO standard focusing on improving quality and consistency of production while reducing wastes and defects.
2000’s – Lower Costs & New Styles
The 2000s called for lower costs and new changes to styling designs that further narrowed seams and required stronger hook and loop performance. VELCRO® Brand MIGG products answered these challenges with widths as narrow as 11 mm and improved price points. As a result, VELCRO® Brand products gained popularity with manufacturers in North America, Europe and Asia.
Velcro Companies began production of its automotive seat fasteners in Europe and Asia to help reduce lead times and support just in time (JIT) manufacturing processes. For North America, Velcro Companies has operations in Manchester, NH, Agua Prieta in Mexico and a global center of excellence for automotive seating products located in Brampton, ON, Canada. Automotive Quality Systems transitioned to ISO/TS 16949, a more automotive specific standard with better global recognition superseding QS9000 in NA. All global automotive locations were certified to this new standard commitment of our support to the industry.
2010’s – Slimmer costs & designs
In the 2010s, demand continued for lower cost materials and styling designs. In response, Velcro Companies launched its fourth generation, mold-in, hook and loop fasteners. These products were designed with ferromagnetic plastic for lower costs and a 12 mm width. Also introduced was FLEX-MIGG, a flexible fastener intended to easily adapt to curved seam designs without compromising the hook and loop performance. Quality Systems again, went through a transition with updated certification to IATF 16949-2016 created by the International Automotive Task Force to create a stronger global quality system. A strong quality system and adoption of automotive specific standards and certifications remain a cornerstone of quality and reputation of VELCRO® Brand automotive products.
The Future of Automotive Seats
Seating trends continue to migrate toward narrower products, lower costs and higher performance to improve fit and finish and overall styling. Throughout the years, VELCRO® Brand products have proven to be an innovative solution for these constant changes.
Velcro Companies creates more than just a fastener, we offer engineered solutions. With various widths, strengths, materials and more, VELCRO® Brand products are constantly evolving for the ever-changing needs of customers and their industries. Learn how VELCRO® Brand products can benefit your application.
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