Ford Focus Isofix-Child Safety System

On this project, Bertrandt Cologne, together with the sites in Ehningen and Rüsselsheim, was able to demonstrate its modular and networking skills. The result of the cooperation between Ford and the development service provider Bertrandt is the integrated ISOFIX child restraint system in the new Ford Focus, which was implemented without any changes to the structure of the seats.

 

Project launch managed by Bertrandt Cologne

The project began with the benchmarking of the ISOFIX restraint system and its implementation. CAD studies were carried out at the same time to determine the current status of the concept, the legal requirements for the ISOFIX anchor points and the way in which they are attached to the vehicle. Once the findings of the concept phase had been verified and the initial CAD models created, this phase was completed and approved by the customer. Following the release of this phase, the necessary FE analyses could be carried out by the simulation engineers in Cologne. The results were presented to the project team by the relevant Ford employees. After the design of the individual components and the assembly had been tested in theory, work started on making the initial prototypes.

Prototypes from Ehningen

The sample components were planned and developed together with colleagues from the Ehningen Metal Prototype Construction Department. They were used for the initial installation tests, comfort evaluations and further testing. In addition to Bertrandt’s tests, the prototypes were also used for complete vehicle crash tests and tests carried out by the manufacturers of child seats. The functionality and shape of the insert guide was determined using SLS prototypes in installation tests on the production line, in collaboration with the Ford Design, Marketing and Craftsmanship Departments. Static tension tests which confirmed the results of the FE analyses were carried out at the same time.

Endurance testing in Rüsselsheim

The major test was an endurance test of folding down the seat back carried out by Bertrandt in Rüsselsheim, in order to evaluate the effect of the anchor point on the seat covering and the foam of the seat back. As the current design had no negative effects, the prototype was released for initial small-scale production of ten items.

Process support at Ford
Another part of the project involved providing support for a number of Ford processes. These included the preparation of CAD data, the flow of information and the release to purchasing, logistics and marketing, together with technical support for the Ford department in the choice of suppliers and further test planning. The “Top Tether” sticker for the vehicle interior was also developed by Bertrandt. Bertrandt Cologne also provided support during the compilation of the operating manual.

Cooperation with component manufacturers
The final, brief design loop involved minor adjustments to the components, in cooperation with the component suppliers, to accommodate the requirements of the manufacturing process. This had no impact on the tests already carried out. Bertrandt employees from Cologne, together with the Ford department, were responsible for coordinating and implementing this change and tracking the components through the customer’s process. The project was completed on schedule with the final acceptance of services.

Summary
Both the customer and the Bertrandt employees involved felt that the ISOFIX project run by the Bertrandt Engineering Network had been both a pleasure to work on and a success. The network worked well and joint projects are always enjoyable. Bertrandt is looking forward to new challenges as part of other projects and the opportunity to collaborate with Ford in the future.