MOBIS, the company that has conquered the world of auto parts with a product range of parts that mix safety with comfort and development with mass production, announced that its airbag production has crossed the 20 million units mark.
With its Cheonan factory in full swing, built as a strategic production base for brakes and airbags, the company’s cumulative airbag production has surpassed 20 million units, MOBIS said in the announcement made on the 8th.
After a few calculations, it was deduced that opening 20 million airbags simultaneously is equal to the energy created by two aircraft carriers weighing 100,000 tons each crashing into each other at 40km/h. Experts say that when a vehicle traveling at 40km/h hits a telephone pole, the driver is hit with such an impact that it exceeds 16 times their body weight (i.e. 1 ton force for a 65kg person). An airbag can absorb all of that impact &#8211; coupled with a seatbelt, allowing a person to withstand up to 30 times their body weight.
Because of the ability to absorb impact, studies show that fatalities in car accidents can be reduced up to 14% with an airbag (i.e. front airbag) and up to 50% with a seatbelt as well.
The Cheonan Plant started mass production in 2002 and since being outfitted with the latest testing equipment and automation lines, has been manufacturing driver and passenger front airbags, side airbags and rear curtain airbags.
Managing Director Kim Cheol-su, who supervises the MOBIS Seoul-Incheon region plant, said, “The airbags made here are sent out to the Hyundai and Kia factories and mounted on 15 domestic and export models. Some of these are exported to India and Turkey, where they are placed on the local Hyundai and Kia models.”
As safety regulations become increasingly tougher around the globe and more consumers are interested in safety, the number of airbags used on vehicles is growing as well. Looking at the figures from the MOBIS Cheonan Plant, cumulative airbag production in 2003 was at 1 million units. The same figure increased to 5 million in 2005, 10 million in 2007 and over 20 million just over two years later. Production, however, will increase at an even faster rate.
This plant is also significant because 40% of its frontal airbags are “advanced airbags”. This means the high-tech airbags detect the force of impact and the passenger body weight. Then detected data is used to automatically calculate and control the force in which the airbag inflates, thus minimizing any injury to passengers during an accident.
MOBIS has achieved this feat in just under eight years, advancing its production expertise and airbag technology. The company has therefore been able to stay competitive against top airbag manufacturers around the world, such as Autoliv from Sweden and TRW from the U.S.
Vice-President Jeon Ho-seok, who leads the MOBIS Technology R&D Center, explains that “the development of knee airbags are now complete and are expected to be mounted on major Hyundai and Kia models from 2011.” “We are now going further by not only protecting those inside the vehicle during an accident, but also protecting pedestrians with ‘pedestrian airbags’ which are currently being developed,” he added, to explain the details of the future of airbag technology at MOBIS.
In addition to the Cheonan Plant, MOBIS has a wide network of plants in Korea including the Poseung Plant (MDPS), the Changwon Plant (CBS), the Gimcheon Plant (head lamps) and the Jincheon Plant (electronic parts). There is also another core parts plant in China, which makes the audio system, airbags and transmission. With its functionally integrated modules based on such core technology, MOBIS is growing in status and reputation in the global auto market.
MOBIS plans to increase its core parts production, which makes up 30% of its current total sales, to the 50% level by 2015.