How an Innovative Approach Simplified the Production of a Bus Dash Panel


Manufacturing companies do more than just make products for customers. Good ones strive to find viable solutions for the various problems that arise from the industries they serve. The efforts of one company in Michigan, skilled at both Prototype Manufacturing and specialized production work led to the design and development of a unique production product as a Bus Valence Assembly.

From the Beginning

In 2007, a major bus company was launching a new model, and required a company to build tooling and produce a valance assembly for the bus dash panel.  The valance assembly provides both the visible surface of the dashboard, and also the ductwork that provides heat, air conditioning, and windshield defrosting to the cabin.  This part is more than 90 inches long, increasing the complexity of the design.

At the time of the request, it was assumed that only rotational molding could be used to produce the part required. That’s when the professionals at Global Technology Ventures came up with a creative idea. The assembly could be made in two pieces rather than one. The lower half of the valence could be made using Injection Mold Tooling, while the upper half could be vacuum-formed (vac-formed). 

Molding the lower portion of the valence separately yielded a unexpected benefit.  It allowed all of the ductwork to be molded as one piece, which not only made it a stronger part but it also improved HVAC airflow.  The injection molded parts are made of FRU15 grade ABS, which meets strict FMVSS 302 standards.

By vac-forming the upper portion of the valence, this customer got to choose from a broad range of colors and textures. Ultimately, it went with grey and a hair cell texture.  This enhanced the aesthetics of the dashboard.

Production 15 Years and Going

While some know Globaltech Ventures for its exceptional prototype work, the GTV Products division has a long history of making production products. Today, GTV continues to make this bus valence assembly shipping product JIT each and every week. The creativity of Globaltech’s design and engineering teams may have helped bring a creative solution to this initial design.  But it is GTV’s manufacturing strengths which have kept the program going this long.  Its Farmington Hills MI assembly operation accomplishes this with:

  • - USA-made products
  • - ISO 9001:2015-certified facilities
  • - Meeting and regularly checking strict quality standards using gauges, in-house laser scanning, and stringent control  plans.

GTV is your go-to source for Injection Mold Tooling and both Production and Prototype Manufacturing. Give us a call today for more information about our services or to discuss your project.


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