Johnson Controls develops new hip-point mannequin that complies with international standards

Mannequin plays important role in measuring safety and comfort of automotive seating

PLYMOUTH, MICH. (Feb. 19, 2013) – Hip-point mannequins are an indispensible element in the engineering and production of automotive seating, used to measure whether a vehicle can safely and comfortably accommodate the driver and passengers. Since there are three different international standards that define the characteristics and dimensions of these mannequins, automakers and suppliers use various models.

Johnson Controls, the world’s leading manufacturer of automotive seating, recently developed a hip-point mannequin that complies with all three standards.

“As a technology leader in automotive seating, we measure and test our products every day in order to ensure the greatest possible safety and optimal comfort,” said Dr. Wilfried Beneker, vice president engineering, product business unit metals and mechanisms at Johnson Controls Automotive Seating. “Until now, however, there was no single hip-point mannequin on the market that satisfied all three standards and our high requirements. Therefore, it made sense for our engineers to design their own mannequin.”

The new hip-point mannequin from Johnson Controls meets standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (standard SAE J 826), the central specification for hip-point mannequins worldwide, and the GLORIA standard for EuroNCAP tests. It also satisfies recommendations of the German Association of the Automotive Industry VDA (recommendation VDA 304).

The hip point plays a key role in the development of automotive seating. It is the seating reference point (SgRP) in digital design plans. Measurements are defined from this point in the vehicle, including the distance to the steering wheel and gas pedal and the driver’s field of vision. Using a hip-point mannequin, the position of the driver and passengers can be measured in prototypes and as well as in the actual vehicle and then compared with the design plans.

The measuring mannequin from Johnson Controls, with its carbon torso, can also be fitted with a head restraint measurement device (HRMD). This determines the position of the head in relation to the head restraints.

Engineers at Johnson Controls have also developed a procedure for calibrating the hip-point mannequin and head restraint measurement device. The mannequin is clamped into a calibration device and measured with a 3D coordinate measuring machine. An optical 3D scanning system is used to test that the carbon torso shell fully meets all standards after production as well.

This method ensures an especially high degree of measurement accuracy and precise reproducibility of the process. In addition, the engineers have also defined a detailed but user-friendly calibration log. This allows users of the mannequin and head restraint measurement device to easily check adherence to the detailed specifications contained in the three standards.

Johnson Controls has been using the hip-point mannequin since June 2011. Following in-house practical testing for a year and a half, the company is now offering the mannequin to automakers, other manufacturers of automotive seating and external testing organizations.

“The response to our mannequin has been extremely positive. Several automakers have already shown interest in it,” said Dr. Beneker.

Follow this link to download images of the mannequin.

About Johnson Controls Automotive Experience:
Johnson Controls is a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics. We support all major automakers in the differentiation of their vehicles through our products, technologies and advanced manufacturing capabilities. With 240 locations worldwide, we are where our customers need us to be. Consumers have enjoyed the comfort and style of our products, from single components to complete interiors. With our global capability, we supply approximately 50 million cars per year.

About Johnson Controls:
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #5 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit

# # #

Follow us on Twitter:

CONTACT: Mary Kay Dodero