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Seat Testing, case study

LEAR CORPORATION - Lear was founded in 1917 in Detroit as American Metal Products, a manufacturer of tubular, welded and stamped assemblies for the automotive and aircraft industries. Lear has grown to meet the changing needs of the industry, with 18 major acquisitions since 1994, when Lear went public.

Today, Lear is a world leader in the global automotive and aerospace industry, supplying product for all five major interior systems: seat, instrument panel/cockpit, door & trim, overhead & flooring and acoustics.

Pressure Imaging Requirements:

Use pressure mapping for two primary areas: passenger comfort and seat durability.

XSENSOR Systems in Use:

X2 and X3 PRO – platform, software, sensors, and accessories Lear Corporation uses XSENSOR pressure imaging systems to conduct rigorous automotive seating tests with accuracy, reducing expensive warranty returns and ensuring maximum passenger comfort for their clients  


SUV seat 3D


In an effort to provide the most accurate results in automobile seat manufacturing research, Lear Corporation executes a wide range of tests using pressure imaging systems, including XSENSOR’s X3 Technology Series. The foremost automobile seat manufacturer in North America, Lear uses pressure imaging results to improve the design of existing seats and create leading-edge seat innovations, including:

Flexible Seat Architecture – A modular/flexible seat structure accommodating various vehicle architecture and comfort feature needs.

ProTec™ PluS – Lear’s second-generation self-aligning head restraint designed to protect occupants from whiplash injury.

Smart TriPac – An integration of the seat motor assembly, a memory seat module and solid state electronics into one assembly to create a smaller, less expensive and more reliable seat product.

“XSENSOR’s sensors and connectors are their real competitive advantages.”
Terry O’Bannon
Manager of Occupant Biomechanics

Lear Corporation

Lear’s Manager of Occupant Biomechanics Terry O’Bannon, whose primary responsibilities include directing corporate research, managing a core team of six researchers and executing durability tests and measures, has used every major pressure mapping system over the years, making him a leading authority in pressure mapping systems as they apply to industrial functions and seat research.

O’Bannon describes the need for a pressure imaging system like XSENSOR’s in determining seat durability. “If we’re going to predict and test how long the seat will last in the field,” he says, “we need to have a real predictor of what is happening to the seat in engineering terms. We want to see how the seat feels. That’s where pressure mapping comes in to play.”

Pressure mapping by XSENSOR allows O’Bannon and his team to view accurate, real-time results of pressure tests at a high resolution. The X3 Industrial System, which Lear currently uses, includes a variety of sensor options designed to withstand industrial testing conditions and provide repeatable, accurate pressure distribution information; because the sensors are so durable and repeatable, Lear is able to execute rigorous tests without delaying to adjust the sensors or recalibrate. “If your test is not severe enough,” O’Bannon says, “you end up with a lot of warranty issues—which can cost tens of millions of dollars each year for automakers. If your test is the most robust, then you are able to save millions in warranty returns.”

X3 Technology is also improving Lear’s tests using robotic systems, with which the team records the interaction between a mechanical body designed to mimic the movement of a person and a sensor mat on a seat during ingress/egress. Prior to using pressure mapping, the team was dependent on primarily qualitative results of stress during ingress/egress and was left to determine design flaws by a series of guess-and-tests, which proved expensive and time-consuming.

Application page last updated: 2014-10-08 10:34:11

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LX205 Series Hi-Res Pressure Mapping Sensors
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