Advanced A/C Outlets
Bowles Fluidics Corporation (BFC) was established in 1961 and has been a valued, reliable and innovative supplier of air and liquid management components. Through our unique, high performance washer nozzles and defrosters, we have become the preferred choice of both the automotive manufacturers and their first-tier suppliers with over 45 million units supplied to vehicle programs around the world annually. Our most recently introduced product, the fixed face A/C outlet, continues this leadership position and holds significant advantages for the OEM and First-Tier Interior Supplier.
Conventional A/C outlets use a complex design with numerous articulating vanes and bars to direct the air. In addition to limiting styling themes to a boxy, “cookie cutter” louvered look, these registers provide inferior airflow and directional control, requiring the user to constantly manipulate thumbwheels and slides to get the air in the right place. The louvers and vanes actually obstruct the airflow and reduce its effectiveness when air is directed towards the edge of its coverage area.
By contrast, the unique BFC register features a clean, intuitive joystick design that allows the user to easily and quickly direct the full airflow to the desired point. Since the register does not rely on moveable vanes to deflect the air, the front face is fixed and rather than accepting the standard “cookie cutter shape” the designer can develop and carry a consistent vehicle styling theme through the registers, defining their shape, grille appearance, size and contour. This approach makes it possible to mold the grille directly into the instrument or trim panels and attach the basic joystick control mechanism from the rear. This embodiment eliminates the problem of color matching of register and dash and is particularly suited to mid-model I/P freshening or to provide differentiation between vehicle marquees, since the look of the I/P and outlets can be changed substantially while greatly reducing retooling costs.
Our headquarters in Columbia, Maryland, provides state-of-the-art production equipment, an on-site automotive test facility and a certified materials lab. A custom designed airflow testing lab consists of a multifunction smoke visualization system, programmable traversing anemometer and shut-off system leak tester. In addition, airflow performance is modeled using sophisticated CFD software which allows analysis of individual grille designs and duct balancing.
BFC is able to provide the in-depth engineering support demanded by the automotive industry through a team of application engineers, designers and production specialists assigned to work closely with you throughout the vehicle development cycle.
Manufacturing capability is embodied in a three shift production process utilizing over 30 presses ranging in capacity from 28 to 330 tons. Using advanced cell molding and assembly techniques and automatic multifunction systems, up to 12 million outlets per year can be produced. Unlike other suppliers in this field, we have defined the development of an advanced A/C outlet as one of the corporation’s primary strategic directions and have made an appropriate allocation and focus of resources.
The unit is available for immediate implementation and is currently in production on several domestic vehicles. In addition to the tremendous styling advantages, these programs are also enjoying improved warranty costs and increased customer satisfaction. Please feel free to contact us to find out more about this exciting new advance in interior design.