Renault Group

Renault Frères 2023 Trophies: Renault Group celebrates its inventors and the spirit of innovation

24 November 2023
3 min
The third edition of the Renault Frères Innovation Trophies took place on 21 November at Hangar Y (France) in the presence of Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault Group, Top Management, experts and the 35 finalist teams. The event honoured the inventors who are shaping the future of the Group and its brands. Ten trophies - including two surprise trophies - were awarded to more than 50 employees.
by Nicolas LE-BOUCHER

To innovate, having an idea is not enough. Innovation is also about passion, conviction, perseverance and hard work... All these ingredients are needed to bring a great concept to life. The Trophies were awarded following votes by Group employees. Of the 570 entries received, 35 teams were nominated. More than 5,000 voters then chose the 10 winning teams.

luca de meo

In an unpredictable and changing world, innovation has become a company's most precious asset. We strive to develop innovation that serves our customers first and foremost. By the end of this year, we will have almost doubled the number of patents filed by the company compared with two years ago. And we want to go even further, aiming to be in the top 3 in France by 2028! Innovation is not just a question of technology or engineers. It's a state of mind that we need to nurture throughout the company to strengthen our organisation's ability to transform itself. That's what the Renault Frères Innovation Trophies are all about!”

Luca de Meo
CEO Renault Group

"Gold Technology" trophy for "Solarbay, a panoramic roof that darkens on demand"

Unveiled on  the new Renault Rafale and Renault Scénic E-Tech electric, Solarbay is an intelligent panoramic glass roof. It becomes opaque or transparent again in segments on demand, using PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) technology, controlled by a computer. High-tech, "magical" and useful, Solarbay provides thermal protection, a 30 mm gain in passenger space and an 8 kg weight saving. Renault is the first manufacturer to use this system - developed in partnership with Saint Gobain - with full and partial opacification functions for each segment.

L’équipe « Solarbay » lauréate du trophée « Technologie Or »
L’équipe « Solarbay » lauréate du trophée « Technologie Or »

Silver Technology" trophy for "3-in-1 Sleep Pack: adventure with Dacia"

The result of work by Dacia's product, after-sales and Qstomize teams, this innovation reflects the Romanian brand's desire to develop an outdoor lifestyle. The Sleep Pack turns Jogger into a real bedroom.
Simple, removable and affordable,
it consists of a double mattress and a wooden box with 220 litres of storage space.

L’équipe « Pack Sleep 3-en-1 » lauréate du trophée « Technologie Argent »
The "Pack Sleep 3-in1" team wins the "Silver Technology" trophy

“Bronze Technology" trophy for "Hybrid vehicles with optimised battery cooling using air-conditioning refrigerant"

The traction batteries in hybrid vehicles heat up. Ensuring optimum, long-lasting performance requires high-quality cooling. The winning invention involves circulating the air-conditioning fluid in a plate placed under the cells. Its evaporation, regulated by a valve, extracts the heat to ensure even cooling. This inexpensive, efficient and high-performance technology is used in particular on the E-Tech full hybrid 200hp versions of the Austral and Espace.

L’équipe « Refroidissement de la batterie des véhicules hybrides » lauréate du trophée « Technologie Bronze »
The "Hybrid vehicles battery cooling " team wins the "Bronze Technology" trophy

"Industry" trophy for "Supply Chain Control Tower, artificial intelligence for secure logistics in real time".

The Supply Chain Control Tower secures plant supplies by displaying in real time the positions and contents of all the lorries travelling between our suppliers and our plants. It can also detect supply risks in any country (weather, traffic, etc.) and recommend the best security solutions in advance.

L’équipe «Supply chain control tower» lauréate du trophée « Industrie »
The "Supply Chain Control Tower" team wins the "Industry" trophy

"Quality" trophy for "Megane and Austral 'Confirmation Runs': a new process for vehicle launch".

As part of a new type of road test called "confirmation runs", Mégane E-Tech electric and Austral each covered almost 3 million kilometres on all types of road before their commercial launch. At the wheel were around a hundred testers who looked like customers. Their objective: to identify areas for improvement so that the vehicles are at the very top of the range in terms of driving pleasure, quality and reliability. This ensures impeccable quality before the new vehicle goes on sale.

L’équipe «Confirmation Runs» lauréate du trophée « Qualité »
The "Confirmation Runs" team wins the "Quality" trophy

“Customer Relations” Trophy awarded to Plug Inn, private charging for private individuals

Plug Inn brings together electric car drivers and owners of private charging points. By offering wider access to recharging, the innovation aims to give peace of mind to drivers worried about their range, limiting long-distance electric journeys where necessary.

In practical terms, drivers can find available charging points and book them easily in advance. As for the owners of the charging points, they benefit from additional income.

The "Plug Inn" team wins the "Customer Relations" trophy

"Artificial Intelligence for Zero Fault Validation of Driving Aids" wins "Small & Smart" trophy

Validating driver assistance systems (ADAS) requires a great deal of time and resources. Systems have to be validated in every possible situation, involving numerous tests on open roads.

The innovation consists of recording driving data, replaying it in the software version of the system and then carrying out the analysis using artificial intelligence.  Applicable to all Renault Group brand vehicles, this assessment has cut validation costs by several tens of millions of euros by 2022.

Artificial intelligence for zero-defect validation" team wins "Small&Smart" trophy

"Transformation" trophy awarded to "Plant as GMF 3Month leader: a more agile and collaborative process for resolving customer incidents twice as fast"

This new operating method makes the manufacturing site managers responsible for resolving incidents reported in real time via a database accessible to all players (plant, engineering, network, after-sales). Plants are at the centre of incident management. As a result, problems are resolved much more quickly, improving customer satisfaction.

Thanks to this new process, the incident resolution time has been divided by 2 between 2021 and 2023.

The "Plant as GMF 3Months leader" team wins the "Transformation" trophy

Special Jury Trophies

1st Jury's Special Trophy awarded to Julien Fé

Some inventors impressed the jury with their positive, ingenious and enterprising spirit... That's the case with Julien.

Tired of not getting the right answers from suppliers, Julien decided to put his passion for mechanical development to work for the company by setting himself the challenge of solving a problem in the factory that was affecting workstation ergonomics, quality control and efficiency. The tool he invented saves operators at the Cléon plant from having to manually straighten the 48 wires of the 5DH motor stator one by one before assembly.

Julien Fé, lauréat du 1er trophée « Spécial du Jury »
Julien Fé, winner of the 1st "Jury's Special" trophy

2nd Jury's Special Trophy for "Wet unmasking, a more economical and ecological painting process".

This solution for two-tone paint cars, applied in the Valladolid and Palencia plants (Spain), involves a modification to the painting process. Once the car has been blistered and the paint applied, it is now stripped before being put in the oven to cure the varnish. The use of certain materials (plastics and protective tapes) is reduced, thereby cutting waste.
This technique brings cost benefits and contributes to improving quality and the environment.

L’équipe «Biton humide» lauréate du 2e trophée Spécial du Jury
The "Wet unmasking" team wins the 2nd Jury's Special Trophy

 

Key competition figures

  • 570 entries submitted between May and June 2023
  • 35 teams nominated in 6 categories
  • More than 5,000 voters to select the winners in the Technology and Industry categories
  • A final jury to select the winners in the Quality, Customer Relations, Small & Smart and Transformation categories
  • 10 winning teams

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