TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. has launched its next-generation seatbelt retractor, the Floating Spool 1 (FS1), which offers reduced weight (about 15% lighter) and smaller dimensions compared to previous systems, according to the company. Production of the global FS1 technology starts in the second quarter of 2014 with vehicle manufacturers in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. In a crash scenario, unlike most seatbelt retractors, which use a lock pawl to hold the webbing in place, the new design features fewer components and uses the forward movement of the occupant to apply force to the webbing. This force on the webbing then moves the spool, locking the reactor. The simpler, standardized component design can easily be adapted to local market requirements while maintaining a highly competitive cost, says TRW. The new design can be produced using fully automated or semi-automated manufacturing processes. The FS1 can be used in both front- and rear-seat applications through the use of buckles and/or anchor pretensioners. It is also available both as a standard retractor without a load limiter or with a constant load limiter using a standard torsion bar. A child seat restraint feature, sensor blockout for folding seats, and a noise damping system are all optional functions.