The third annual DSM Advanced Materials Forum (AMF) was held on Tuesday, June 7. Attendees to the online forum were treated to an inspirational series of presentations and discussions from DSM’s team of industry experts.
This year the forum featured two tracks: material science insights and application insights. Within those tracks, topics ranged from overcoming material challenges in electric vehicles (EV) system components and moving toward a low carbon future to overcoming supply chain issues in the medical industry and trends in the water contact industry.
Future vehicles will be safer, lighter, more sustainable
In the session Making Electric Vehicles Safer, Lighter, and More Sustainable, Tamim Sidiki, global marketing director of mobility, noted that the mobility sector is undergoing a dramatic and dynamic transition from internal combustion engine platforms to full EV platforms and gas-electric hybrids. DSM is on the forefront of that change, with 90% of the EVs on the road today incorporating DSM materials.
According to Sidiki, three things have become clear through DSM’s research and conversations with OEMs, various tiers, and consumers — the electric car of the future will need to be safer, lighter, and more sustainable.
“No manufacturer can do this alone,” he said. “The automotive and electronics industries are converging, and we can transfer our proven technologies to the automotive industry, so our customers can quickly build upon those three pillars of safer, lighter, and more sustainable. At DSM we have a long track record of supporting our automotive manufacturing partners, and we also have a dominant position in the global electronics industry with about a 30% market share in the connector world.”
DSM’s product portfolio, which includes Stanyl®, Xytron™, Akulon®, EcoPaXX® PA410, and Arnitel®Eco TPE, covers the majority of all possible automotive and electronics applications, including the expanding and critical connected vehicle systems.
Beyond materials, however, the real differentiator of working with DSM comes on the service level.
“Our customers know they can rely on traditional technology from a trusted partner while at the same time benefit from our long experience in both the automotive and electronics industries,” Sidiki said. “New technologies for new applications can be introduced and deployed quickly and the learning curve is basically as flat as possible, which also makes the cost as low as possible.”
Regulations, recalls and supply issues challenge medical technology suppliers
Evolution is also the name of the game in the medical and pharmaceutical world. In the session Medical and Pharmaceutical Device Innovation Through Compliance Partnerships, Truus Tiemersma, global project manager, said medical technology suppliers are challenged with reacting to stricter device regulations, medical device recalls (and consequent brand and financial damage), a push for sustainability, and global supply disruptions. DSM is positioned to help its medtech partners address all these challenges.
Stricter European medical device regulations are aimed at achieving more transparency in the approval process, harmonization in Europe, and traceability for product recalls to reduce the risk to patients. According to Tiemersma, 30% to 40% of medical device recalls can be traced back to improper material selection.
“The market needs better quality in the development process to address design aspects of making the device technically fit for use, and to help the development team understand how the material behaves during both the manufacturing and use phases of a medical device,” she said.
Medtech OEMS suffer from supply shortages and there is a clear need to seek alternatives for medical polyesters and polyamides. There is also a need for alternative medical grade materials and dual sourcing.
“Our knowledge of the Care material in [our partners’] applications contributes to the de-risking of new product development,” she said. “This ensures that our devices are fit for use from a technical standpoint and also offers guaranteed security of supply.”
Four trends you must be aware of in water contact materials
Pim Janssen, marketing manager of consumer goods, identified four major market trends in the session Impact of Market Trends on Water Contact Material Choices. Those trends are:
- The environment: Consumers and governments are becoming increasingly aware of humans’ impact on the environment and are taking action. “There is now a clear desire and a real drive for sustainable products and circularity,” Janssen said. “It is also important to look into the footprint of making a product. This trend can no longer be ignored.”
- The fast-growing middle class: About 130 million people join this class annually, mainly in Asia and mainly in cities, and they are investing in comfort in and around the house — especially in modern kitchens, bathrooms, and clean drinking water facilities.
- COVID-19: The global pandemic has changed the way we work by applying a “virtual first” culture. Spending more time at home also triggered a wave in home renovation and home comfort.
- Innovation speed: AI, connectivity, and a smaller world are increasing the speed of innovation. This presents a growth opportunity that “you need to catch up to survive,” Janssen said.
“Consumers will be basing their purchasing decisions on the comfort and convenience a product brings to the overall home infrastructure—the individual device is becoming less important,” he added. “Your innovation speed will determine your future market position.”
OEMs and Tier1s can de-risk the future by working with partners who can help fill gaps in their competence by providing safe, sustainable and reliable materials. Janssen suggested that DSM can be one such partner.
“We have a supportive competence from material know-how to CAE to part design, prototyping, and helping you make a cost estimate,” he said. “This reduces your risk and speeds up your innovation.”
To learn more about these or other presentations from the forum, or connect with one of our subject matter experts, please contact us.