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Engineering Materials

Engineering leaders learn new insights during Advanced Materials Forum North America

The third annual Advanced Materials Forum (AMF) North America, a 100% online forum about materials solutions, held on Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, featured a full day of presentations from industry experts. Sessions covered diverse innovations and advancements in the automotive, medical, water contact, consumer goods and electronics industries.

Guest speaker Michael Fiske, associate director of North American Powertrain at IHS Markit, gave an overview of North America Powertrain Electrification and Development. When looking at global production of vehicles, North America has traditionally been an electrification outlier, but the gap is beginning to close.

According to Fiske, what has stood out is that North America has been a lagger in past years—behind Europe and China for producing electric vehicles. However, North America is expected to be much closer to other global regions in 2030.

“Despite obstacles to success, the path towards electrification is increasingly clear, and the global shift towards electrification is moving at an accelerated rate,” explained Fiske. “While hybridization provides an important step for some manufacturers, most have a goal of converting the majority of all their fleets to BEVs during the 2030s.”

Fiske also discussed how downsizing and boosting trends continue to play an important role in increasing overall fleet performance in North America, and that primary and secondary drive unit reduction gears may provide increased opportunities for some component suppliers.

The future of smart devices

During the session Material Science for 5G Connectivity, John Hsieh, global marketing manager-electronics at DSM Engineering Materials, discussed design trends of 5G smartphones; smartphone fast charging standards and material challenges; and material needs of different components for high speed wired/wireless data transmission.

According to Hsiesh, there will be different form-factor smartphones and the challenges lie in durability, hinge design, and thickness and weight increase. “Thanks to technology advancing, we see the different flip phones launch this year, for example, one with a 360-degree hinge design. Many smartphones will be used like a tablet or notebook, and there is also a smartphone protype that is like a roller poster. As phone designs evolve, these designs will bring challenges.” 

With smartphone fast charging standards and material challenges, thermal management is a key priority. There are material needs of different components for high speed wired/wireless data transmission. Overall, comparative tracking index (CTI) is very important—a high CTI is needed to ensure products are safe. The plastic material provides an insulation function, and if there is contamination on top of plastic when you charge a smartphone, the plastic could be compromised. Either the device will short or possibly burn.

Bringing sustainability to the medical market

During the session The Next Generation of Medical Grade Materials: Connecting Sustainability with Medical Compliance, Mike Perillo-Gentile, medical market development manager at DSM Engineering Materials, discussed the importance of sustainability, plus challenges medical and pharmaceutical OEMS often face.

A study commissioned by Johnson & Johnson found the following:

  • 54% of hospitals say green attributes are very important in their purchasing decisions.
  • 40% of hospitals expect their future RFPs to include questions and criteria regarding green attributes of products.
  • 35% of hospitals switched supplier due to additional green/sustainable product offerings.
  • 85% of hospitals rate being free of heavy metals and latex, end-of-life solutions and energy efficiency as important attributes.

“These findings show that there is a competitive advantage for med tech OEMs to bring sustainability to the market, said Perillo-Gentile. “Many med tech companies are leading the way in sustainability and they are committing to significant carbon reduction.”

According to Perillo-Gentile, there are challenges to overcome because it is often thought that sustainability sacrifices patient safety and product performance and that sustainability means a higher cost. “At DSM advancements with sustainable material technology have been made and we have challenged ourselves to do this in a way that is sustainable for the environment and business—if it is not good business it is not sustainable,” said Perillo-Gentile.

Another challenge is often med tech manufacturers don’t know where to begin when implementing a sustainability strategy. DSM Engineering Materials can help companies create a strategy to reduce their emissions. We have done the groundwork to reduce the carbon footprint of its materials by shifting to renewable electricity and improving energy efficiency. Plus, we have reduced the carbon footprint of raw materials by introducing bio- and recycled based feedstocks. Regarding circular economy solutions, circular materials help to de-fossilize the economy and society, reduce plastic waste and carbon footprint, and meet changing legislative and end-consumer demands.

Moving forward, DSM Engineering Materials will continue to work with our partners to leverage emerging technologies and deliver a broader range of circular economy solutions. Our ambition is to offer bio- and/or recycled-based alternatives for our entire portfolio (containing at least 25% bio- and/or recycled-based content by weight in the final products) by 2030.

When utilizing DSM sustainable materials, you quickly reduce your carbon footprint, which provides you with regulatory agility needed to quickly adapt to the evolving government regulations faced. Since our sustainable materials come with Life Cycle Analyses, carbon footprint declarations, and other relevant documentation, you will no longer need to worry about the risk of ever-changing regulations. Instead, you can focus resources on innovation and gaining approvals for new medical devices.

In case you missed the Advanced Materials Forum

If you missed this year’s Advanced Materials Forum North America and have an interest in one of the sessions, please contact us to request access to view a recording or request a copy of the presentation.

Published on

24 November 2021

Tags

  • Blog
  • Automotive
  • Medical
  • Electronics

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candace Roulo

Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development

Candace Roulo is Global Manager of Messaging and Content Development for DSM Engineering Materials. Based in Troy, Michigan, she specializes in writing blogs and articles about advanced materials solutions. Prior to joining DSM, Candace served in editorial roles at SME and Penton Media. Candace earned her bachelor’s degree in communication, specializing in public relations, at Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

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