Mobility trends, opportunities and risks
During the session the “Future of Mobility,” Wolfgang Falter, Partner of Deloitte Consulting GmbH, discussed the risks, opportunities and trends for manufacturers, suppliers and plastics producers. Safer and cheaper transport of passengers or goods is the driving force towards more autonomous and shared vehicles. Also, electrification and use of electronics will increase proportionally. However, triggers, inflection and saturation points of electrification are difficult to predict. But one thing is certain, plastics will continue to benefit from the mobility trends.
“There are five trends—safer, cheaper, faster, better experience and greener,” said Falter. “If we look at normal conditions (without Coronavirus) we see that plastics benefit from these trends and will likely grow above vehicle growth rates in the future.”
Evolution of automotive materials solutions
During the session, “How Next Generation Materials will Allow OEMs to Develop Cars that are Cleaner, Safer and Smarter,” Marcus Reimers, Chief Technology Officer of DSM, discussed the evolution of automotive materials solutions and how a future of uncertainty is affecting the automotive sector. The session focused on how cars are powered, the manufacturing of cars, and connectivity (electronics being one of the biggest drivers of the automotive sector).
“It is important to embrace VUCA 2.0—you need to be Visionary, Understanding, Courageous, and Adaptive,” explained Reimers. “If you apply this along the entire value change, I think there is a way to play your cards well in the areas of autonomous driving, shared business and ownership models, and electronics.”
Reimers then discussed alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles, such as electric and hydrogen power, and the materials solutions research being conducted in those areas. He also touched upon how connectivity links together the automotive and electronics sector and what type of materials properties are best for these applications. Last but not least, he discussed resource circularity and the need for recycling car components.
Material solutions for smart appliance components
During the session “Consumer Trends and How This will Affect Material Selection in the Appliances Segment,” Gerald Wang, Business Development Manager For DSM Southeast Asia, discussed the following case studies to show how trends are affecting what materials solutions are selected for certain applications:
- Staying safe with smart home appliances
- Gear failure when downsizing in small appliances
- Difficulty in trade-offs between design, high temperature creep and aesthetic requirements
According to Wang, smart appliances have changed the way consumer uses appliances in general, what materials are best suited for smart appliance components, and the added safety aspect. “Increased electronics integration will drive more reflow soldering where PBT and PA6 cannot be used, plus there is more unattended usage of appliances,” said Wang. “With Akulon® SafeConnect PA66 we can focus on safety.”