Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.

Q&A with Tenneco: Energy recovery technologies 14 Apr 2014

Tenneco’s advances in exhaust heat recovery technologies include thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and Rankine systems for powering electrical accessories, recharging batteries and supporting vehicle propulsion without reducing engine performance. Tenneco reckons that the same trends that are causing the vehicle powertrain to become electrified are indeed causing its after-treatment systems to become electrified. Matthew Beecham spoke to Marcel Womann, Supervisor, Advanced Cold End Products, Advanced Engineering, Tenneco Clean Air Division about TEGs.

Q&A with Magna Steyr 27 Mar 2014

Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with global component manufacturers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Karl-Friedrich Stracke, President Fahrzeugtechnik & Engineering of Magna Steyr about its MILA Blue concept, lightweight technologies and tomorrow's powertrain.

Q&A with Falken Tyre 26 Mar 2014

Over the past few years, Sumitomo Rubber Industries' subsidiary, Falken Tyre has been strengthening its presence overseas, in particular Europe. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Matt Smith, UK director of Falken Tyres about tyre modelling, winter tyres, EU tyre labelling, run-flats and the forthcoming requirement for tyre pressure monitoring systems in Europe.

Q&A with Tenneco: Suspension technologies 18 Mar 2014

Tenneco recently acquired exclusive rights to the digital valve technology used in its so-called DriV suspension products. Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with leading market players in this sector, Matthew Beecham spoke to Rudi Schurmanns, Executive Director, Ride Performance Global Engineering to find out more.

Q&A with SABIC’s Innovative Plastics: Polycarbonate glazing 17 Feb 2014

Alongside the enthusiasm amongst car designers for more glass, pressure to produce more complex glazing shapes and styles is also driving up interest in alternative polycarbonate (PC) glazing technologies. We wouldn’t call it a gold rush but we continue to see a steady stream of interest in PC glazings for certain applications. To find out how this market is shaping up, Matthew Beecham spoke to Scott Fallon, general manager, Automotive, SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business.

Q&A with Jonathan Lee Recruitment: UK referendum on leaving the EU and the impact on the automotive industry of a restriction of skilled staff movement 11 Feb 2014

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has promised a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union by 2017 (after the next general election). The Confederation of British Industry has argued that staying in the EU is overwhelmingly favourable for business; a view shared by the PM. Despite this, the issue has divided business leaders and spelled uncertainty for investors in UK-based global industries at a time when economic recovery and growth is crucial. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke with Jon Blaze, Head of Recruitment Operations at Jonathan Lee Recruitment, a leading specialist engineering recruitment consultancy. He gave an insight as to the impact that this change could have on the automotive jobs market.

ANALYSIS: How F1's rule changes are leading to an ‘energy efficient’ era 5 Feb 2014

This year marks a step change in the F1 regulations. A raft of aero and powertrain rules are set to create a more efficient race car with more direct links to road car technologies. V8s, used since 2006, will be replaced by all new 1.6 litre turbo charged V6. Engines are now also referred to as 'power units' thanks to the increased hybrid nature of their power generation.

Q&A with TRW: Electronic Braking Systems 5 Feb 2014

Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with tier one suppliers of electronic braking systems, Matthew Beecham talked with Dan Milot, Technical Director, Customer Application & Systems Engineering North America, TRW Automotive.

Q&A with Continental: Electronic braking systems 4 Feb 2014

Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with tier one suppliers of electronic braking systems, Matthew Beecham talked with Dr Sören Kirchner, Head of Segment Electronic Parking Brakes within the Hydraulic Brake Systems Business Unit of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division and Dr Hans-Jörg Feigel, Head of Future Brake Systems Development within the Vehicle Dynamics Business Unit of Continental's Chassis & Safety Division

Q&A with Oerlikon Drive Systems 23 Jan 2014

Oerlikon Segment Drive Systems, with its brands Oerlikon Graziano and Oerlikon Fairfield, develops complete drive systems, gearing solutions and transmission components, with a product portfolio providing transmissions for high performance cars, solutions for all-wheel-drive vehicles and agricultural tractors, as well as Torque Hub planetary drive for industrial machinery and off-highway mobile equipment. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Paolo Mantelli, Head of Performance Automotive, Oerlikon Drive Systems about some of its latest innovations and technology partnerships with Continental and Vocis.

Q&A with Harman: Google Glass 20 Jan 2014

At this year’s consumer electronics show (CES), Harman confirmed the rise of so called ‘wearables’ with an integration of its driver assist technology with Google Glass. The company claims it is the first tier one automotive supplier to launch an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) implementation on wearable devices such as Google Glass. Harman’s data also suggests that the wearables sector is a growing market and is projected to exceed US$5 billion in 2016. Matthew Beecham spoke to Harman’s President of Automotive Services David Slump about the technology and the company’s plans for it.

Q&A with Harman: 2014 Consumer Electronics Show 8 Jan 2014

Harman is using the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to launch its latest technologies to the consumer and automotive sectors. Matthew Beecham talked with Harman’s executive vice president and president of Infotainment Division, Sachin Lawande about the company’s innovations on display.

Q&A with IDEAdvance & Control Developments 3 Jan 2014

When we last talked to UK-based technology company IDEAdvance, they had developed a sensor-less rotation detection, control and monitoring method for brushed DC electric motors. To find out how their technology has developed, Matthew Beecham talked with Jan Nottelmann, CEO and CTO of IDEAdvance Ltd and their technology partner, Brian Thompson, MD of Control Developments (UK) Ltd.

Q&A with rFactor Pro: Simulator technology 2 Jan 2014

UK-based rFactor Pro focuses on simulators for engineering development of vehicle dynamics and the control systems and active safety systems that affect vehicle dynamics. The company is moving into the automotive sector and has developed new ultra fast response software which allows automakers to simulate vehicle dynamics in a way that has not been possible before. Normally, simulation is restricted to tasks such as driver fatigue and cabin ergonomic development. rFactor Pro's technology allows automakers to accurately simulate active safety systems (such as SUV rollover), NVH, ride and handling. To find out a little more, Matthew Beecham talked with rFactor Pro's technical director, Chris Hoyle.

Q&A with Harman: Car infotainment hacking 1 Jan 2014

Connectivity plays a major part in the developments of the latest infotainment systems. Much like smartphones and other consumer devices, there is a growing expectation that in-car entertainment systems should feature internet connectivity and enable integration with mobile devices. While it has become common for consumer devices to be supplied with built-in security software or the ability to use aftermarket alternatives, few have any expectations for car security beyond alarms and immobilisers. Much like the computers first connected to the internet, current automotive architecture does not contain security measures designed to repel remote infiltration and intrusion. As such, comprehensive in-car connectivity could lead to cyber-attacks that have the potential to range from inconvenient to more serious. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Robert Boatright, director of Automotive Networking at Harman about what it is doing to counter this.

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