By: Matthew Beecham
Matthew Beecham interviews automotive component industry specialists to learn more about changing technologies and new innovations.
Business trends can change quickly in developing markets, such as India, reflecting the pace of change in society. Matthew Beecham spoke to Mike Savage, chief engineer at Drive System Design about how the transmissions market in India is undergoing a period of radical change.
Although there can be no doubt that tomorrow's drivers will be better informed, there remains some concern about information over-load. Matthew Beecham reports on some innovations to help keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with global tyre manufacturers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Peter Becker, Executive Managing Director, Kumho Tire Co Inc about trends in tyre development, modelling, labelling and run-flats.
BWI Group’s MagneRide suspension systems are being increasingly featured in top end cars. In the EU they work on high end integration of chassis components with advanced control and sensory systems to produce vehicles that take safety, ride dynamics and sophistication to a new level. Conversely, BWI also work within the advancing Chinese market that sits in a very different end of the spectrum, where basic safety and control devices like ABS and ESC are just starting to take hold, and where AEB and autonomous driving are concepts reserved for the very top layer of the social elite who can afford to import EU and NA models. Matthew Beecham spoke to Craig Diem, BWI Group, Director – Strategic Planning about how the Group deals with the different challenges that these markets bring.
Continuing just-auto's series of interviews with global automotive component manufacturers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Swamy Kotagiri, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Magna International about the company's capabilities, including seats, convertible roof design and the use of new processes and materials in vehicle manufacture.
As we recover from the recession, Mark Bignell, Automotive Managing Consultant, Jonathan Lee Recruitment explains to Matthew Beecham how a 'perfect storm' led to shortages of automotive engineering skills and what companies can do to improve their situation.
Magna Closures designs, engineers and manufactures a range of vehicle closure modules, systems and components for the automotive industry. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to David O'Connell, Vice President – Global Engineering and R&D, Magna Mirrors & Magna Closures about the company’s SmartLatch, PureView sliding window and how it strikes a balance between providing a door which improves side-crash safety yet reduces overall vehicle weight.
Magna Mirrors is the world’s largest producer of automotive mirror systems and a major supplier of engineered glass systems and door handles. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to David O'Connell, Vice President – Global Engineering and R&D, Magna Mirrors & Magna Closures about the auto-dimming and power-folding mirror markets and the increasing use of cameras on cars.
Johnson Controls' battery operation falls under the auspices of its Power Solutions business, serving both automotive OEMs and aftermarket. In this interview, Matthew Beecham spoke to Craig Rigby, Advanced Market and Technology Strategist, Johnson Controls Power Solutions about the company's technologies for stop-start applications, EVs and PHEVs.
Emissions legislation, weight, packaging, safety and cost are the main factors driving fuel tank innovation. Matthew Beecham talked to Albert Boecker, Product & Advanced Engineering Director, Global Fuel Tank Systems, TI Automotive about the supplier’s fuel system technology and what can be done about ‘fuel slosh’.
Among the major manufacturers pushing back the technical boundaries in the advanced driver assistance (ADAS) arena are TRW and Continental. Matthew Beecham caught up with Rolf Adomat, head of innovation management and ADAS system design at Continental's Chassis & Safety division and Andy Whydell, TRW Electronics’ director of product planning, ADAS to find out more about each supplier’s camera technologies.
Allison, the automatic transmission specialists, is rolling out FuelSense, a fuel-saving solution that automatically adjusts shift schedules, selects neutral and manages vehicle acceleration to maximise transmission fuel economy. Last month, Kenworth became the third OEM to adopt the package. Manlio Alvaro, director of EMEA Marketing, tells just-auto that testing indicates FuelSense has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent when compared to the previous generation of Allison Electronic Controls without these fuel saving feature
Power electronics is being brought into sharp focus as OEMs look to improve the efficiency of electric and hybrid cars. Many of the energy losses in such systems occur in power electronic systems (such as DC-DC converters) which convert the high voltages from the batteries to the correct levels for the various systems in the car. Prodrive are exploring the use of silicon carbide based components which can operate at much higher temperatures and efficiencies. To find out more, Matthew Beecham spoke to Pete Tibbles, Prodrive programme manager – power electronics.
Mentor Graphics is a major supplier of software tools that help engineers design electronic systems and components. Headquartered in Oregon, US, Mentor generates annual revenues of some US$1bn. Its tools are involved in the design of almost every electronic gadget you can think of. To find out about its automotive business, Matthew Beecham spoke to Martin O’Brien, General Manager, Integrated Electrical Systems Division Mentor Graphics.
The automotive industry is now using logistics in a more proactive way to provide the flexibility which is required due to diversifying model ranges. There is also the question of quality, of course. Components that have been acceptable in previous years are being failed by more stringent testing. Matthew Beecham spoke to Brad Brennan, managing director of emergency logistics specialist Evolution Time Critical.
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