Beecham's Tech-Talk

Beecham's Tech-Talk

By: Matthew Beecham

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


Lighter, more efficient transmissions – Q&A with Drive System Design

20 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Lightweight materials is a hot topic in automotive manufacture in the battle to reduce carbon emissions. Now a technical partnership between engineering consultancy, Drive System Design (DSD) and international chemical and advanced materials company, Solvay SA, is exploring the potential for large-scale use of plastic composites in transmissions and drivelines. To find out more, we spoke to DSD’s president, North America, Shaun Mepham.


Blueprint Acoustics on next generation audio solutions

19 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

While the automotive audio market is dominated by some well-known brands, smaller technology firms are attracting interest from OEMs. In this interview, Greg Turnidge, CEO of Blueprint Acoustics (Bluacs) explains how a niche Australian company is developing audio solutions for next generation vehicle platforms.


Car connectivity brings Big Data opportunities

16 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

With more and more cars offering some form of connectivity, opportunities are emerging for the automotive industry.  In this interview, Nilesh Auti, who is vice president and head of Auto & Discrete Manufacturing Vertical at Tech Mahindra, explains how correlating data on cars, drivers and their environment results in Big Data, pointing the way to new possibilities for car manufacturers and dealers.


Why games technology is driving automotive design - Unreal Engine Q&A

15 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

From engineering and styling to marketing and retail, real-time visualisation and Virtual Reality continue to demonstrate their potential to bring surprising changes to many functions within the automotive industry. We talked to Simon Jones, who is director of Unreal Engine Enterprise, the company that develops the core technology driving this innovation, to find out how the technology is being used and where we go from here.


DSM Engineering Plastics on solutions for future mobility concepts

14 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with global automotive material suppliers, Ralph Ramaekers, global marketing director, automotive at DSM explains how the supplier’s engineered plastics and new processes can support OEMs in designing tomorrow’s car.


SABIC on the opportunities for polycarbonate automotive glazing

13 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Interest in polycarbonate (PC) automotive glazing is gaining momentum.  Compared to the shape limitations of glass, PC glazing is versatile, lighter with high impact resistance. In this interview, Umamaheswaran Venkatakrishnan, who leads global marketing for SABIC’s automotive business, explains why PC glazing remains interesting to OEMs and for which window applications.


Johnson Matthey Battery Systems on trends in the advanced automotive batteries market

12 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Johnson Matthey Battery Systems, part of the Johnson Matthey group and formerly known as Axeon, develops and manufactures battery systems for a number of applications, including performance hybrids and PHEVs. In this interview, company executives explain how the business has evolved since acquiring the battery materials business of Clariant and update us on some materials research and market trends.


Strakka Racing on why motorsport has greater relevance outside the car industry

5 Sep 2016 | Matthew Beecham

From technology transfer through to changing perceptions of a brand, motorsport is a powerful tool for OEMs. Yet increasing costs of motorsport coupled with the relevance to today’s younger audience - who appear less passionate about buying cars - are concerns. Dan Walmsley, team principal at Strakka Racing, explains the issues surrounding reliance on motorsport for revenue can cause and the opportunities to broaden its appeal.


ADAS technology partnerships shift up a gear to make autonomous cars a reality

26 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Mobileye and Delphi stepped forward this week to announce their plans to jointly develop a complete SAE Level 4/5 automated driving solution production ready for 2019. This latest technology partnership is just one of a string of others announced this year alone in the race to offer fully autonomous cars.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Vehicle lightweighting solutions

16 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto's series of research snapshots - pulled from its automotive research platform, QUBE – this one takes a closer look at some approaches to vehicle lightweighting.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT - Connectivity a priority for car buyers

9 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Connectivity between the vehicle, passengers and outside world has become a key priority for new car buyers. While the typical considerations of fuel consumption, performance and cabin comfort are still uppermost, staying connected while driving is moving up their list of priorities. This research snapshot takes a closer look at the driving forces, how the connected car could develop and the variety of solutions offered by a rising tide of tech companies eager to serve this blossoming market.


Apollo Tyres vice chairman & MD on European expansion plans - Q&A

8 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Continuing just-auto’s series of interviews with global tyre makers, Matthew Beecham spoke to Neeraj Kanwar, vice chairman and managing director of Apollo Tyres. Since its attempt to buy US-based Cooper Tyre, the company has become more focused on organic growth and currently concentrating on a greenfield expansion in Hungary. It is also targeting a share of the Malaysian replacement tyre market and Indian two-wheeler tyre market.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: Automotive interior design and technology

3 Aug 2016 | Matthew Beecham

For some time, we have seen cockpit designers working on ways in which to display more information yet make the dash appear less complex. The general approach is to ensure that only the most essential information is displayed while remaining features are available in the background or brought up at will. But the increasing fitment of multimedia and connectivity systems suggest that this part of the interior is still in its infancy in terms of development. This month’s research snapshot is of the Volvo XC60 and Toyota Auris, taking a closer look at the interior design and technology that gives each a distinctive feel and style.


July 2016 management briefing: Johnson Controls on redefining European car buyer groups

7 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

Concerned that the traditional car model segmentation is an outdated means of describing target groups, Johnson Controls Automotive Seating worked with researchers from Concept M institute for market psychology to define a set of more meaningful categories that pinpoint the diverse needs and wants of today’s European drivers. The supplier used a recent press gathering in Berlin to explain its approach, findings and practical relevance to automakers.


RESEARCH SNAPSHOT: A review of the active grille shutter market

5 Jul 2016 | Matthew Beecham

The aim of an active grille shutter (AGS) is to respond to the driving environment in order to reduce drag and improve fuel economy. During motorway driving, for example, the louvres would close thereby pushing the air around the vehicle to improve aerodynamics. If the car is towing a load or slow moving in traffic, the louvres would remain open to help maintain the best engine temperature.  Given that an increasing number of cars now have an AGS, here is our round-up of the market.



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