The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by growing use of multiple filters such as engine filters and cabin filters, and growing importance of technologies such as oil mist elimination and cooling fluid filtration. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Filter sealings.  Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity. 

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have. 

290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry 

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry. 

Within the emerging innovation stage, eccentric crankshaft gears, retarder brake system, and closed-circuit liquid cooling are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Bio-fuel ICEs, electromagnetic valve actuators, and road friction estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are tyre bead fillers and vehicle turbochargers, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry 

Filter sealings is a key innovation area in automotive 

By eliminating dirt, dust, sand, mud, and other airborne particles before they enter the engine, a filter wrap that goes over an air filter adds an extra layer of filtration to keep the air entering the engine clean. 

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 10 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of filter sealings. 

Key players in filter sealings – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators. 

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to filter sealings

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
MANN+HUMMEL International 304 Unlock Company Profile
Donaldson 95 Unlock Company Profile
Cummins 36 Unlock Company Profile
Mahle 33 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 13 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 12 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 11 Unlock Company Profile
Goldman Sachs Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Boshoku 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

MANN+HUMMEL International is engaged in the development, manufacture, and trading of filters. The company currently holds 304 filed patents in filter sealings. Other key patent filers in filter sealings are Donaldson and Mahel. 

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article. 

 GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.