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The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by electrification and autonomous vehicles, and the growing importance of technologies such as Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. 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: Preformed parts injection moulding. 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, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry

Preformed parts injection moulding is a key innovation area in automotive

Preformed parts injection moulding is a manufacturing process that uses a high-pressure plastic injection to form a variety of automotive parts, such as body panels, interior components, and engine parts. It involves melting plastic resin and injecting it into a precision-machined mould at high pressure. Once inside the mould, the plastic is then cooled and solidified to form durable parts with complex shapes and intricate details. The moulded parts are often made from polypropylene, ABS, nylon, or other specialised plastics.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of preformed parts injection moulding.

Key players in preformed parts injection moulding – 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 preformed parts injection moulding

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
BYD 97 Unlock Company Profile
Daicel 90 Unlock Company Profile
Taisei Plas 30 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 24 Unlock Company Profile
Metso Minerals (Sweden) 19 Unlock Company Profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 18 Unlock Company Profile
RAG-Stiftung 18 Unlock Company Profile
Omron 16 Unlock Company Profile
Idemitsu Kosan 13 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 12 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 12 Unlock Company Profile
Kia 11 Unlock Company Profile
Hyundai Motor Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Showa Denko 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Trumpf 9 Unlock Company Profile
Lanxess 9 Unlock Company Profile
Parker Hannifin 8 Unlock Company Profile
Cutting Dynamics 8 Unlock Company Profile
DuPont de Nemours 8 Unlock Company Profile
Ube Industries 8 Unlock Company Profile
DIC 7 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor 6 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 6 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 6 Unlock Company Profile
KYB 6 Unlock Company Profile
Apple 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui Chemicals 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hirschmann Automotive 5 Unlock Company Profile
ALBIS PLASTIC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Allod Werkstoff 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Paper Industries 5 Unlock Company Profile
JTEKT 5 Unlock Company Profile
Magna Exteriors 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

BYD is a key player in the preformed parts injection moulding innovation area. BYD and Tederic have formed a strategic cooperation to create injection moulding equipment. Tederic's multi-component injection moulding equipment has helped BYD to avoid imports by offering excellent performance and enabling the production of various products such as headlamp masks, through-tail lamps, and interior and exterior trim parts. Tederic’s injection moulding machines are also helpful in producing optical-grade plastic parts such as through-beam guide bars, headlamp guide bars, and thick-walled lenses. Daicel, Taisei Plas, Hon Hai Precision Industry, and Metso Minerals (Sweden) are some of the other key players.

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.