Thermoplastic

An outline of automotive composites market in terms of the competitive landscape: regulatory initiatives to majorly influence the industry growth

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Powered by the rising concerns with regard to environmental degradability, global automotive composites market has gained a remarkable momentum over the recent years. The problem of exponentially increasing carbon dioxide emissions has been recognized as a matter of concern at a global level, in response to which, both the government as well as private entities are striving hard to combat this issue. Citing an instance with the regulatory frame of reference, The European Union (EU) has introduced norms that aim to limit the CO2 emission per vehicle to 95g/km by 2020. Reportedly, as of now, each vehicle in Europe emits approximately 133.3g/km of carbon dioxide. Yet another initiative being widely undertaken to curtail these emissions revolves around reducing the overall weight of the vehicles, subject to the fact that the lightweight automobiles depot a high fuel efficiency and a considerably lower rate of emission. The aforementioned fact can be validated by the recent trend of lightweight material adoption in the automotive sector spanning across the interior as well as exterior designs of the vehicles, that has led to a major revolution of sorts in automotive composites industry.

U.S. Automotive Composites Market, By Fiber, 2016 & 2024, (Kilo Tons)
U.S. Automotive Composites Market, By Fiber, 2016 & 2024, (Kilo Tons)

How McLaren Automotive took a step forward toward consolidating their position in automotive composites market

The demand for composite materials is expected to rise several notches higher in the years to come, on the grounds of which various educational research institutes and renowned players of the automotive composites market have been working diligently toward the development of novel composite materials through innovative technology. For instance, the British automotive composites industry player, McLaren Automotive, has recently constructed the McLaren Composites Technology Centre (MCTC) worth GBP 50 million, at Sheffield in UK, wherein the company plans to manufacture lightweight carbon fiber with advanced manufacturing processes. MCTC is also expected to commence the production of carbon fiber tubs for its automotive wings including supercars, sports and racing cars by 2019, further impelling the regional automotive composites market share. The UK government seems to be keenly encouraging education hubs to develop trained composite engineers and scientists in a bid to tackle any future challenges that might arise ahead, with regards to composite materials, that is certain to impel the regional automotive composites industry. Say for instance, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has granted a fund of GBP 200,000 to the joint projects of the University of Bristol and the University of Plymouth to carry out research related to composite materials. This precedence indeed validates that the increasing involvement of research institutes and industry giants toward enhancing the product portfolio of this business space will stimulate UK automotive composites market size.

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The impact that the Trelleborg-Automated Dynamics deal may have on automotive composites market

It is imperative to state that automotive components manufactured with composites as a raw material have a longer shelf life that ordinary components and require lesser maintenance and less frequent replacements. These components can also be used as an alternative for metal bearings, owing to their massive endurance strength and eco-friendly features, that enable them to function without lubricants. Taking into account the diversified deployment scope of composites for automotive applications, major players in automotive composites market are looking forward to strengthening their position in this business space via mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in 2018, Sealing Solution unit of Trelleborg A.B. acquired the reputed advanced composite components manufacturer, Automated Dynamics, with an aim to improve its technology portfolio using Trelleborg’s next-generation composites. It is also expected that the technological expertise that buyers would gain through strategic takeovers would leverage their presence in global automotive composites industry.

Currently, it has been observed that numerous governmental bodies, at the regional as well as international level, have been focusing on the deployment of renewable energy sources for overcoming the shortage of fossil fuel sources – a trend that is predicted to influence automotive components market. The prevalence of a strict regulatory frame of reference mandating specific norms encouraging the adoption of renewable resources will further enable the masses to incline toward electric vehicles. In consequence, this would increase the dependency on renewable energy sources in the future, which seems to be one of the pivotal strategies of the government to expedite the growth of automotive composites industry. In essence, the shifting trends toward green mobility and the elimination of carbon emissions are certain to have a considerable impact on automotive composites market outlook in the ensuing years.

Author Name : Sunil Hebbalkar

The transforming contours of powder coatings market: How technological progression has impacted the product development and the rise of Asian economies on the industry growth map

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In the face of digital revolution, the global powder coatings market is unsurprisingly making an effort to keep up with the drastic changes being brought in by Industry 4.0 on a number of fronts. This includes incorporating better material handling techniques, automation controls linking machines together, allowing for better management of powder coating while spraying, and the launch of new products equipped with precision technologies.

North America Powder Coatings Market, By Application, 2017 & 2024, (USD Million)

North America Powder Coatings Market, By Application, 2017 & 2024, (USD Million)

An exceptional instance of technological advancement pushing the limits of product development is of the new Encore manual powder coating spray gun range introduced by Nordson Industrial Coating Systems. Named Encore nLighten LED Kit, the new product illuminates the surface being coated, for easy inspection and precise powder application. An all-in-one inspection and application tool, the new spray leaves no margin for error and reduces the need for post-coating quality checks.

Speaking along similar lines, technological progression has resulted in excellent performance upgradation of numerous products being launched by leading powder coating manufacturers. AkzoNobel, for instance, has recently introduced a highly durable and sustainable range of coatings Collection Futura 2018-2021 under its Interpon powder coatings brand. Updated every four years, the new product range is created on globally-identified shifts for 2018-2021: Glam City, Time Out, Treasured Light and Wild Nature, essentially representing the environmentally viable products being developed by the foremost powder coatings industry players with the integration of technologically superior components.

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Significance of the Asia Pacific region and the changing growth narrative: Why are major powder coatings market players building a robust presence in India and China?

Owing to the recent economic trends and the growing dominance of Asian politics, the 21st century is being increasingly projected as the Asian century. Apparently, India and China are termed as the growth engines of the Asian continent as their economy is based on strong fundamentals. Moreover, the estimates recently published by the World Bank corroborate the fact that these two Asian powerhouses are bound to perform well on the economic front in the years ahead despite temporary setbacks.

In this context, it is quite prudent to mention here that business verticals such as automotive & transportation components, electrical appliances, agricultural & construction equipment, and oil & gas are among the many significant industry sectors that contribute immensely toward the growth of Indian and Chinese economies. As per the recent trends, these sectors are set to register impressive growth figures in the times to come. Notably, these business verticals are also the major applications/end-users of the global powder coatings industry, which explains the resolve of prominent manufacturers to establish a strong base in India and China.

Enumerated below is a brief snapshot of initiatives being undertaken by well-known powder coating manufacturers that are reaching out to the emerging economies of Asia, especially tapping into the opportunities opened up across India and China:

AkzoNobel

  • In a bid to strengthen its manufacturing footprint and complement its existing production facilities in India, this Dutch paints and performance coatings giant recently inaugurated a new €9 million powder coating facility in Thane, Mumbai. Dedicated to manufacturing bonded metallic and functional powder coatings, the new facility is set to boost AkzoNobel’s access to markets located in western and northern parts of India.
  • After opening an €11 million powder coatings facility in western China, AkzoNobel commenced production at its recently built largest powder coatings plant in Changzhou. To assure the plant’s sustainable operation, the company would enable 100% recycling of waste water and zero emission. In addition to this, the new facility would become one of the few metal powder coatings manufacturing plant of the company in China.

Axalta

After setting up a high-grade technology center at Savli, Gujarat in 2016, this U.S.-based powder coating firm has recently built a new manufacturing facility at the same location. Over the past few years, Axalta has been gradually consolidating its presence in India with the help of massive investments and refurbishment of its training centers to deliver comprehensive coating solutions for the burgeoning automotive market and other industry sectors of the nation.

Arkema

In 2016, this French specialty chemicals and advanced materials firm announced that it would construct a new polyester powder coating resin production facility in Navi Mumbai, India – the first of its kind in the country. Representing an investment of about $US 15 million, the new facility would also include a dedicated laboratory to provide technical support and application development to the rapidly expanding powder coatings industry in India. Being built on its existing resin platform, the new facility would manufacture a low-VOC coating resins portfolio.

Considering the long-term implications of the aforementioned expansion bids by some of the prominent powder coating manufacturers, the Asia Pacific region, especially developing economies like India and China, are certain to fuel the growth prospects of powder coatings market. In fact, as per a research report of Global Market Insights, Inc., the Asia Pacific terrain recorded more than 40% of the total revenue share of the overall powder coatings industry in 2017 and is slated to maintain the growth momentum in the years ahead.

Author NameSaif Ali Bepari