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Following the launch of ESI Automotive, we spoke to Steve Brown, the division’s global director, to find out more about the new offering, and how it aims to meet and exceed customers’ growing needs in the fast-paced automotive market.
What does ESI Automotive bring to the global market?
We offer a broad range of integrated market solutions at the system level, for current and next-generation automotive hardware. We work closely with our colleagues at MacDermid Alpha Electronics and MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions, to provide a single information point across the global automotive industry.
ESI Automotive will focus on three main areas: extending power range and efficiency in electric vehicles (EVs), safety in radar and vision systems for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and Displays and in-mold electronic structures (D&IME), in particular, integrated touchscreen films.
EVs, ADAS and D&IME all contribute to the idea of the ‘future car’. For example, ADAS and integrated D&IME are not just for use in EVs, but also used in current internal combustion engines (ICEs) and hybrids as well, as manufacturers look to continuously improve safety and user experiences.
Why is now the right time to launch ESI Automotive?
We are at a turning point in the automotive industry, working towards this idea of the ‘future car’. There is a growing demand for EVs, as more and more people are turning away from ICEs. At the same time, consumers have come to expect increasingly high levels of automation from their vehicles, as well as higher standards of interiors.
How does your experience with the MacDermid Enthone Industrial Solutions brand help with the launch of ESI Automotive?
Through working with our Industrial Solutions brand for many years, we have forged strong connections with car makers all over the world. These relationships have helped us launch ESI Automotive, as we understand that the needs of OEMs are changing in line with the automotive market, as they look for suppliers of both decorative parts and electronics, combined with expertise, across the supply chain.
What makes ESI Automotive so innovative?
We are unique in the automotive market, as we provide a full portfolio of products across a spectrum of functionality – and all to a system level. Together, these products interact with each other as part of the vision for the ‘future car’, and this is where the innovation happens.
Why is collaboration so important at ESI Automotive?
Collaboration is important because it enables us to pre-empt the new designs of the future, and make sure that our products, and the data which supports their performance, are aligned to meet these specifications.
Why would customers want to work with ESI Automotive?
The breadth of our product offering means that customers have a single information point for all their needs, which can streamline the buying process. Plus, they have the peace of mind that ESI Automotive has over 60 years of experience in providing integrated advanced circuitry, joining materials and surface finishing technology into the automotive supply chain.
What are the greatest challenges in the market?
For EVs, one of the greatest challenges across the industry is the infrastructure catching up with the level of functionality. For example, the number of charging points that are available. In terms of ADAS automation, it is ensuring seamless and reliable systems, as well as making them as robust as possible. And finally, the greatest challenge for D&IME is building next-generation car interiors, while at the same time, ensuring reliability and performance.
What are the greatest opportunities in the market?
As the number of EVs grow, there is a huge opportunity in the market for the development of materials that extend power range by efficiency and power density, as well as reducing vehicle weight.
From an interior’s perspective, increasing numbers of manufacturers are switching from copper cables to printed electronics, which highlights the growing need for more integrated solutions involving D&IME. Plus, the rise of automation in vehicles means that there is a continued demand for radar and vision systems that are safe, reliable and with consistent performance.
What are the company’s overarching top level aims for 2020 and beyond?
Our plans to achieve this are based on maintaining strong relationships with OEMs and Tier 1 teams and working with our sister divisions to offer our customers an extensive range of materials solutions and industry expertise.
More generally, we hope that our extensive expertise in different fields can help pave the way to being known as the automotive specialists across the full supply chain. We’re also continuing to place high importance on sustainability in the automotive industry as we move into a new decade.