New Business Centre
New Business Centre: anticipating the automotive industry of the future
By Emile Spijkers, Sales Manager at EKK Eagle Industry
When we take a look at the current automotive market, interesting challenges lay ahead. Traditional, fuel-powered vehicles are less and less popular, while electric cars and hydrogen-powered vehicles become a significant larger part of the market. Not to mention the developments around autonomous vehicles. To car manufacturers it’s already crystal clear: they must adapt their current products and technologies to new developments to ensure their brands will survive in the future.
TIER 1 and TIER 2 suppliers
As for car manufacturers, this also accounts for other parties within the industry, like TIER 1 and TIER 2 suppliers. As primary and second-line suppliers to car manufacturers, they will be dealing with other customer demands. The same goes for EKK Eagle Industry. As we manufacture, research, and develop automotive machinery products, including water pump seals, air conditioning seals and control valves, we have an interesting future ahead. When we look at the current market for example, we expect a growth of our existing products with a peak between 2023 and 2027. However, as from the year 2030 onwards, the number of electric cars and hydrogen vehicles will be larger than ever. Our current products and applications aren’t one-on-one aligned to these new developments, so we need to innovate now. To keep aligned with the changing powertrain mix in the vehicles of the future, EKK Eagle Industry already started innovating for this future. As the market is changing rapidly we will adapt our innovation speed.
Future proof solutions
How do we do that? By focusing and increasing our innovation activities there where the action is. For this reason, EKK launched its New Business Centre. A new business entity in Europe and China, focused on developing new products and applications for the automotive industry of the future. This starts with solutions, based on our own competences: sealing products with extremely low friction, combined with high performance and material knowledge. From there, a team of engineering, prototyping, testing and sales experts focuses on the development of specific solutions, for example for the liquid rotor cooling and gears in electric motors.
The most important aspect of creating future proof solutions, is to connect with real life, everyday practice. This means that close cooperation with car manufacturers and TIER 1 suppliers is important, to know their issues and demands. But EKK Eagle Industry also has joined forces with universities and engineering agencies, since they are often involved in an early stage of new developments. Together with these parties, we are able to create specific products and applications for specific needs.
Take for example GlideX™, a laser textured seal designed to reduce friction in mechanical components. The technology makes it possible to control the microfilms between the mechanical components, to offer zero fluid leakage. As a manufacturer of sealing products, we know that our product is all about emission in a sense of not leaking at minimum energy loss. It sometimes feels like fighting nature, but with GlideX™ we are now able to harmonize it. The field of application for GlideX™ is extremely wide and is especially interesting when it comes to high operation speeds like in turbocharger and high power dense electric motors. This makes it an interesting technology for the future.
The strength of an agile organization
To make a long story short, the New Business Centre is doing what parties in the automotive branch are also doing. Combining businesses that function as efficient, reliable partners for high-volume automotive production with agile, start-up like units that can act fast and are market-focused on the disruptively changing demands within the automotive industry. It’s the only way to effectively response to the evolving, sophisticated needs of the market. And with that in mind, I look forward to seeing how the automotive branch will develop itself the coming years.
As a New Business Centre, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the newest developments within the market, to get in touch with potential customers and to inform them on our innovations and discuss their needs. That’s why our team has attended ATK Dresden (20-21 September 2018),and will attend Aachen Colloquium (8-10 October 2018, booth 64) and IZB Wolfsburg (16-18 October, hall 5, booth 5107) this fall.