Unlocking competitive advantage
How we use a contrarian approach to unlock a competitive advantage for customers
When it comes to designing automotive solutions, whether for interior components or battery packs, rethinking existing problems can be helpful when trying to tackle persistent industry problems.
Often customers approach us with a design challenge and several considered solutions. In some cases, projects are relatively straight forward and involve drawing on our extensive partnerships, industry expertise and materials knowledge to design and develop innovative solutions.
But for some projects, common industry solutions are not the answer and we need to consider the challenge afresh in order to design novel, bespoke solutions.
Developing competitive advantage
The automotive industry is fast-moving, so to develop a competitive advantage OEMs and tier suppliers need to innovate in as many areas as possible – whether in vehicle interiors, acoustics or thermal management.
Rethinking existing solutions and tackling challenges from a new perspective is what drives our team and gives Tecman a reputation for delivering excellence for customers.
For us, innovation starts at the design stage, where the mix (and sometimes clash!) of ideas between supplier and OEM can help forge a new way forward.
Challenging existing assumptions
At Tecman, we add value by giving customers honest advice and gently challenge existing assumptions on what an ideal solution might look like. Our cross-industry experience is a real asset here and helps us identify where materials and processes used in other industries can be adopted in a different way to fit a particular challenge.
We did this with several thermal management solutions recently developed for two of the leading EV OEMs. Existing materials had been designed into a solution but through careful consideration and challenge, new materials were introduced from an alternative industry bringing improved performance and significant cost savings for these customers.
Our engineers have tackled automotive and renewable energy challenges and helped develop medical and electronics solutions. This exposure to a range of different challenges facilitates the diffusion of ideas and encourages our team to think beyond industry norms.
In addition to wide experience, deep expertise is extremely valuable. A shallow understanding of materials and their properties will not yield innovative results. This is what separates manufacturers from engineering partners. The latter having a granular knowledge of lots of potential solutions and how they might interact together.
innovating in thermal management
A contrarian approach to design is especially helpful for innovating in thermal management. This is an increasing priority across our automotive customer segment at the moment; OEMs are looking for improved safety and performance in battery design, for which effective thermal management is essential.
By working with several leading global material manufacturers such as tesa®, 3M™ and Nitto, we are able to offer our customers access to a vast range of advanced materials, helping solve automotive challenges in a way that delivers a competitive advantage.
Whether customers are trying to pre-heat battery cells for enhanced performance or transfer excess heat away to improve vehicle safety, we help them identify where the trade-offs exist and how to best measure and manage these. It is the unique mix of knowledge, expertise and creative thinking that delivers a competitive advantage during the design phase and helps our OEMs to innovate.
Improving assembly efficiency
Once requirements have been fully mapped out, the conversation moves on to considerations around format and presentation - innovation in this area creates a more efficient and productive assembly process. This will depend on a range of factors like mechanical forces, dielectric resistance, out gassing targets, and density requirements, for example.
Our contrarian approach to design manifests itself by teasing out where the red lines are for customers, educating them on the technical capabilities of different options and encouraging them to explore materials they may not have yet considered.
By innovating in every area of the manufacturing and assembly process, and by questioning, suggesting and pushing boundaries we help OEMs to innovate and develop a competitive advantage in an industry where it is becoming increasingly necessary.