Automotive Greenhouse Systems
Greenhouse systems integrating weatherstrips, glazings and decoration, are continued targets for design optimization and functional innovation. Tremendous resources are consumed to execute details in appearance, while acoustic strategy, mass-down and cost pressures continue to be urgent priorities. The rash of weatherstrip consolidations that figured heavily in The ITB Group’s last report has been replaced by renewed competition to deliver product innovation among weatherstrip, glass, and module suppliers. With this new report offering, The ITB Group will provide an understanding of technology direction within the following systems:
- Weatherstrip: OEMs are exploring integrated seal opportunities for door cutline and glass run seals, facilitated by hidden frame designs. New generations of window encapsulation materials have entered the market.
- Window Materials: Automotive glass suppliers continue to fend off competition from plastic glazing materials and chemically toughened glasses with captive value additions such as lightweighted laminates, solar control coatings or films, heads-up-display wedge films, and the ability to provide transmission pathways for ADAS cameras and radar systems.
- Brightwork: OEMs continue to utilize brightwork for brand and trim differentiation. Bright films offer an opportunity to eliminate heavy stainless steel trims, while multishot injection processes continue to offer paint elimination opportunities.
- Customer Value: Weatherstrip suppliers are proposing appearance colors and textures via coatings and films. Glazings and window surround moldings have potential to contain light guides for customer appeal. Safety and security features offered by driver assistance systems will create new opportunities and challenges for windshield suppliers.
- Restructuring the Supply Base: Weatherstrip supplier market share is shifting in new directions in regions such as Europe, with several suppliers recently coming into prominence. The North American glass market is also seeing notable shifts in power. The ITB Group’s due diligence in this area can help pinpoint future cycles of acquisition and consolidation.
Product development and investment directors must grapple with the above concerns. High risk investments in future technologies require increasingly complicated business agreements between suppliers and OEM legal, planning and engineering departments. Through primary contacts with industry participants, The ITB Group’s new 2016 report will underline the commercial and technical forces that now drive the greenhouse and will offer the seeds of insight to understand the technical and market evolution driving the sealing, decoration, and window systems.