Based on its recent analysis of the passenger car steering systems market, Frost & Sullivan recognizes DSM with the 2014 Europe Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership. DSM's focus on light weighting is one of the cornerstones of its success in the automotive industry. DSM has enabled original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to shrink their carbon footprint by helping them improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.
The company offers high performance engineering plastics for robust electric power steering (EPS) gears, flex couplers, and gear housings to OEMs, which helps enhance the reliability of the product while simultaneously decreasing their weight. The Stanyl® polyamide46 material used for flex couplers, in particular, achieves an overall weight reduction of 17 percent against conventional metal solutions, while also lowering noise and vibration. Similarly, the Arnite® XT PET high-performance plastic is an improvement over aluminium housings, as it offers weight reduction of up to 50 percent and cost savings of over 30 percent, mainly due to the elimination of secondary processing.
Future innovations from DSM are expected to include the bio-based EcoPaXX® polyamide410 material for EPS worm gears, which provide excellent tribological performance, high strength and fatigue properties, and high temperature resistance. The EcoPaXX® polyamide410 facilitates 40 percent lower CO2 emissions than conventional polyamides.
"Replacement of metals with plastics improves the tool life by up to five times and does away with the need for post-treatment processes such as sand blasting and tread cutting," said Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Arunprasad Nandakumar. "By eliminating such processes from the machining, DSM achieved up to 1 million shots while developing plastic components with one tool lifecycle."
As the Young's modulus of plastics is significantly lower than that of most metals, automakers will seek assurance that the plastic components are strong enough to handle high-impact loads. DSM's focus on quality is evidenced by involving its suppliers and customers early in the product development process. Furthermore, the company's Failure Mode and Effects Analysis system has enabled it to deliver high quality at low cost.
DSM developed computer-aided engineering (CAE) models to calculate press fit calculations to enable precise fitment for the bearings, similar to that achieved by clamping or over-moulding. It also introduced mechanical CAE, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and finite element analysis (FEA) models that have been used to carefully design wall thickness and locate critical sections in which to position ribs.
"Additionally, when designing a plastic column EPS (C-EPS) housing, the precise fitting of the worm and EPS gear needs to be maintained over life time" noted Nandakumar "DSM understands various automotive requirements and ensures the most suitable solutions by providing materials with best in class mechanical performance and dimensional stability.
DSM is fully committed to further enhance its portfolio of rack EPS (R-EPS) systems by developing steering pulleys, sensor covers, positioners, and other housing parts. Beyond steering systems, it also caters to automotive powertrains, safety components, automotive lighting, and many other sectors.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in implementing strategies that proactively create value for its customers with a focus
on improving the return on the investment that customers make in its services or products. The award recognizes the company's inordinate focus on enhancing the value that its customers receive, beyond simply good customer service, leading to improved customer retention and ultimately customer base expansion.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Royal DSM (dsm.com) is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. By connecting its unique competences in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences DSM is driving economic prosperity, environmental progress and social advances to create sustainable value for all stakeholders simultaneously. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials. DSM's 24,500 employees deliver annual net sales of around €10 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext.
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