New ’green’ technologies are bringing changes to the automotive coatings market. Coatings are not just a cosmetic addition, but also increase the lifetime of components and protect them from corrosion. Currently, market participants are developing several innovative methods in an effort to offer automakers high quality, low-cost, as well as environment-friendly coatings.
Frost & Sullivan’s Technical Insights Group finds that the automotive coatings field is rapidly developing, especially in nanotechnology coatings. As focus increases on discovering coatings, such as diamond-like-carbon coatings, which have high-temperature applications, coating producers and suppliers are keen to exploit the opportunities provided by the automotive market.
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“The automotive coatings industry is mainly driven by the demand for environment-friendly and cost-efficient technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and cause less pollution,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst A. Sumithra.
Due to a highly conservative automotive industry, technologies used by most manufacturers take significant time to commercialize. Even a remarkable technology takes time to find acceptance, as the supply chain is slow to adopt it mainly due to economic uncertainties.
“It is not possible to develop a single coating technology as different coatings cater to different automotive applications. For instance, coatings that are applied for piston rings cannot be applied for exterior body applications,” explains Ms. Sumithra.
“Recent economic conditions have made coatings suppliers and auto manufacturers push each other to deliver the best product to the consumer at the lowest possible price. With automakers pressurizing coating manufacturers to provide high-quality products at the lowest possible cost, there is an increasing interest in coatings technologies that are cost effective while simultaneously offering better performances.”
Automakers and suppliers perceive most coating processes as being expensive and participants need to address this issue by making them realize the cost effectiveness of the technology when the system is considered a single entity. Companies need to undertake more research and development activities for better penetration of technologies in the industry.
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Automotive Coatings Technology Developments