OEM&Lieferant Ausgabe 1/2018

93 Image: © BASF Which trends will influence the automo- tive industry in the future? Industry megatrends are electric mobility and autonomous driving. In addition to the estab- lished OEMs, new players – especially from China – enter the market for electric vehicles (EVs) and present their vision of future mo- bility. There are several startups in this seg- ment which have smart ideas and they look for partners that support them with technical solutions. To maximize their range, EVs de- mand intelligent heat management systems as well as light-weight solutions, which results in new substrates and multi-substrate mixes used for car body manufacturing. For autono- mous driving, the sensor technology like radar and lidar will have an impact on the coating. We collaborate closely with OEMs to develop systems that improve the usability with of such sensors. What impact do new substrates and mul- ti-substrate mixes have on the coatings industry? With multi-substrates mixes in vehicle con- structions, new challenges and requirements for the paint and the coating process emerge. This includes the e-coat, for example, which is crucial for the corrosion protection of the car body. With our latest e-coat generation, we already offer an advanced product that guarantees a uniform film build even on mul- ti-substrate car bodies and that ensures a high process cost efficiency. To meet future needs, we further improve our technology. OEMs are already utilizing multi-substrate car body con- struction. Electric and hybrid vehicles make up a fraction of the market today and will grow in the future. Thus, multi-substrates are expected to gain even more importance in the market. Where do you see the largest potential within the automotive industry when it comes to sustainability? Sustainability is an important topic and we as BASF Group take a holistic approach to it. We developed ecofriendly automotive coat- ings solutions such as tin-free e-coats and improved our waterborne coating technolo- gies. We still put emphasis on improving these systems even further. The reduction of VOCs remains a standard approach to develop sus- tainable solutions. It is a trend which is strongly observed in China, but remains an important topic for other regions, too. We also analyze our processes in regard to sustainability. This is a more sophisticated ap- proach as it takes the whole coating process into consideration. In close collaboration with our customers, we optimized the relationship between our products and the individual pro- cesses at our customers’ paint lines. A main aspect here is energy savings: The implemen- tation of short processes and integrated pro- cesses, which lead to the elimination of a com- plete process step – and therefore significantly reduce the environmental impact of a paint line – is still ongoing at our customers. Do you see potential for further improve- ments of coating processes? We currently see a high interest of our cus- tomer in low-bake processes. The target is to reduce the baking temperature during the coatings process in order to allow a higher flex- ibility in the coating process of substrates like carbon fiber or general plastic parts. At lower curing temperatures, all parts can potentially be coated in the same process and paint line and would also allow new manufacturing and assembly concepts for the OEM. A further ef- fect of low-bake processes is energy saving, since drying ovens are one of the most energy consuming part in the entire paint process. Are there any specific trends for automo- tive coatings? The functionality of coatings increases. We de- veloped an award-winning functional coatings system with a passive temperature manage- ment technology. The formulation of the paint reduces the temperature on hot summer days on the vehicle surface by up to 20 °C. Thus, the savings in energy required for air conditioning reduce fuel consumption or extend the range of electric vehicles. n New substrates and increasing functionality of coatings: BASF analyzes the trends for automotive OEM coatings Interview with Dr. Ralf Otte, head of Marketing Automotive Coatings Solutions EMEA at BASF’s Coatings division Technology, materials, design – when it comes to trends, the automotive industry leads the way and adapts innovations from various segments. As the leading supplier of chemicals for the automotive industry, BASF provides OEMs with the necessary expertise to find solutions for the mobility of the future. In the interview below, Dr. Ralf Otte, head of Marketing Automotive Coatings Solutions EMEA at BASF’s Coatings division, highlights the most important trend drivers. Products and Markets BASF Coatings Division www.basf-coatings.com Website Dr. Ralf Otte