Driving the Green Agenda
As environmental issues grow in significance on the automotive industry agenda, car manufacturers are under increasing pressure to find innovative new solutions to meet the demand for low emission vehicles.
A vehicle’s green credentials are fast becoming a major selling point when it comes to buying a new car and the UK Government is offering a number of incentives to consumers.
Against this background, 3M Automotive hosted the first Low Carbon Generation Conference at Bracknell in February. This gave 90 delegates the chance to discuss new automotive materials and manufacturing techniques aimed at reducing carbon emissions.
Steven Powell, Business Development Manager for Automotive added “The key message that came out of the conference was that there are many emerging and competing technologies that could help reduce vehicle emissions in the long term. However, in the short to medium term, the industry focus is on reducing the weight of vehicles and components as the best way to help the environment. This correlates to the primary 3M technologies we had on display including Structural Adhesives, Thinsulate Acoustic Insulation and Glass Bubbles – all of which are aimed at weight reduction. These combined technologies from across 3M businesses represent a strong and practical offering into the UK automotive market. Says general sales and marketing manager Steve Hemmings: “We volunteered to host the conference to reinforce our position as one of the leading suppliers of lightweight automotive solutions.
“Saving weight need not only concentrate on the larger areas of the vehicle, but also on innovative techniques such as facilitating the use of lightweight vehicle structures through the use of 3M adhesives and our Glass Bubbles additive to reduce the weight of components.”
The conference was organised by Marketing and Sales executive Harry Mann and included presentations from leading experts on topics such as high performance composite materials, sustainability and surface technologies. During one session, Jeff Kapp, 3M Automotive sales, spoke about the repair of bonded aluminium vehicle structures using 3M adhesives as a greener alternative to scrapping damaged vehicles.
3M lightweight solutions from a number of businesses were featured - including Thinsulate Acoustic Insulation, Glass Bubbles and Structural Adhesives. A range of 3M Automotive products and solutions from other businesses were also on display, including the Frangible Post system and recycled Post-it notes – presenting one combined 3M offering to the industry.
In addition, cars manufactured by Jaguar and Lotus using 3M lightweight solutions were on display in the Bracknell building.
Harry says: “The event was a huge success and was a great opportunity for us to network with industry experts, including contacts from Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, McLaren, Ford, Nissan and Toyota. “