The challengeBetween the semiconductor shortage, product sourcing challenges, new regulations, and ever-evolving technology, the last three years have been especially challenging for those working in the nearly $3 trillion automotive market.
Our customer, a leading producer of variable gearboxes for hybrid and electric cars and a dynamic face of innovative transmission and propulsion systems for automotive OEMs and mobility providers globally, needed to develop a new approach for their inverters assembly. The challenge arose when their current gaskets were not performing optimally. The gaskets were mechanically screwed together and were not reliable against the corrosion of metals and oil. And because the inverter is placed between a vehicle’s battery and engine and makes up the majority of the activities of the power electronics in a car, it’s critical that the approach used works seamlessly.
The goalOur customer needed to create a new gasket for the inverters that lived between two foundry aluminium housing. Their primary goal was to maintain their shear resistance and include primer-less adhesion to the aluminium substrate. They needed to find the right mix of products with the appropriate properties for the temperatures to ensure it was flame retardant and cured under the right influence of moisture.
More specifically, the product needed to meet two specific conditions:
- UL 94 V-0 (the Standard for Safety of Flammability); and
- With a temperature resistance from -45 °C to 200 °C.
The approachOur customer came to IMCD to find the right solution for their unique specifications. They trusted that IMCD had the right access to high-quality products from best-in-class principals. Throughout the design, there were many technical exchanges, both in-person and over the phone, and after months of research and proprietary verification, we were able to send the samples they needed to test their products.
As most experienced in recent months, the supply chain and product shortages brought on many challenges. That is why our experts recommended a different approach to sourcing. As this customer was based in Europe, the products were sourced within the region. This avoided production disruptions and made the company less reliant on other regions for silicone.
The outcomeWhen put through initial trials, the results were promising. It showed that the products had the right mechanical properties (shear resistance and temperature resistance). Additionally, the final solution was within the targeted price they hoped for which was in line with their demand.
Our customer was able to brand the solution and it is now approved to be used on the automotive market.
The takeawayIn dynamic and challenging markets, a clear understanding of the hurdles and opportunities is required to be innovative and meet the unique specifications of a product. In this case, IMCD electronics experts were a key to unlocking the appropriate solution, standing between both the customer and the principal to facilitate the right conversations. IMCD was able to be the trusted advisor both parties needed to ensure success.
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