Plastic Component Supplier Nylacast Addresses Industry Challenges
"Without challenges or issues in the market place the level of innovation, creativity and improvement in technology would not be at the high level it is today."
Automotive IQ interviewed Mussa Mahomed, Managing Director at Nylacast:
Could you share your background with us and how you became a managing director at Nylacast?
Having started my career at Nylacast as a trainee engineer, I developed through the ranks of the company moving up to production engineer, manager, sales director and ultimately Managing Director and group CEO. This experience and career path has exposed me to a great wealth of knowledge and experience encompassing our most important elements such as, our stringent focus on providing a full value adding engineering solution coupled with the strong passion for the development of our people and unique engineering polymers.
In your view, what challenges do component manufacturers face in the current auto market?
Within the automotive market, two of the core challenges component manufacturers face are:
1. Value stream
The main challenge around these areas is the ability to deal with the increasing modern demands of continuous advancements in technology. Maintaining close working relationships with our customers and clients allows Nylacast to fully understand these challenges from their perspectives, resulting in the company being ahead in both innovation offering and providing value stream.
Are there any specific issues that face manufacturers of steering components?
Without challenges or issues in the market place the level of innovation, creativity and improvement in technology would not be at the high level it is today. Some of the specific issues faced in the manufacturing of steering components are the accumulation of tolerances; this can ultimately lead to NVH challenges and issues.
Additionally, the increase in demand for vehicles and worldwide platforms in developing countries and new markets results in variations of atmospheric and climate conditions.
How does Nylacast help to come up with solutions for some of the industry's challenges?
With over four decades of experience, Nylacast continue to innovate and provide solutions to some of the challenges faced within the automotive industry on a worldwide scale. This is done by adhering to 3 main qualities:
1. Working closely with customers and understanding their needs & challenges
2. Focus on materials selection
3. Stringent R&D and testing
These three qualities work together in close correlation, by working closely with customers and clients we gain a full understanding of their engineering needs and requirements. This then allows us to utilise our state of the art in house R&D and testing facilities to their fullest. Specific research and development can be undertaken focused around the customer's requirements in order to offer increased levels of innovation, creativity and solutions to the challenges and issues faced.
Quality is second to none. All materials, processes and components go through a strict testing and quality control program to ensure that only the highest standards are delivered to our customers.
Finally, by innovating and creating new materials for more demanding and specific needs and requirements allows us to remain focused on providing a full engineering solution from cradle to grave for the client, as opposed to tailoring or offering a standard out of the box material or solution.
Have you found that manufacturers are hesitant to make the move to plastic components?
Over the years we have found that some manufacturers are hesitant to make the move to plastic components, however "Plastics" is a vague term, especially in the automotive industry where the material is used for a wide spectrum of components from body work and interior fittings through to critical components. When engaging with them further it is clearly notable that they have not been fully or properly explained to about the many variants of plastics, their qualities and capabilities. Furthermore, behind these poor interpretations of plastics there has often been a lack of supportive services such as FEA, testing and analysis. Something which Nylacast provide and implement from initial stages of engineering development with all customers.
Are there any differences between the European and North American markets in terms of receptiveness to these solutions?
Working with various VMs across the globe in different markets, there are often differences in the receptiveness of solutions between the European and North American markets.
Compared to the North American market, Europe is often less risk averse, having more emphasis on trialing technology. The North American market is often more risk averse in this area which can sometimes create barriers to solutions.
In addition, the North American market generally have larger vehicle sets and larger vehicles, so for Nylacast the applications and solutions offered between the two regions and markets is slightly different, due to the strong focus of providing a full bespoke solution.