The origins of the verb “trend” mean “revolve or rotate” which has become “change or develop in a general direction”. It is appropriate that we discuss trends with respect to the auto market as the wheels revolve and the axle rotates, so do the trends change. Jabil recently commissioned a survey (source) of the automotive and transportation industry seeking to understand trends from OEM’s and Tier 1’s in this market sector (full disclosure: Jabil is a customer of Extol).

Key findings from this survey indicated that product development and launch cycles have shortened. I think we can all feel the effect of demand on the market to drive continuous and faster change to products. The auto market is certainly not immune to this. Extol seeks to improve plastic products in all market segments, and we see this drive for faster change and shortened development cycles.

Details from the survey show that “68% have a product development and launch cycle of under 2 years while 56% report that their product development and launch cycle have shortened. These shorter cycles are driven primarily by consumer demand, advances in technology, and expertise of suppliers and partners. Top bottlenecks to shorter go-to-market times include supply chain and increased manufacturing complexity.” (source)

Let’s break down the top drivers of this shortening of launch cycles:

  • Consumer demand – this is not slowing down but rather speeding up. Whether you sell directly to consumers, OEM’s, or tier manufacturers, Extol can help expedite your plastic product to market through design analysis, prototype tooling, standard and custom equipment/processes.
  • Advances in technology – We continue to innovate new and improve existing plastics joining processes. We are bringing new products/processes to the NPE plastics show in May and our Innovation Team is forever extracting market insight from our customers to drive change.
  • Expertise of suppliers – We can be an extension of your team by providing design, product, tooling, and process evaluation by way of our Process Development Center. Extol’s range of standard and custom equipment provide expertise to the automotive, life science, consumer, electronic, energy and other market segments. Let us partner with you.

Conversely the top bottlenecks:

  • Supply chain – Extol stays tight with the market to help you improve your launch cycle. We want to work with you early and remove the bottleneck of linear development by empowering simultaneous development.
  • Increased manufacturing complexity – our engineering team can help you promote simplicity into your products with the expressed goal of driving proven process solutions into manufacturing.

Extol loves to help you sort out your options when choosing the right plastic manufacturing process. We’re ready to email, talk on the phone, or talk in person – see our contact page.

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