Chemical industry failing innovative OEMs - consultant

18 May 2010 19:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--The global chemical industry is failing to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as they innovate to follow global mega trends, a leading consultancy said on Tuesday.

OEMs in many sectors such as automotive, electronics and household goods were struggling to make new products with properties such as lower weight and energy consumption because the industry cannot supply the materials they sought, according to a consultant at US-based Frost & Sullivan.

Robert Outram, global programme manager, transportation chemicals, said: "Our distance to the manufacturer is a great challenge. Getting communication right and communication to the OEMs is a challenge for chemicals and resins manufacturers."

Speaking at an innovation conference in London, Outram highlighted examples where "there was no support from the chemical industry to provide the materials. The industry needs to be involved at the design stage, early on".

Japan auto maker Nissan could not find a battery materials supplier in Europe for its electric vehicles, said Outram.

UK-headquartered electrical goods group Dyson could not find the product it wanted to improve air filtration in its vacuum cleaner, Outram added.

And French cosmetics group L'Oreal has struggled to find naturally-sourced ingredients as it has tried to cut down on artificial ingredients, he said.

"We must get closer to the OEMs," he concluded.

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By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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