Grupo Antolin’s R&D activities may be conducted in any of the corporation’s companies, departments, and facilities and involve not only its technical and business departments but also a large team of external partners:
People: over 1,400 people engaged in performing R&D activities (5.12% of technological employment).
Associations: Grupo Antolin works with 36 universities and research organizations and belongs to 32 international associations directly connected to R&D activities.
- Innovation at Grupo Antolin is a cross-cutting area and not the preserve of a single department.
- As a result of this process Grupo Antolin has 53 projects in the research stage, over 50 in the validation stage, and 27 innovative solutions available for development in the market. Most of these projects are about studying advanced materials, processes, and features which help to drive Grupo Antolin’s leadership in automobile interiors.
- R&D represented 2.96% of sales in 2017.
Grupo Antolin, Smart Integrator
Grupo Antolin is addressing these changes by standing out in the market as a ‘Smart Integrator’. The idea is to be an integrator of electronic and lighting solutions for car interior components and thus bring them greater added value. This means Grupo Antolin will offer innovative solutions to its customers to build intelligence into their automobile interiors and help them develop their future vehicles.
FACING THE CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE
Grupo Antolin’s leadership position is the outcome of our commitment to innovation as a means of flexibly and efficiently adapting to a changing and extremely competitive international market.
Grupo Antolin has drawn up its innovation strategy so as to successfully address a period of disruptive changes in the automotive industry. These changes are having a special impact on vehicle interiors where components have to be envisioned, designed, and manufactured to respond to new global trends.
The final consolidation of the 100% electric vehicle, closely connected to the emergence of new urban mobility models, calls for further progress in aspects concerning reducing weight and developing modular solutions with utmost functional integration and packaging.
Powertrain electrification also has other implications for Grupo Antolin in vehicle interior innovation:
- Thermal comfort optimization
- Surface heating technologies
- Vibro-acoustic performance optimization
The inclusion of advanced assistance systems in vehicles is allowing progressive automation of driving.
The freeing up of space associated with electric powertrains and decreasing driver attention requirements will turn vehicle interiors into a third living area in which we can do things in addition to the ones we do at home and in the workplace. Until then, car interiors will need to be equipped with new connectivity, information, and entertainment solutions while at the same time onboard comfort aspects will have to be reconsidered:
- New interior architectures
- Redefinition of spaces
- Advanced functions: New mechatronic solutions / Advanced Lighting Solutions (Dynamic L.) / Premium Solutions: OHC+
Vehicles are now another connected device we have to hand (smart car). The need for communication with their occupants, the vehicles around them, and the road infrastructure itself will increase as their automation evolves:
- Connector and wiring integration: Functional printing
- Sensor and actuator integration
- Communication aerial integration
- Display integration
- Monitoring camera integration
New urban mobility models
Increasingly frequent bouts of air pollution and the consequent bans on entering large city centers by car have led to new forms of mobility and the emergence of new business models based on car sharing.
Intensive use of these cars combined with their usage by a greater number of users will significantly reduce the vehicle’s service life. It will also impact particular aspects of automobile interior comfort. Consequently Grupo Antolin is working on:
- Quick part replacement designs
- More hardwearing surfaces
- Easy-clean surfaces
- Antiseptic properties
- Odorless properties
The importance of differentation
Consumers want to reflect a lifestyle with their car, and this together with the industry’s drive to promote design and technology variety has led to an increase in the number of automobile ranges and models in recent years.
Each brand’s models compete to stand out in the market by offering their customers an increasing number of customization options. Grupo Antolin is innovating in this field:
- Materials and technologies for decorating surfaces: Digital printing
- Dynamic Glow®
- Ambient lighting as a means of standing out: Surplight® / Backlit®, etc.
Environmental and Circular Economy commitements
As part of its commitment to conducting sustainable business, Grupo Antolin uses innovation to support the circular economy and reduced energy usage.
Grupo Antolin sees reducing vehicle structure and component weight as a key research area for cutting fuel usage and pollution. Consequently it is working on:
- Technologies for processing composite materials
- Structural foaming materials and processes in substrates and soft trims
- Functional integration(window regulators)
- Modularization (DHM and DHM+)
- Advanced carbon materials
Grupo Antolin also innovates to support the circular economy in the automotive industry and extend it throughout its value chain as part of its commitment to conducting sustainable business:
- Technologies for processing materials featuring high recycled content (Novaform®).
- 100% natural materials(easy recyclability)
- Recovery of waste from our own processes (Coretech®)
Grupo Antolin is moving forward to embrace new automotive trends, evolving not only its products but also the way they are manufactured and offered to its customers.
The company’s strategy includes developing programs to implement advanced manufacturing technologies in order to be more competitive.
Grupo Antolin needs to supply increasingly specific components (personalization) with demand that can be very variable instead of large volumes of undifferentiated components.
To do that it needs industrial facilities which are sufficiently flexible to adapt to new requirements and in which standardized processes are implemented that allow producing in different factories or different countries with the same quality conditions and guarantees.
This also entails highly efficient production processes to ensure responsible raw material and energy usage so as to comply with the industry’s strict environmental requirements.Grupo Antolin tiene la necesidad de suministrar componentes cada vez más específicos (personalización), con demandas que pueden ser muy variables, en lugar de grandes volúmenes de componentes indiferenciados.
Innovation program for manufacturing processes
Grupo Antolin has a program in place to apply advanced manufacturing throughout its value chain which is geared towards efficient use of the huge quantity of information we manage.
The idea is to make our processes and systems “smarter” so as to optimize quality control, predictive maintenance, and internal logistics, which are the three main areas of application of advanced manufacturing in the company.
Grupo Antolin’s innovation process is divided into projects at three levels:
Stage I: CREATING INNOVATION
They are R&D projects for studying generic technologies and their potential application in introducing innovations into products or processes of interest to the company.
Stage II: INNOVATION PROGRAMS
These are innovation programs which further study the application of the results obtained in the development of successfully concluded Stage I projects. Stage II projects set out conceptual models for conducting validation plans and may conclude with prototype development.
Stage III: MARKET ACCESS FOR INNOVATION
Projects which support the development of innovations from the validation stages successfully carried out during Stage II projects
Our innovation process is not only about products and processes but also concerns our customers’ specific interests. We seek to meet manufacturers’ growing demand for single contacts in the market they can work with from a project’s initial stages and who can also deliver global platforms.
Grupo Antolin reaffirms its commitment to constant innovation of future interiors with its Concept Car.
The challenges facing the sector, such as the new concepts of mobility and the development of electric, self-driving and digital vehicles, are going to transform both products and processes. The company works on better technical and financial responses to the current features and components, but also, and importantly, imagine and develop the features and components of the future.
As a global supplier of interiors, Grupo Antolin develops innovative solutions aimed at converting our concepts and dreams and those of our customers into industrial reality. In addition, it wants to improve life on board for the passengers by creating smart interiors that integrate technology and offer versatility and personalization while also using new materials and industrial processes. With this objective, Grupo Antolin has developed a Concept Car showcasing a complete car interior.
The interior of the Concept Car is designed for a SUV Premium vehicle with level 4 self-driving, which combines conventional driving and self-driving solutions, making it possible to enhance the possibilities of life on board and feel and enjoy the interior. Its futuristic and elegant interior invites you to relax during the journey thanks to the lighting and the natural materials it uses. It is also an electric and highly technological vehicle.
The Concept Car incorporates many of the innovative projects and solutions on which the Corporate Innovation Department, along with other teams in the company, is working to develop the Smart Integrator strategy.
The elaborate design of this interior has been based on three fundamental factors:
- Innovative and natural materials: allow for decorative surfaces with intelligence and added value.
- The integration of technology into Grupo Antolin's products offering entertainment systems and services, digital personalization, versatility, innovation and, of course, connectivity.
- The integration of ambient and functional lighting through different innovative solutions. These solutions employ the full potential of the new technologies and offer a permanent dialogue with the user.
The vehicle also presents Grupo Antolin’s vision of the cockpit of the future, where all the previous factors are reflected in a part of the car that is highly technological, functional and where the HMI (interaction between the passengers and the car and its systems) is a fundamental feature. Grupo Antolin wants its solutions to meet the needs of each OEM and for them to be versatile so that they adapt to each of its customers’ concepts and strategies for the future.
ANTOLIN i.JUMP is Grupo Antolin's open innovation initiative to work with engineers, physicians and other STEM profiles, as well as startups, SMEs, technology centers and universities. The aim is strengthening and accelerating the R&D&I and technological development of the company.
Grupo Antolin seeks to create an open ecosystem of exchange of ideas and knowledge. The goal is to develop innovative solutions and new ways of innovation and collaboration with which to face the enormous challenges of the automotive industry. The company will launch a program of challenges so that this innovation ecosystem can find solutions to Grupo Antolin’s processes and products.
The launch of the challenges will be carried out in partnership with ennomotive, the leading open innovation platform for resolving technological challenges, involving more than 15,000 engineers from across the world.
ANTOLIN i.JUMP forms part of Grupo Antolin’s innovation strategy and is also part of its policy for attracting talent. The company needs the best professionals so that it can lead the current digital transformation of the automobile industry, in both products and processes. Through ANTOLIN i.JUMP, the company will be in contact with highly qualified professionals.
Committed to open innovation
As part of its commitment to open innovation, the company will take part in and support initiatives and events that strengthen the innovative spirit and technological development. Grupo Antolin wants to improve communication and collaboration with the different open innovation ecosystems.
The main goals of our open innovation strategy are:
- Attract and catch external vision, talent, knowledge and capabilities for ours innovation challenges.
- Develop new solutions of products and/or processes.
- Develop external innovation teams: new models of innovation and partnerships.
- Participate in initiatives and events to promote innovation and support entrepreneurship.
One such initiative is Polo Positivo, a program to accelerate industrial projects launched by Grupo Antolin together with four other companies from Burgos (Gonvarri, Aciturri, Fundación Caja Burgos y Calidad Pascual).
GA Design Challenge 2020 competition is a way for us to share our commitment to innovation and design with students worldwide, giving everyone a chance to see their ideas come to light.
Grupo Antolin wants accelerate its innovative effort. We look for doing more things, faster and better, to cope with a complex, uncertain and ultracompetitive context.
You can help us with new innovative solutions to generate new products or processes and to integrate technologies in our smart interiors looking for comfort and safety.
We are looking for different solutions, different ways of doing things: new products, tools, designs or materials and changes in current processes.
JOIN OUR CHALLENGES:
73 solutions from 29 different countries have been received for the first three challenges, 5 of them have been awarded with two winning proposals and 3 second prizes. Now we want to work on the potential application of these solutions in our products and processes.
We were looking for technical solutions for the interior of the vehicle related to air quality, electronics cooling and new functions based on intelligent systems. The goal of the challenges was to improve comfort and life on board passengers in the vehicle.
These are the new ANTOLIN I.JUMP challenges:
We continue looking for new solutions and different ways of doing things to generate new products, new tools, new designs and new materials and innovations in our current processes.
Your knowledge and experience is important for us!