Borough in Bavaria
Being part of the supply chain for this global industry, was the reason we found ourselves talking automotive interiors with designers and manufacturers in Regensburg, Germany in February.
The event, designed to bring together the best in manufacturing within the automotive supply chain, with the focus on interiors, was headed by Dr. Astrid Heckl. She is Head of the Development Coating Centre at The Schaeffler Group, a global integrated automotive and industrial supplier.
Our attendance was supported by the UKTI, with four other UK companies using the occasion to sell their wares. The majority of those attending were from Germany, but we had our European sales agent, Henning Dieckmann on the stand to deal with enquiries in his mother tongue – to be honest he dealt as well with the enquiries in English just as well!
We have worked hard over the years to develop good relationships with German tier one suppliers to the automotive industry and it was good to meet and talk developments with automotive interior designers from suppliers to some of the world’s top marques.
It was good to give the interior designers something to think about, with examples of our satin and noble chrome components alongside each other, demonstrating the clear difference and the reason so many interior components now feature the less reflective satin finish.
In all honesty, it’s actually the nickel substrate that features the satin finish as the chrome is largely transparent, not really adding any colour and there more for its durability.
One of our current projects, injection moulding black speaker grilles, along with the noble chrome bezels that reflect the quality of the brand and the interior, attracted a lot of interest. The components grace the interior of what was one of Britain’s most famous little cars, before it became one of Germany’s success stories – can you name it?
The car has played a significant part in our history and we first plated plastic components for it 50 years ago, a fact I was reminded about only this week.
The seminar and associated exhibition was a timely reminder of how we have become much more a manufacturer of components and sub-assemblies in recent years, rather than just a chrome plater of other manufacturer’s plastic parts.
Like all such events, it’s a case of being seen by buyers and designers; reminding them all about the high quality chrome plating we deliver and hoping to stay on the radar for future projects. In fact we had a conversation with a buyer confirming a large new project that will keep our injection moulding machines and chrome plating line busy for years, so all in all our trip to Bavaria was a big success or as Henning might say: “Es war sehr gut”!