Exatec Honoured with Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for its Polycarbonate Glazing Technology
London, UK – 23 August, 2006 - Frost & Sullivan confers the 2006 Award for Technology Innovation in the field of automotive glazing to Exatec for its successful innovations in polycarbonate (PC) glazing. In presenting this award, Frost & Sullivan commends Exatec for excelling in the introduction of new products designed to meet the needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Established in 1998 as a joint venture between Bayer MaterialScience and GE Plastics, Exatec is the only company to adopt a comprehensive research and development approach to glazing systems, encompassing all components.
“Exatec’s technology development centres are focussed on market and technology development, thereby continuously improving the cost competitiveness and performance of its PC glazing systems,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Manager Brian Balmer. “The company’s technical breakthroughs have enabled it to meet the high standards arising from a combination of regulatory requirements for driver visibility and OEM requirements for quality and aesthetics.”
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has confirmed that the EXATEC® 900 Polycarbonate Glazing System can be certified for all window locations and can be used in automotive glazing provided that existing regulatory requirements are met. This has been demonstrated through independent laboratory analysis. It makes EXATEC® 900 the only glazing technology that can be certified for windows requisite for driver visibility in the US and globally.
“While polycarbonate enables styling freedom and offers excellent impact resistance, improvements in its abrasion and UV resistance were still needed to make PC glazing broadly suitable for automotive applications,” says Dr. Balmer. “Here, Exatec’s technology has promoted the use of polycarbonate glazing in applications including roof systems, as well as movable side windows and rear windows, all of which are subject to function-related abrasion.”
The success of the Exatec technology has been founded on its plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) process, which is used to provide abrasion resistance comparable to that of glass. To achieve this, several challenges had to be overcome, as CVD is conventionally a very high temperature process. Also, despite CVD often being a batch process not conducive to large-scale commercial production lines, the company’s key breakthroughs have resulted in the rapid development of a PECVD process suitable for continuous in-line manufacturing.
Until now, inadequate outdoor weatherability of polycarbonate due to its low UV resistance has hindered the adoption of PC glazing. However, owing to significant technological developments, Exatec’s products are currently the only systems known to surpass the ten-year weatherability requirements specified by several OEMs in the selection of materials.
Besides developing new technologies to accelerate the adoption of polycarbonate automotive glazing, Exatec is collaborating with leading technology companies in the industry to combine the best available technologies and provide the most advanced glazing solutions to car manufacturers across the world. Moreover, the complementary activities of Exatec and its parent companies are expected to lead to rapid adoption and higher penetration of polycarbonate as a glazing material.
Clemens Kaiser, CEO of Exatec added: “The award is a significant and independent recognition of the contribution of Exatec to enabling competitive PC glazing technology in the automotive market. Exatec technology is now recognized as the clear market leader driving a major material change from glass to polycarbonate in automotive applications. The award also recognises the achievements and the leading role of our parent companies Bayer MaterialScience and GE Plastics in the field of polycarbonate glazing. We are proud that Frost & Sullivan has chosen Exatec for this prestigious award. Both technological innovation and the ability to introduce new, game-changing technologies into the market are what make Exatec a clear leader and significant influence in the industry.”
About the Award
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation is given to the company that has demonstrated technological superiority within its industry. This award recognises the ability of the company to successfully develop and introduce new technology, formulate a well-designed product family and make significant product performance contributions to the industry.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
Exatec, a joint venture of Bayer MaterialScience and GE Plastics, is continuously developing new technologies to extend the Exatec Glazing System line of products, which is currently licensed to the Tier Industry.
Exatec Technology offers OEMs and automotive suppliers the opportunity to realize a competitive advantage with advanced Exatec Polycarbonate Glazing Systems. Panoramic roof systems, highly integrated backlites and innovative door modules are only some of the options now available to OEMs. Fore more information, visit www.exatec.biz
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more than 40 years. The company’s industry expertise integrates growth consulting, growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment community, by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. For more information, visit www.frost.com
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