Quality Solutions: Fasteners for Steering and Suspension

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Technological advancements have enabled the automotive industry to experience accelerated developments across different sectors, including steering and suspension systems.

One of the main driving forces behind the growth of the automotive steering market has been the continued development of steering-mounted technologies. Steering is now being used to control various automobile dashboard-based functions such as radio, cruise control, climate control and call answering.

In addition to continued improvements to steering-mounted technologies, gesture recognition technology in steering wheels is one of the key automotive steering wheel developments to the market. Driver gestures are processed and recognized using a gesture recognition algorithm by the sensor-based systems to control the onboard systems instead of using physical buttons or touchscreens and it’s use helps the driver by curbing visual and cognitive distractions. Innovative designs such as gesture-recognition technology is certainly helping the growth of the automotive steering market.

OEMs are investing in research and development to integrate novel technologies into suspension systems, improving overall steering stability and providing a comfortable ride – this is developed further by steering-assisted safety technology such as anti-slip regulation (ASR) and dynamic steering response (DSR). Growth is also expected in the automotive suspension due to the inclusion of sensor and electronic based suspension systems, not to mention the rise in air suspension also becoming one of the most significant changes in the suspension market.

Furthermore, there is also no slowing down in the inclusion of electric powered steering (EPS), as it is anticipated that the number of vehicles equipped with EPS will rise approximately to 98.65 million by 2035.

Overall, steering and suspension manufacturers are developing their systems successfully through improved designs of novel technology and innovative additions such as sensor-based systems. Suspension systems must provide excellent road handling and ride quality and steering systems are being developed beyond its primary responsibility of controlling the direction of the vehicle. However, in the face of these advancements, it is crucial manufacturers don’t lose sight of some of the other critical parts in their products.

Lightweight, specialised and sustainable fastening solutions for steering and suspension

Innovation in the design of fasteners can provide opportunities for weight reduction. Light weighting is key in any automotive build. A 10% reduction in vehicle weight can result in a 6-8% improvement in fuel economy, resulting in optimised vehicle performance.

Among regions, Europe holds the largest share of the steering and suspension markets, primarily driven by growing vehicle production and sales, as well as an increased demand in electric vehicles. Here at Optimas we provide onshoring and nearshoring for UK, European and US customers with manufacturing facilities on both sides of the Atlantic, to help curb carbon emissions and improve sustainability and ethical sourcing.

Plus, to guarantee high performance in driver assistance, user experience, navigation, and infotainment, automotive electrical systems require advanced fastening solutions that provide electrical connectivity. In addition, prioritising thermal conductivity and insulation is key in manufacturing these types of components, particularly in the case of EVs and hybrids, to avoid depleting these types of components performance, over-heating and damage done by external conditions.

How Optimas can help

With over 100 years’ experience supplying automotive OEMs, we can help you drive efficiency across your manufacturing operations.

Not only do we manufacture and distribute a wide range of standard and specialised fasteners and components globally, but our dedicated fastener engineers work with our partners from product design to production line, and even prototyping, to enhance their products for use.

Additionally, as a Global PPAP Centre of Excellence, we also specialise in rapid PPAP approvals for manufacturers looking to ensure parts meet the most rigorous of quality standards and boost their time to market.

To find out more about our engineering capabilities, you can do so here. Partner with us to meet the demand for advanced steering and suspension systems.

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