Going Beyond Decoration at the Premier of the Smart Automotive Surfaces Conference

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Premiering for the first time in the North America, The ITB Group’s Smart Automotive conference was a marked success.

With the burgeoning global market on smart automotive surfaces, a need has developed for suppliers and innovators to discuss the ever-evolving changes surrounding product requirements. Smart surfaces, both interior and exterior to the vehicle, have emerged as offering vehicle differentiation opportunities. Surfaces are undergoing revolutionary innovations to increase their functionality, harmony, feel and culture which are key to enhancing a vehicle’s craftsmanship. In other words, smart surfaces are directly enhancing the brand’s identity.

By using their more than 30 years of experience in automotive, The ITB Group single-handedly developed and organized a conference to further foster discussion and collaboration regarding innovative techniques. The Smart Automotive Surfaces conference, premiering for the first time in North America on September 17, 2015 in Novi, Michigan, contained over 8 hours of cutting edge presentations and exhibits that explored technologies targeted on not only the vehicle interior, but also the exterior surfaces.

The conference kicked-off with opening remarks by Mitra O’Malley, Managing Director of The ITB Group who articulated the importance of technical developments at the surface and that “the first inch from the interior and exterior surface will capture tremendous value. It will be tied to brand identity.” This set the tone for the remainder of the conference where later Nissan Motor Company Japan led a keynote conversation on instrument panel skins and the benefit to using injection molding process. Injection molding process is the key to the integration of functionality in automotive applications.

Other presenters ventured from around the world to discuss topics that included touch and interactive surfaces, cubic printing, and gesture technology. For a full list of presentations, visit The ITB Smart Automotive Surfaces Conference website and view the program agenda at the following URL: http://www.itbgroup.com/smart-automotive-surfaces/

Attendees also indulged on the opportunity to interact with exhibitors who are presently leading the field with ground-breaking product developments. This included the new 2015 Nissan Rogue that was showcased during the conference in the exhibition hall.

One of the unique aspects of this conference was that the entire chain was represented. From OEMs to Tiers to representatives in decoration, material, tooling, and HMI, the spread of participants fostered ample discussion and provided an enriching environment.

“Before the conference ended we had companies approaching us to book an exhibit for next year. It’s incredible to see the amount of enthusiasm emanating from this group” remarked Bryan Eldredge, Program Manager at the ITB Group. The next Smart Automotive Surfaces conference will take place in Novi, Michigan on September 28-29th, 2016. Interested exhibitors and speakers should contact The ITB Group directly for further information.

About The ITB Group:
The ITB Group, Ltd. is an international automotive technical/business consulting firm headquartered in Novi, Michigan, USA. It provides technical and business advice to OEMs, component and material suppliers in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company is a leading expert in the use of polymer materials for automotive applications including under-the-hood, interior, and exterior applications. The firm further provides guidance for various forms of supplier transactions.

Further background can be found at http://www.itbgroup.com.

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Darren Nowak
The ITB Group
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The ITB Group

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