As the world transitions towards new mobility platforms such as Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles, component requirements are also seeing a shift in several aspects. Today, automotive component manufacturers are focusing on producing intelligent solutions that enhance the mobility experience of today’s vehicles in terms of drive, ride comfort, user interface, entertainment and more. One such important parameter of a vehicle is its Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH levels) that determines the quality of a vehicle’s ride.
3M India R&D Centre, Electronic City, Bengaluru
For this reason, in 2017, 3M India developed an indigenous acoustic insulation product called ‘MuPhony’ that featured a ‘Fibrous+Liquid Acoustics Based’ multi-layer insulation product and commercialised it in 2018. However, MuPhony was primarily designed to suit diesel vehicles and in 2019, the component maker developed the Integrated Absorptive Barrier (IAB) that offered better NVH control in a wider variety of vehicles.
Dhriti Sunder Bhattacharya, Senior General Manager, 3M India (R&D) says, ‘A noise performance solution must have provisions related to noise barrier performance, it must have some sort of absorption performance as well. With the IAB solution, we are able to cater to the requirement of both diesel and petrol sectors together. We are currently evaluating and tweaking the system for use in EVs and Hybrid vehicles as well.’
Dhriti Sunder Bhattacharya, Senior General Manager, 3M India (R&D)
Approach towards EVs and Hybrids is a little different, you need to look at motor noise, its tonal noise and other aspects that are different from an ICE engine vehicle. The calculations are completely different, measurement criteria and parameters are completely different. EVs also come with the challenge of heat and safety and the development of thermal and acoustic materials needs to be done with that in mind. Bhattacharya added.
Overall in terms of an EV, an NVH acoustic solution needs to control road noise, tyre noise, electric-motor noise, wind noise and ancillary system noise. That is where 3M India works with their customers (OEMs) and tests new or existing vehicles with its own IAB solution for optimum NVH performance at their R&D centre in Bengaluru’s Electronic City. An applicable noise solution needs to be effective, sustainable and light weight to be commercialised.
Ravindra Jakareddy, Country Sales Manager, 3M India
Ravindra Jakareddy, Country Sales Manager, 3M India says, ‘You need to understand how the R&D process evolves when developing such an acoustic performance solution. We pitch ourselves as a value supplier and are price agnostic. When developing a solution for a vehicle, what matters is the segment in which it is getting launched, what are the OEMs aspirations after which point, we work alongside OEMs in offering tailor made solutions. An entry level hatchback and a premium SUV cannot have the same solution. Above all, it also matters at what price bracket the OEM wants to pitch the vehicle into the market. Our acoustic solution needs to cater to all these aspects. How we differentiate our value, not only depends on the products that we are selling but also on the process that we offer to OEMs.
3M India acoustics insulation microfiber
Currently, electric and hybrid platforms are technologies that are more sustainable but costlier than ICE powered vehicles too. Having a made-in-India acoustic solution that can be tailor-fitted to suit OEM needs and performs well, will definitely help keep EV and Hybrid vehicle costs in check. While 3M India did not share exact model names that currently feature IAB solutions in India, they did hint towards top selling hatchbacks of the country. The company also plans to take the latest iterations of the IAB solution to global markets very soon. Source