Bingen, Germany / Balzers, Liechtenstein, March 22, 2023 – Oerlikon Balzers, a world-leading technology brand of Oerlikon for thin-film coatings, has won the Magna Supplier Innovation Award 2022 in the “Transmission Solutions” category with its Smart Coatings. Magna’s powertrain division, one of the world’s leading Tier 1 automotive suppliers, had invited companies for the fifth time to submit their ideas for future and sustainable powertrains in its “Supplier Innovation Challenge”. Oerlikon Balzers took first prize with its idea to use thin-film coatings as sensors for real-time monitoring of automotive components, a development which once again underscores the innovative power of Oerlikon’s technology.
In spring 2022, the powertrain division of Magna invited potential new partners such as suppliers or universities to submit their ideas for the “Supplier Innovation Challenge 2022” in four different categories where Magna, as a Tier 1 supplier for powertrain systems, is facing new challenges. Magna’s initiative gives companies the opportunity to be involved in co-engineering processes at an early stage, promoting the joint development of innovative products for successful, long-term collaboration. More than 40 applicants submitted their ideas, and in the “Transmission Solutions” category Oerlikon Balzers took first place with its idea of Smart Coatings. Oerlikon is proud of this award because Magna is considered a strategic cooperation partner for future developments.
Smart Coatings – real-time system monitoring for sustainable mobility
Modern vehicles incorporate around 100 miniature sensors that monitor the status of various components in real time. Sensor arrays are integrated on the components themselves using thin-film sensors, adding important value by capturing data on load, temperature, pressure, etc., and enabling real-time measurement of the load status of individual components. Experts from Oerlikon in Germany, Finland and Liechtenstein have worked together to develop feasible applications using Smart Coatings.
High level of innovation for advanced surface solutions in the automotive industry
“Winning this award from Magna, one of the world’s biggest automotive suppliers, is a great honor for us and demonstrates once again our high level of innovation in developing sustainable solutions for future generations of vehicles. This innovation also opens up completely new fields of application in coating technology,” says Dr. Christian Scholz, Product Manager Service Components Automotive. He continues: “Oerlikon has been a strong partner for customers in the automotive industry for many years. Especially in an industry experiencing profound change, it fills us with pride to support companies with innovative ideas that help them overcome major challenges.”
Left: Dr. Astrid Gies; Center: Dr. Christian Scholz; Right (from left): Jukka Kolehmainen, Juha Haikola, Sanna Tervakangas, Esa Haikola