Such engagement gives 3M a bird’s-eye view of trends shaping the industry and helps the company to develop customer-inspired innovations.
With transportation becoming one of the largest and most visible contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, legislators across major regions have passed standards to ensure that gas guzzlers are penalized. Automotive OEMs, in their bid to comply with standards, are increasingly looking for fuel-efficient and light-weight solutions.
3M has developed new products in line with these trends, such as glass microspheres, which are high strength, low density additives used as fillers in cockpits, steering wheels, body panels, and even tires. General Motors’ (GM) use of these fillers resulted in significant cost savings in its 2016 Corvette.
Similar to the automotive end market, 3M works with large global accounts in the filtration business, and it’s able to engage deeply with its customers to develop customer-inspired innovations in line with requirements.
The key trends shaping the filtration business process are efficiency and high purity requirements. These have led to 3M’s development of high value, single-use products categorized as microfilters, ultrafilters, and smart filters.