The automotive industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by enhanced engine efficiency and strict government regulations on emissions, and the growing importance of technologies such as machine learning and the Internet of Things. In the last three years alone, there have been over 1.2 million patents filed and granted in the automotive industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Automotive: Vehicle camshaft manufacturing.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
290+ innovations will shape the automotive industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the automotive industry using innovation intensity models built on over 619,000 patents, there are 290+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, resilient spoke wheels, auto-transmission lubrication circuits, and ignition switching engines are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Engine purge actuators, electro-dynamic braking, and adsorptive vapour recovery system estimation are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are collision avoidance braking control system and direct injection type engines, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the automotive industry
Vehicle camshaft manufacturing is a key innovation area in automotive
A camshaft is a mechanical device used in an internal combustion engine to perform the opening and closing action of the inlet and exhaust valve at the right time by using lobes (called cams). The basic function of a camshaft is to convert rotatory motion into linear motion and achieves the motion either independently or by the engine crankshaft.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60 companies, spanning technology vendors, established automotive companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of vehicle camshaft manufacturing.
Key players in vehicle camshaft manufacturing – a disruptive innovation in the automotive industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to vehicle camshaft manufacturing
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Nippon Steel||1216||Unlock company profile|
|Benteler International||88||Unlock company profile|
|Toyota Motor||79||Unlock company profile|
|Kobe Steel||66||Unlock company profile|
|Honda Motor||46||Unlock company profile|
|Gestamp 2020||46||Unlock company profile|
|Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group||44||Unlock company profile|
|Magna International||43||Unlock company profile|
|Aisin||43||Unlock company profile|
|General Motors||42||Unlock company profile|
|POSCO Holdings||39||Unlock company profile|
|Ford Motor||36||Unlock company profile|
|Toyoda Iron Works||29||Unlock company profile|
|Bayerische Motoren Werke||28||Unlock company profile|
|Hyundai Motor Group||27||Unlock company profile|
|ThyssenKrupp||27||Unlock company profile|
|Porsche Automobil Holding||25||Unlock company profile|
|Chery Automobile||22||Unlock company profile|
|Jiangxi Jiangling Chassis||21||Unlock company profile|
|China FAW Group||20||Unlock company profile|
|Mazda Motor||20||Unlock company profile|
|Dongfeng Motor||18||Unlock company profile|
|Tenneco||15||Unlock company profile|
|JAC Motors||15||Unlock company profile|
|Mitsubishi Steel Mfg||15||Unlock company profile|
|Zhejiang Geely Holding Group||13||Unlock company profile|
|Toyota Boshoku||13||Unlock company profile|
|Aditya Birla Management||13||Unlock company profile|
|Compagnie de Saint-Gobain||13||Unlock company profile|
|Kia||12||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson Controls International||12||Unlock company profile|
|Schaeffler||12||Unlock company profile|
|Voestalpine||12||Unlock company profile|
|Cosma Engineering Europe||12||Unlock company profile|
|Suzuki Motor||10||Unlock company profile|
|Kiekert||10||Unlock company profile|
|Yorozu||9||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing Automotive Group||8||Unlock company profile|
|Mercedes-Benz Group||8||Unlock company profile|
|Tata Motors||8||Unlock company profile|
|Shape||8||Unlock company profile|
|FAW-Volkswagen Automobile||7||Unlock company profile|
|H-One||7||Unlock company profile|
|Nuova FourB||7||Unlock company profile|
|Kyung Chang Industrial||7||Unlock company profile|
|C. Rob. Hammerstein||7||Unlock company profile|
|Adient||7||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson Controls Metals & Mechanisms & Co||7||Unlock company profile|
|SAIC Motor||6||Unlock company profile|
|Proma||6||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Nippon Steel is a key player in the vehicle camshaft manufacturing innovation area. Nippon Steel’s vehicle camshaft is durable and easy to maintain and provides smooth operation even at high speed. The camshaft design governs the engine’s power, efficiency, mileage, and emissions. Nippon’s single camshaft can be used for many cylinders. Toyota, Benteler International, Honda, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile, Aisin, and Magna International are some of the other key players.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the automotive industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Automotive.