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Interior Motives China Conference in Beijing, 18th and 19th April 2014

The service provider imat design & engineering sponsors one of the most important Asian design conferences for the automobile industry

(PresseBox) (Mönchengladbach, ) On 18th and 19th April 2014, a highlight of the Chinese design calendar takes place in Beijing. The Interior Motives China Conference is regarded as one of the most important events for designers and engineers in the automobile industry. In the run-up to the Beijing Auto Show (21st - 29th April) imat design & engineering presents its design and engineering services for the second time as the sponsor of the design conference. The German company with offices in the U.S., South Africa and China will showcase a selection of its extensive material library, which includes a collection of innovative materials for automotive interiors. The aim is not merely to provide new design impetus, but to support manufacturers and suppliers also as part of product cost optimisation. And so address the premium as well as the volume market. Here the quality understood by the customer, the "perceived quality" plays a pivotal role.

Perceived quality - designing for all the senses

The "perceived quality" is a decisive factor when making the decision to buy a new vehicle. Alongside the objective quality achieved through advanced manufacturing processes, emotional dimensions play a key role. High demands on functionality and reliability have meanwhile become part of the expected quality standard. For today's premium brands this means that they have to distinguish themselves even more clearly and demonstrate unique selling propositions. This is happening increasingly by including the four senses seeing, touching, smelling and hearing. The customer is affected by his experience, expectations and sensory impressions and so has very subjective, often subconscious, demands on a new product. The vehicle interior is grasped with all senses, in other words it becomes a sensuous experience, which creates positive or negative impressions in the receiver. Visual and acoustic stimuli combine with tactile and olfactory perceptions. If only one stimulus is perceived to be negative it can result in the overall impression likewise being rated negatively.

The difficulty for the engineers lies in identifying such subjective, in part subconsciously perceived stimuli and so the associated customer demands. In the end, the determined values must lead to objective and reproducible product features that support the aesthetic or sensory perception whilst considering also the functional perception. Since this does not only affect the automobile manufacturers in the development and production process, but also their material and system suppliers, further adjustments will be necessary regarding communication and specification in order to convey the demands on the perceived quality to all stakeholders even-handedly.

Design and material development from A-Z

imat supports its customers in this with a holistic approach from the idea to the finished product. This begins with scientific methods for developing future scenarios or material trends for example. With 'Future Surfaces" the company has already conducted a comprehensive trend research in the surfaces sector. imat itself is investigating new methods to identify sensory perceptions, such as measuring reactions of the brain to certain sensory stimuli. Furthermore, survey and interviews with test persons on current markets and products are integrated in the development.
Benchmarking is practised both proactively as well as at the customer's request.

Through many years of experience in the automobile industry, the company has built up profound knowledge of fabrics and materials that is supplemented by a future-oriented material library. A major advantage for the client is that designers, developers and test engineers at imat work together, closely networked on automotive interior projects, for example colour & trim concepts, and support one another during the process with their combined experience.

With all the senses: see, touch, smell and hear - that is also true for the imat team. This way innovative materials and surfaces are created that convince not only in function, but are also attractive aesthetically and sensorially. Charging the interior emotionally helps stimulate and influence the perceptions and needs of the person. The adjustments of the impressions made by a surface contribute to the enhanced sense of value experienced by the customer. For the automobile manufacturer, product cost optimisation is also an issue, that means material and surfaces should still be perceived as (high) quality products in spite of the manufacturing costs being reduced.

The car buyer demands a feeling of quality over the entire life of his product. In order to make sure that the concept of the developers and designers conceived is achieved, imat brings in its test engineers, the specialists for testing and validating materials and components. From these tests, specifications for the materials and components are derived that can be documented and certified so that the demands are clearly defined for all links in the process chain.

About imat:

Our Benchmark: The Human Being
Our Passion: Mobility and Sports
We develop, simulate, test and analyse for the visions of the future.

imat is an innovative design and engineering company that accompanies its customers all the way from the idea to the finished component or product. This includes design, development, testing and supporting services. The team also works to develop future scenarios to identify the future needs of road users regarding design, ergonomics and comfort. This helps our engineers, designers and developers to realise the corporate mission "Our Benchmark: The Human Being". Alongside our headquarters in Mönchengladbach, Germany, imat operates at further locations in Germany, South Africa, China and the U.S.

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