With supply chain issues, material shortages and an uncertain market, it can be hard to find many good news stories about the automotive manufacturing sector in 2021. So, recent predictions around the growth of the noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) industry are particularly welcome.  Furthermore, with consumers increasingly demanding quieter, more energy efficient vehicles, reducing NVH is an important challenge for automotive manufacturers to address.  

Overcoming manufacturing shutdown 

Like most links in the automotive supply chain, the NVH sector was hit hard by Covid-19 last year. With lockdowns shutting down both automotive production and car salesrooms, the delicate balance of supply and demand was severely disrupted for many months.  

The good news is that, despite the industry’s struggle back in 2020, a full recovery is expected. Not only that, but the global NVH market is predicted to grow to $2.8 billion (£1.8 billion) by 2026 according to a report by MarketsandMarkets. This turnaround is being led by a number of factors, including government regulations to reduce noise pollution, and the shift towards electric vehicles. Increased NVH testing of applications such as powertrains and impact hammers which significantly influence the overall driver experience is also a significant driver of growth. These applications involve testing for torsional and ground vibration as well as other key areas of NVH.  

Leading the way in NVH testing and solutions 

Several European nations can claim to be leaders in the NVH field with Germany, the UK, France and Italy driving much of the growth in NVH testing. And with the implementation of noise reduction regulations as well as escalating consumer demand for quieter, more efficient vehicles, the automotive manufacturing industry has been forced to factor in the noise levels of their vehicles into the design process. In fact, the link between low noise levels and the quality of vehicle is an idea firmly entrenched in many buyers’ minds, hugely influencing purchasing decisions.   

NVH solutions also apply to electric vehicles. Despite their reputation for quiet running, electric vehicle manufacturers are moving towards  motorising more and more components, from gearboxes to seat sliders. As a result, interior noise is likely to rise – and with the increasing demand for electric cars set to continue, NVH testing and solutions will become an increasingly important part of design and production in the EV sector.    

Tackling noise pollution 

The negative impact of noise pollution has been in the news recently with government regulations designed to reduce noise pollution acting as  another factor driving the need for NVH testing. Wind turbines are a large source of noise pollution as their rotations create a lot of sound in the environment. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on manufacturers to test and develop quieter versions of these turbines, and to do this, they need NVH solutions. 

The role of NVH in driver experience 

As the driver experience evolves and people increasingly switch to driving quieter electric vehicles, creating a calm and stress-free environment for drivers and passengers is becoming more important than ever. With decades of experience to help us meet these exciting challenges, here at Interflex we continue to come up with innovative new NVH solutions for a greener, quieter and safer motoring future.   

To find out more, please give us a call on 01949 861491 or emailsales@interflex2000.com.