Israel's Automotive Technologies Combine Advanced Technologies and Traditional Precision

With the world increasingly challenged by congested roads and polluted air, Israel's groundbreaking automotive technologies are in the forefront of improving performance, efficiency, safety and cleanliness. At the same time, traditional suppliers manufacture a diverse range of the most sophisticated components and assemblies, which combine traditional engineering precision with advanced design and the latest technologies.

More than 100 Israeli manufacturers supply systems, parts, modules and tooling to both original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and to supplier Tiers, produce tool and production line systems, design and assemble buses and vehicles, manufacture after market products, as well as developing advanced automotive technologies including innovative materials, advanced electronics and automation technologies, and cleantech initiatives. Originally established to support, among others, the security and aerospace industries, Israeli companies have successfully adapted technologies that were utilized for the military to civilian uses and made themselves a prominent technology market for the international automobile industry.

Israel exports around $800 million worth of automotive parts and systems annually, many of which are utilized by leading manufacturers such as Daimler, Jaguar, BMW, VW, PSA, GM, MAN, Navistar, Renault-Nissan, FORD and Volvo as well as to Tier 1 suppliers such as: Delphi, Bosch, Valeo, Autoliv, Faurecia, Johnson Controls and Magna Styer.

Israel's highly skilled workforce, strict compliance with international quality standards, sophisticated computerized logistics and advanced R&D capabilities and investments positions the country as a prime destination for outsourcing and development of new products to the global vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers. In recent years, Israel has invented a number of breakthrough technologies including specialized materials, advanced electronics, communication systems, driver awareness systems, automotive IT and security. As electronics become an increasingly significant part of the automotive industry, having recently risen from 15% of total car cost to 35%, Israel is well positioned to become a leader in this niche market.

Four reasons for outsourcing in Israel: more advanced and innovative technical solutions; lower costs; reliable on-time delivery; and highquality parts.

OEM & Tier 1 Suppliers

About 35 Israeli companies serve as OEM and Tier 1 suppliers to the world's leading automakers. These companies combine traditional engineering precision with advanced design and the latest technologies and come from many industries including plastics, rubber, metal, and electronics.

Israeli companies in this filed include Ashot Ashkelon, which manufactures gears and transmission systems for the aerospace industry as well as off-road and heavy duty vehicles & trucks, while Ditron Precision supplies high quality volume automotive and engine machined parts using the most up-to-date CNC machining centers and lathes, single spindle, multi-spindle and Swiss type automatic screw machines. Ein Hashofet Industries includes two industrial companies owned by Kibbutz Ein Hashofet: Mivrag Ltd., produces a wide range of metal parts, bolts and unique metal accessories in cold forming technology; Eltam Ein Hashofet Ltd. plays a major role in the international market for lighting accessories and metal components.

Raval specializes in the development and production of automotive fuel tank venting systems in response to new international environmental and safety regulations, while Tadir-Gan Group, comprising three companies, Tadir-Gan (Precision Products) 1993 Ltd., Ortal Diecasting and TadirGan Europe, covers the three High Pressure Die casting processes: Magnesium, Aluminum and Zinc, with full synergic cooperation and higher capabilities. Tadir-Gan (Precision Products) twice won GM Worldwide "Supplier of the Year" awards for its achievements in quality, service, technology and price. Ortal Diecasting won the ZF Ls Best Supplier award.

Other innovations in this sector include Raviv's carbon fabric heated seat pads that offer safer, more energy efficient, uniform seat temperature.
Alex Original manufactures and markets automotive air conditioning for passenger cars, minibuses and special applications including rooftop units, transport refrigeration systems, electric doors for vans and minibuses, parallel flow condensers, and electric sliding doors, while A.L. Group manufactures and markets fuel injection, diesel filters, air filters, cabin filters and metal free filters.

Oran Safety Glass develops, manufactures and markets bullet resistant, forced entry and blast resistant glass for both the automotive and building industries, while Nordia Springs manufactures industrial springs for a range of applications. Polyram produces plastic compounds for injection molding to automotive manufacturers and TIR-1 suppliers, raw materials for production of structural plastic parts, and under the hood applications and in-the-cockpit parts. Supergum Industries produces a range of rubber and plastic products using high end machinery and tooling.

Tool and Production Line Systems

More than a handful of Israeli companies operate in this sector including CogniTens, which provides comprehensive three dimensional measurement solutions focused on improving engineering and manufacturing processes, and allowing its customers to significantly improve product quality, shorten development cycles, and cut manufacturing costs.
In 2006 the company was awarded the Automotive News PACE Award honoring innovative automotive suppliers as well as Frost & Sullivan's Technology Innovation of the Year Award.

Nextec Technologies specializes in high precision, non-contact 3D laser scanning for geometry inspection, quality control and reverse engineering applications.

Iscar, owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the world's leading manufacturers and a full line supplier of fine, precision metalworking tools. Its unique and innovative cutting tools cover most applications including cutoff, face grooving and other turning applications, milling, drilling, hole making, threading and operations requiring solid carbide tools.

PLT Plasma Laser Technologies specializes in the development and validation of hybrid welding technologies and applications. PLT has developed to date two main hybrid innovative systems, both patented and trade marked worldwide: Super- MIG® based on the combination of a MIG/MAG welding process and plasma-arc in one processing head and Weldone™, based on the combination of a laser beam and a powerful plasma-arc in one processing head. Also in this sector, EVS-Scanmaster Systems which develops and manufactures ultrasonic inspection, imaging systems and transducers, Objet Geometries Ltd. Developer and manufacturer of ultra-thin layer, high-resolution 3-dimensional printing solutions for rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing.

Bus and Vehicle Bodybuilders
Israel has around a dozen bus, minibus and special utility vehicle manufacturers and bodybuilders. Some of these companies specialize in the production of military vehicles including Hatehof, which manufactures armored vehicles, tankers, aircraft refuellers and fire fighting trucks, and Automotive Industries, which manufactures all terrain tactical vehicles. In the civilian sector Merkavim Transport Technologies and Haargaz Group are engaged in the design and production of passenger buses and railway cars. Agam Garage and Trailers manufactures trailers and heavy metal work components and B.A.T. Beit Alfa Technologies produces special purpose vehicles including for riot control. Shaldot Metal Works also manufactures special purpose vehicles including trailers, tankers, truck bodies, and command shelters. Feldman Vehicle Conversions specializes in the production and fitting seats, other parts, and accessories for commercial vehicles, while TOMCAR designs and manufactures offroad vehicles for civilian and military markets.

After Market Manufacturers
Israel has a diverse range of some several dozen after market manufacturers including E. Schnapp & Co. Works Ltd. manufactures automotive and deep cycle lead acid batteries for European, Japanese and American vehicles in the range of 12v 36ah to 12v 230ah and 6v batteries. Alex Original which designs, develops and manufactures mobile HVAC solutions and systems for 700 different vehicle models, and Hadaikan, which produces such parts as axial shafts, tie rod ends, ball joints, stabilizer links and more. Ein Shemer Rubber Industries produces rubber hose and profiles, rubber tire treads and compounds and D.S. Rebuilt Electrical Car Parts manufactures starters and alternators. King Engine Bearings produces sleeve-type half bearings and Lehavot Fire Protection manufactures portable and mobile fire extinguishers.

Advanced Automotive Technologies
Innovative Materials: Israeli companies have developed innovative materials, which combine increased safety with the utmost in comfort. Breakthroughs have included TexoPlast's tough, lightweight fabric featuring a soft, luxurious-tothe- touch material on one side with a hard plastic shell on the other.

BGN Technologies, the technology transfer company of Ben Gurion University of the Negev is developing and commercializing a range of startup projects in the automotive related technologies sector including innovative materials such as: lightweight, high strength boron-carbide armor; consolidated light alloys with nano/sub-micron structure – light materials based on aluminum, magnesium and titanium; and cellular magnesium foam for special energy absorbing applications.

FriCSo provides patented environmentally friendly nano-layer based surface treatment that significantly reduces friction between moving parts. ApNano Materials in collaboration with the Weizmann Institute of Technology has developed NanoLub, the world's first synthetic lubricant to be based on spherical inorganic nano-particles. The company was selected by Red Herring, the US investing journal, as one of the top innovators driving global markets in 2005. Nanomaterials, based on research at the Weizmann Institute, develops, manufactures and markets products based on proprietarty types of nanospheres and nanotubes made from inorganic compounds.

Plasan Carbon Composites supplies strong and resilient parts made of carbon fiber whose light weight allows for overall reduction in vehicle weight. Kilolambda Technologies develops and provides optical power control solutions based on innovative and unique nano-materials and nanostructures, while Lumio develops and produces intelligent optical and projection technology enhances and enables the communications, computing and entertainment through innovative virtual interface technology.

Advanced Electronics and Automation Technologies: Israeli companies offer electronic systems, equipment and products which improve the accuracy, quality and efficiency of vehicle production and are also leaders in the field of driver vision systems, biometric-based security and integrative communications systems, including night vision systems, on-board driver assistance systems, telematics, Fleet Management Solutions, navigation and control systems, sensors, voice processing solutions and testing and measurement solutions.

MobilEye Vision Technologies has pioneered the development of vision-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), providing data for applications such as lane departure warning, forward collision warning, headway monitoring, pedestrian detection, high beam assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and more. TowerJazz is a specialty foundry manufacturing integrated circuits and is a major supplier of semiconductors for the automotive market. PrimeSense has developed a revolutionary low cost 3D capturing device. In car applications include: controlled air bag activation based on spatial detection of occupants positions and movements; driver awareness detection based on head and eyelids spatial position and movements; driver attention monitor; child abandons detection; easy and reliable operation of car systems with hand or head gestures.

Israeli software companies are joining the automotive scene in growing numbers. Israeli software companies provide, amongst others, software for Digital Broadcast Receiving applications; Robust embedded security solutions as well as process-oriented software linking product engineering with all manufacturing disciplines. iDiag develops and produces online maintenance research and diagnostics solutions based on its avionic and automotive experience, while Sphericon has developed advanced driver assistance systems using algorithms and Digital Signal Processing. Discretix delivers complete embedded security solutions to the mobile, storage, automotive, networking, office automation and industrial markets.

New Israeli "Vehicle to Vehicle", "Vehicle to Infrastructure" and "Vehicle to Environment" communications systems including satellite TV reception promise to change the entire driving experience. Performance improvement features include engine control modules, electronic voltage regulators, and a system to monitor fluid quality and temperature (using microwave transmissions). Silentium develops active noise control technology that reduces air-conditioning system noise in car space.

Cleantech Initiatives: Limited by scarce natural resources, Israel's pioneering status in environmentally friendly technologies has also carried over to its automotive industry. One example is BGN Technologies at Ben Gurion University, which together with Exxon Mobil Corporation manufactures a container for alternative hydrogen fuel that, is exceptional in its content ability as well as in the amount of security it provides.

ETV Motors is an Israeli start-up developing innovative electric vehicle propulsion technology. The company's activity is focused on a novel, high-efficiency, dual – power micro-turbine and a proprietary high voltage lithium-ion battery. Integration of these optimized components will result in an unparalleled electric vehicle propulsion platform.

Newton Propulsion Technologies Ltd. has developed an innovative and remarkably efficient Engine Platform, using an advanced integration of a volumetric Internal Combustion and Gas Turbine principles into one engine, resulting in a vastly improved efficiency, performance and emission, utilizing multi-fuel system including heavy and bio fuels and it conforms to the strict regulation of Cleantech requirements.

Produced By: Daniel Uzan Media & Communications