Granta Design says that this new industry collaboration will bring together OEMs and suppliers in the automotive and off-highway vehicle sectors to develop best practice for materials information and its use. It will help these members as they aim to increase engineering productivity, lower costs, improve product performance, lower risk associated with materials supply and regulations on restricted substances, and make the most of investments in simulation and PLM.

AutoMatIC is modelled on two projects involved in the industrial application of materials information technology: the Material Data Management Consortium (MDMC) and the Environmental Materials Information Technology (EMIT) Consortium.

Granta Design adds that in a climate of aggressive deadlines, major redesigns, and reduced physical prototyping, the automotive industry is acknowledging the strategic importance of accurate, controlled materials information. This information is essential to initiatives involving Virtual Product Development, materials substitution, supply chain qualification, certification, and risk assessment. Automotive organisations also need to keep up with a rapidly-evolving materials landscape, understanding and applying innovations in areas such as higher-strength steels and composite materials. Good materials data and effective materials decisions are essential in optimizing product designs for global manufacturing, ‘lightweighting’, and emissions reduction.

A strong base of technology already exists to manage materials information, deploy it for use, and turn it into material intelligence that can have business impact. The AutoMatIC project will further enhance this technology for automotive applications. Competitive advantage will accrue to member organisations, as they will be able to adopt and apply these tools with maximum speed and effect as well as benefiting from sharing experiences and networking with other members at regular Consortium meetings.

The Consortium will begin an initial three-year phase in June. Founding members will be announced before the first meeting later this year and are expected to include leading OEMs and suppliers from the US and Europe. The project is open to any organisation in the relevant sectors interested in applying materials information technology.