Exhibitor Interview: Stephen Neuman, Global Product Manager Battery / Electric Vehicle, H.B. Fuller
Stephen Neuman is the global product manager for Electric Vehicles (EV) at H.B. Fuller, a leading global manufacturer of industrial adhesives and sealants. Stephen is an expert in bonding and sealing applications in and around EV battery packs, modules, electric powertrains, and various body structure applications. Stephen believes that adhesives and sealants play a major role in enabling mass electrification of automobiles. Living in Detroit, Mich., Stephen has over 15 years of experience in the global automotive industry. He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Iowa.
Please tell us about your current role. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?
I am the global product manager for Battery and Electric Vehicles. This is a fascinating time to focus on this space. I am responsible for coordinating our product portfolio globally in this space. With technological advancements happening by the hour, it is a very dynamic environment. Innovation that solves big problems and enables design breakthroughs is what we at H.B. Fuller are all about.
Which markets does H.B. Fuller address and what are your expectations for the development of the adhesives & bonding industry?
H.B. Fuller is the largest Adhesives manufacturer in the United States, and we are broadly diversified across many markets including Automotive, Aerospace, Electronics, New Energy, Medical, Packaging, Construction, Industrial Assembly, and Hygiene. Our focus moving forward is on Engineering Adhesives and delivering innovative new solutions to solve big problems.
What new industry trends do you anticipate over the next few years?
We anticipate a continuation of some of the obvious trends- lightweighting, bonding dissimilar materials, use of more plastics, and difficult to bond substrates. In the EV Space, energy density and battery safety are two major factors driving the technology. Customers need their adhesives to do more than just bond. Recyclability is also becoming more of a focal point.
What are your key opportunities at the moment, and what challenges do you have to face in 2020?
With the rapid technological development in so many aspects of transportation, there are almost unlimited opportunities to innovate. The challenge is to focus on key problems and solve them quickly. It’s a dynamic space- the ability to be nimble is key.
Can you tell us about any technical developments that you are working on at the moment, or what can we expect from H.B. Fuller in the foreseeable future?
We have delivered several recent innovations to the space. One is our fire retardant and light weight battery encapsulation foam. This material is designed to make batteries lighter and much safer. The product is designed to prevent thermal propagation (battery fires) and is an innovative breakthrough. We are working to deliver many other innovations this year- materials with tuneable properties, innovative battery sealants, and much more.
What fascinates you about your role at H.B. Fuller?
At first glance, people might perceive adhesives to be a boring field. It is the opposite. For those who like technology and want a front row seat- adhesives is the place to be. Our products improve many things and are key to many technical advancements in automobiles, airplanes, cell phones, and many other items. Every day is a new challenge and it never gets boring.
What products will you be featuring at Adhesives & Bonding Expo 2020 and what response are you expecting?
We will be featuring a variety of solutions for Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH), electric vehicles, automotive electronics, and many more. We will have a product showcase demonstrating some innovative adhesive solutions that people might not have seen before- UV cure adhesives, film adhesives, and high strength structural bonding solutions.
What are you most looking forward to about the show this year?
This exhibition has a lot of inertia behind it, and we are very interested to engage and participate. We are hoping to connect with other technology leaders with problems that we can help them solve.
H.B. Fuller will be exhibiting at Adhesives & Bonding Expo 2020 in Booth 932.