dlhBOWLES returns to CES with exciting new products

Written by Alicia DeCroix, Director of Marketing and Planning at dlhBOWLES, Inc. October 1, 2021 

I am pleased to announce dlhBOWLES’ return to CES 2022 with a host of new products to display in our private suite at the Wynn Encore hotel.  This year will be bigger and better than years prior as we invite our potential customers to schedule a private meeting, attend one of our lunch presentations, or our cocktail party hosted by our Fluid Control Unit partner, RAPA. 

Our Engineers have been diligently working to develop new products to support the current needs of the Automotive Industry as well as for prevention of Covid-19 through a project with 3Oe Scientific and their exciting new product Iggy™.  They will be on-site with a demonstration unit to provide extra protection to our guests and team throughout CES 2022, as well as to discuss how an Iggy™ would fit into the Automotive Supply chain to keep our workers safer from Covid-19. 

This year, we also stepped up our game alongside the Automakers to develop products to support the accelerated growth of Electric Vehicles.  Our product lines now include Thermal Cooling lines and associated components.  Just like our core Washer systems, Powertrain, and Sunroof Products, these Cooling lines are custom engineered solutions to fit the needs of every vehicle and customer we work with. 

Last but certainly not least, we will have on display at CES 2022 our multi-zone cleaning system announced earlier this year.  Our demonstration unit will feature all components of the system including traditional cleaning, air cleaning, and the fluid control unit developed with our partner, RAPA. 

It may seem too early to start planning for CES, but its only 3 short months away!  Take a few minutes to schedule your flight and hotel to join us in Vegas to get back in the game and see what everyone has been working on the last 18 months!  While you’re at it, add a stop in our suite to your Itinerary during the show using our scheduling tool at . 

Our team is excited to see you there on January 5th!   

Clēr™ Products Video Just Released

The focus of our Clēr™ product line is to answer the challenge presented by increasing reliance on lenses and sensors of today’s automotive safety systems (e.g., Blind Spot Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Collision Avoidance) and their vulnerability to road grime and other obscuration.

Without question, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) like LiDAR and Radar offer a better customer experience.  Automakers are strengthening customer connections through a broadening of these new ADAS system capabilities.  Nevertheless, lenses and sensors, like human eyesight are easily obscured.

To enable optimum system functionality, modernly equipped vehicles need sensor cleaning to assure reliability.  With this understanding came the discovery that manual cleaning is cumbersome, inefficient, and untimely.  This led dlhBOWLES to pioneer its first front camera cleaning system on the 2012 Ford F-150 Raptor.  Eight years later and drawing from our over 60 years of automotive innovation and deep strength in research and development, we established the Clēr™ brand in 2020 to coincide with the announcement of our partnership with another longtime industry leader, the RAPA group of Selb, Germany and Auburn, Alabama.  With RAPA, we developed our fluid control unit (FCU) which can be configured with as few as three independently controlled cleaning zones, while its modular format facilitates additional multizone expansion for even the most complex system design.

Clēr™ products integrate with existing washer systems and are durable enough to withstand the demanding environments of the toughest application to enhance sensor performance on vehicles and make safety systems safer.  For more information, please visit the Clēr™ page on our website, and enjoy our new video.


dlhBOWLES expands Clēr™ product line to include Fluid Control Unit for multizone Camera and Sensor cleaning

COLUMBIA, Md., May 13, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — dlhBOWLES and RAPA Automotive announces their Fluid Control Unit (FCU) is now commercially available. First presented at CES 2020, the newly developed FCU supports the innovative technology of Advanced Driving Systems (ADS) and Autonomous Vehicles (AV).This was developed together with the valve specialist RAPA Automotive, headquartered in Germany.

This strategic partnership brings together the expertise of two companies to make a technological leap in the automotive industry and to the field of autonomous vehicles in the future.

With growing demand of Advanced Driving Systems (ADS), vehicles on the road today are challenged to keep their Camera’s and Sensor’s functioning at optimal levels. The Clēr™ FCU enabled through RAPA’s expertise of valve design, controls
when, how, and how much air or liquid is distributed to a vehicle’s camera or sensor to clean it. Vehicle owners can feel confident that their ADS features will maintain functionality while the vehicle is in operation. dlhBOWLES provides cleaning systems for automotive cameras and sensors that seamlessly integrate into a vehicle’s existing washer system, improving the
effectiveness and safety of today’s Advanced Driving Systems and tomorrow’s Autonomous Vehicle technology.

For over 60 years, dlhBOWLES has been a pioneer of innovation thanks to their deep strength in research and development leading to more than 250 patents in fluid management systems and devices. dlhBOWLES has achieved its standing as
a valued and trusted supplier of washer, sunroof, and powertrain components to many original equipment manufacturers. Proven product effectiveness and focus guided by key partnerships brings the benefits gained to find real answers to
customer pain points thereby making safety systems safer.

Follow dlhBOWLES on LinkedIn or Facebook or RAPA on LinkedIn to stay informed of the latest developments.
For more information, visit and

Global shift in demand leads to new automotive challenges

Written by, Alicia DeCroix, Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc.
February 8, 2021

The world continues to battle COVID-19 with multiple vaccines now available, unfortunately roll-out is slow at best and it is hard to predict when enough people will be vaccinated for life to return to “normal”.  Automakers and suppliers continue to deal with isolated infections and absenteeism, but production has not been directly affected by infections since very strict protocols are in place to protect workers.

The latest ripple in the automotive industry began to really take form in January as a global shortage of semiconductors began shutting down production a week or a shift at a time for various automakers and manufacturing plants around the world.  The semiconductor shortage is a direct consequence of the wide-spread automotive shutdowns and reduced production that occurred nearly a year ago and was exacerbated by an increase in demand of consumer electronics.

The pandemic has changed the way we work, school, and entertain and plainly explains the priority on electronics.  More people than ever are working from home or attending school virtually.  Companies had to quickly replace desktop computers with laptops and schools had to issue computers to students to attend school virtually.  In addition, stay at home orders and the lack of entertainment outside the home led to increased demand in gaming systems and other personal electronic devices.  This increase in demand grew in the cold winter months as less people brave the outdoors for recreational activities.

Manufacturers of semiconductors adjusted their production levels and production priorities last Summer to meet the increase in demand for consumer electronics and a lower projected demand for vehicle production.  When vehicle production came storming back in early Fall to pre-pandemic levels, adjustments could not be made fast enough to adjust to the new level of demand.

So here we are, early February with nearly 300 thousand vehicles projected for lost production so far in North America, and 1.2 million globally.  Projections show that this issue will last at least through March 2021, but automakers are planning to make-up that volume in the second half of 2021 as vehicle inventory levels are historically low and vehicle sales remains high. The demand is there – supply needs to rise to meet it.

Of course, it can’t be automotive without multiple supply challenges stacked on top of each other.  More issues to watch in coming months are material shortages (steel, aluminum, plastic), Logistic delays (air, ocean, and port delays) and finally sea container shortages.

Buckle up for another wild ride in 2021.


About the Author

Alicia DeCroix is the Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership from Michigan State University.  She has worked in the Automotive industry for 20+ years and is a seasoned veteran in forecasting and analyzing the Automotive Industry providing stakeholders with insight to drive business forward.

The end of 2020 brings flickering lights at the end of the tunnel

Written by, Alicia DeCroix, Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc.                                                                         December 21, 2020

As we near the end of 2020, it can be hard to wrap our heads around what happened and where we are going as a country and as an industry.  Our heart goes out to all the people still suffering from the wrath of 2020 that has left the world in disarray.  Many are saying the end of this pandemic is near.  Now that we have several vaccine options available and we can move onto the next chapter and make this decade one that is not defined by COVID-19, but defined by how the world came together to fight COVID-19 and save lives.

In the final weeks of 2020, the world is beginning to vaccinate front line health care workers through a historically fast development and approval process that led to Emergency use authorizations for eight vaccines worldwide to date, two of these in the United States.  Despite the news of a vaccine, it appears the general population still won’t be able to obtain the vaccine until after April 1, 2021.  Because of this, the economy is not expected to see significant improvement until the summer of 2021, prompting many countries to infuse more money into the economy through stimulus packages.

Throughout 2020, new vehicle sales have been lower than predicted before the pandemic, keeping in mind we were already anticipating an industry correction and downturn.  However, performance outpaced expectations for many on a monthly basis from June through October.  Unfortunately, November and December have seen a dip due to a number of factors.  The latest surge in COVID-19 cases, lacking inventory due to supply chain and workforce issues, and delayed purchase due to economic concerns by consumers leads us to believe that Q1 2021 will also see lower sales as the world finishes its recovery.

We would argue that lower vehicle sales, is not necessarily a bad thing for our industry right now.  The disparity between vehicle sales and production throughout the year has led to low inventory levels in some of the most popular vehicles and Automakers are struggling to balance the inventory.  The low inventory is causing many twists in vehicle sales with buyers purchasing alternative vehicles or delaying their purchase until the equipment package that they want in their favorite vehicle is available.

As of today, 2020 U.S. Vehicle Sales are expected to finish around 14.3M units increasing 10% to around 16.0M in 2021.  This likely will materialize through a flat daily sales rate for the first few months of 2021 ramping up to pre-pandemic levels and leveling off during summer.  Timing will remain critical in 2021 for Automakers.  The launch of several key vehicles will fuel sales early on in 2021 such as the re-designed F-150 (late 2020), Grand Cherokee (Q2/Q3 2021), Wagoneer (Q2 2021), and finally the in Bronco (Q2 2021).

A few wild cards exist in the production forecast with the launch of many new electric vehicles from GM, Lucid, Rivian, Faraday and Lordstown Motors. Although these vehicles only make up around 75k units of the annual forecast, their success in the market will drive the direction of the electric vehicles across all OEM portfolios in the future years.

There is much to look forward to in 2021, albeit still some significant uncertainty.  As we end this year, everything points to a better year to come for people and businesses across the world.  We think we can all take a deep breath, enjoy the holidays, and ring in the new year with less dread and a more positive outlook towards the future.


About the Author

Alicia DeCroix is the Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland.  She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership from Michigan State University.  She has worked in the Automotive industry for 20+ years and is a seasoned veteran in forecasting and analyzing the Automotive Industry providing stakeholders with insight to drive business forward.

dlhBOWLES Mexico Earns Ford Q1 Certification

dlhBOWLES is honored to attain Q1 status and recognition as one of Ford’s preferred suppliers in the automotive industry. 

 There are few universally recognized certifications within the Automotive industry which collectively exemplify excellence.  The Ford Q1 Certification is awarded to Ford suppliers who demonstrate excellence beyond the ISO/TS certification requirements in five critical areas: capable systems, continuous improvement, ongoing performance, superior manufacturing process and customer satisfaction.  The award recognizes consistently good performance in quality, delivery, robust operating systems, material management and compliance with environmental system requirements. 

 “We are proud of our Reynosa, Mexico Team for their relentless pursuit of excellence,” said John SaxondlhBOWLES Chief Executive Officer.  “Our partnership with Ford has been strengthened with the award of Q1 in Reynosa.  We look forward to continuing our decades long partnership with Ford and appreciate the faith they have put in us for these many years.” 

 Target and present Q1 status: ACHIEVED. Great Job, Team! 

Automotive Strong

Written by, Alicia DeCroix, Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc. September 9, 2020

The Automotive industry has seen its share of turbulence, and oftentimes those of us who live and breathe Automotive our entire careers wonder why we put ourselves through the cyclical cycles of up and down that happen like clockwork every 1 ½ to 2 Automotive Cycles (9 to 13 years for you non-automotive folks). But 2020 has brought us something that nobody could have dreamt up and looks so familiar to the dystopian books that are near and dear to my heart; Coronavirus (AKA COVID-19).

It’s seems like just yesterday that we were in Las Vegas for CES 2020. Hosting multitudes of people in our Suite, shaking hands with exhibitors, and breaking bread with our partners. I was sick with an awful cold in Vegas this year and thinking back now, I definitely would not have gotten on that plane with the little sniffle I had on day 1 had I known that our world was about to become what we see today.

Fast forwarding to March 4, 2020 I landed in Detroit for an Automotive conference just 2 hours before my company restricted all business travel. The conference was “guarded” a couple people were wearing face coverings, handshakes were replaced by elbow bumps or head nods. It was awkward to not hug my long-time automotive friends. By the time I reached home on March 9th, the world was trying to figure out what to do. Flights grounded; Cruise ships stranded at sea; People were in utter disbelief and many did not believe it was real at all…still the case with some people.

March 12, 2020 our schools announced they were closing, March 13th was my last day at my office where I have not returned since. Like many of you, I was trying to get acclimated to my new home office and new tools to connect to others at work while trying to keep my head about me and help my son with virtual school (which admittedly was a failure in our household). All while attempting to keep up on the latest Automotive plant closures to report to Management, release a new sales forecast every couple of weeks, wade through real from fake news, what is happening with the economy? the virus? shuttered businesses? unemployment is skyrocketing? Anyone, including myself had every right to be anxious or to wonder when it will end or will it get worse.

But then suddenly things started to improve. We didn’t want to believe it at first, but the world had figured out how to continue to live (albeit with major changes to our daily lives). We figured out how to reopen factories, restaurants, entertainment venues. Reinforced the use of our nations parks and getting outside to enjoy safe socially distanced activities with friends and families. Not perfect, but better.

Despite everything COVID, work was busy with assisting with medical product supply chains, and our development partners hadn’t slowed down, keeping us optimistic that new technology, research and development in key areas within our industry continue to thrive despite this new environment.

Fast forward to September 2020. The Automotive industry has seen month over month growth in Sales as people return to the dealerships. August ended at a strong 15.2M SAAR which many of us wondered if we would come close to in 2020. Dealerships turned over 50% of their inventory in August keeping factories running as fast as they can to replenish the stock despite dealing with rampant absenteeism still even 6 months since the world shutdown. The real question on everyone’s mind, is this sustainable? Although I would like to be the first Automotive analyst to jump up and down and say our industry is only going up from here, sadly my crystal ball went hazy back in March when the unthinkable happened and COVID-19 started sending everyone home to quarantine.

What I am comfortable predicting is that the Automotive Industry will prevail and recover better than ever. We have learned a lot of lessons across the globe, across the country, and at each of our individual companies. We have learned that we can safely operate our businesses and keep our employees and their families safe from not only this disease, but any disease. We have learned compassion for our employees and that we truly are all in this together. The Automotive Industry has successfully learned to cope with the impact of COVID-19 giving us hope that the industry and economy could better handle any future outbreaks or flare ups without catastrophic effects.


About the Author
Alicia DeCroix is the Marketing Manager at dlhBOWLES, Inc. in Columbia, Maryland. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership from Michigan State University. She has worked in the Automotive industry for 20+ years and is a seasoned veteran in forecasting and analyzing the Automotive Industry providing stakeholders with insight to drive business forward.

Now and in the years ahead, manufacturers will be asked ‘what was your COVID-19 strategy?’

Now and in the years ahead, manufacturers will be asked ‘what was your COVID-19 strategy?’  True enough, industry leaders will reflect to this pivotal time in their forward trajectory to celebrate team accomplishments which ushered in a faster push towards urgent transitions in manufacturing.

As the Automotive industry continues to increase activity after the pandemic shutdown,  it is fitting to recognize the great efforts of our employees.  We are proud of the work we have done to support the frontlines in the COVID-19 fight through new ad hoc groups formed to take immediate action.  The great cross-company, cross-industry achievements stand testimony to the values of cooperative effort we hold close.

Working remotely and masked while socially distanced, dlhBOWLES employees pivoted to adapt our manufacturing capabilities and answer the need for ventilator and respirator parts supplying General Motors and Ford respectively.

Logo with caption we are results-driven.

In late March and early April, we partnered with General Motors (GM) to supply parts for the Ventec Life Systems VOCSN ventilator. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra shared the GM strategy on what was learned during their COVID-19 response and how the automaker intends to use that ‘ventilator fast’ strategy : Move from asking why to asking what can we do:

During this same time frame, dlhBOWLES also partnered with Ford to produce the 3M Versaflo™ respirator flow indicator tube assembly.  In a moment’s notice Ford took American ingenuity and manufacturing capability and put it to work:

Both projects retained many of the same team of individuals responsible for implementing a new workflow.  Shattering paradigms and pushing our limits, dlhBOWLES proved to have the dynamic chameleon-like capability to change amid our industry’s environment.  To our strategic and manufacturing teams, and all who supported us:  Thank you!


Apple. (n.d.). Apple Podcasts Preview. GM’s Mary Barra: “Deep, profound sadness and going ventilator fast.”  Retrieved from

Bigelow, P. (April 26, 2020). dlhBowles is finding innovative solutions to a dirty problem. Automotive News.  Retrieved from

Announcement: dlhBOWLES Part of the Inaugural Class of PACEpilot Honorees

For 26 years and running, the Automotive News  PACE Awards have proclaimed the Automotive Industry’s greatest commercialized game-changing innovations. The accelerated tempo of change has been driving vast innovation in the pilot phase through processes, products and systems that have not yet been brought to market. Development within these areas has given rise to the need for a new program started in 2020 heralding the achievements of eleven honorees.

The new Automotive News PACEpilot program reviews and recognizes innovations from suppliers, including startups, that have reached a working pilot demonstration phase but are not yet commercialized with a contracted sale.  A glimpse into dlhBOWLES’ innovational spirit is provided in Automotive News’ Pete Bigelow’s article featuring Chief Executive Officer John Saxon and Director of Business Development Russell Hester.  In a live ceremony event (9:00 am EDT on Tuesday, April 28,2020), Automotive News will broadcast the full list of winners. Register here.  

Thanks to a special project challenge from dlhBOWLES customer General Motors (GM) and through the joint expertise of fellow industry veteran Rausch and Pausch GmbH (RAPA), we designed our multi-sensor Fluid Control Unit (FCU) technology to reduce the amount of fluid consumption by cleaning the right location at the right time.  The long-term vision for our automotive grade tested and proven Clēr™ camera and sensor cleaning product line is scalability and quick integration with current original equipment manufacturer (OEM) systems.  Market availability of the Clēr™ multi-sensor FCU parallels the timeline of Level 4 and Level 5 vehicles.

As we celebrate the recognition of dlhBOWLES for Automotive News’ esteemed PACEpilot award, we are sincerely grateful to our employees, fellow first tier colleagues, partners, and especially our customers.  Through partnerships with automotive industry veterans and start-ups alike, dlhBOWLES is continually inspired.  Within our 60 years in the automotive industry, we have not seen a more exciting time to be a part of creating innovative solutions on future vehicles. 


Automotive News. (2020). PACEpilot. Automotive News. Retrieved from 

Bigelow, P. (2020). dlhBowles is finding innovative solutions to a dirty problem. Automotive News. Retrieved from 

NHTSA. (2020). Automated driving systems. Retrieved from 

dlhBOWLES Assists in Managing Supply Chain Risk During COVID-19

We’re answering the call to help with the COVID-19 response with unparalleled urgency. dlhBOWLES is leveraging resources and decades of Automotive and Consumer Products manufacturing experience responding to demands for critical medical supplies. You can count on dlhBOWLES’ quick response and expedited lead time for injection mold tools and assembly equipment, enabling rapid production.

To help reduce your supply chain risks, the dlhBOWLES team offers varying degrees of immediate support utilizing USA based facilities in Maryland and Ohio or our Reynosa Mexico plant.

Our Capabilities:

  • Injection Molding and tube extrusion of nearly all thermoplastics (excluding silicone), with access to an extensive network of tool shops 
  • “Lights out” injection molding using 33 to 330-ton presses
  • 2 to 3.5-inch extruders
  • 4ft to 8ft diameter index forming tables
  • In-house injection mold tool and machine shops from our North American locations

Current Projects:

dlhBOWLES is currently producing parts for the Ventec Life Systems VOCSN Ventilator in cooperation with GM and Ventec.

dlhBOWLES is supplying the 3M Versaflo™ respirator flow indicator tube assembly in cooperation with Ford and 3M.

To get started, contact:
Russell Hester (, 410-562-8346)