For long term success, it is important to develop from a traditional repair business to a smart mobility service provider. As ZF Aftermarket will prove at the leading international industry trade fair, Automechanika Frankfurt 2018, the concepts and products necessary for success already exist. At its booth A91 in Hall 3, the Aftermarket Division of ZF, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers, will not only present world premieres like Electric Blue, the innovative new brake pad generation for electric vehicles, but also compelling expertise regarding new drive concepts and service offers to digitalize workshop business.
Eighteen months after the integration of ZF Services and TRW Aftermarket and the subsequent formation of ZF Aftermarket, the organization has proved it is perfectly equipped to shape the future of mobility of the aftermarket. As a confident and reliable partner, ZF Aftermarket strives to turn challenges such as digitalization and electromobility into business opportunities for its customers. Dr. Ulrich Walz, head of Product & Market at ZF Aftermarket, explains: "As a ZF division we are involved in developing automotive technology at an early stage. Whether autonomous taxis, electrically powered buses or the cross-linking of different modes of transport – ZF solutions guide the new mobility and advance its technologies. The Group's motto: "see. think. act." also determines our actions in the aftermarket. We can see which direction the market is moving which lets us proactively conceptualize and implement new solution approaches for products and services."
Innovative technology: Electric Blue for electric vehicles
At Frankfurt, ZF's TRW brand will premiere a new generation of brake pads for electric vehicles under the name Electric Blue. This innovation reduces braking noise inside the vehicle; which in electric vehicles can be heard more clearly due to the lack of engine noise. These are supplied as standard together with noise supressing accessories. In addition to improved noise quality, the combination of the bespoke brake pad material and blue shims emits up to 45 percent less particulate emissions during the braking process.
The brake pads will be available for the 15 most popular electric vehicles by September 2018, and by the end of the year 97 percent of the European passenger car parc will be covered. "Particularly in urban environments," says Markus Wittig, head of the Independent Aftermarket Business Unit (IAM) at ZF Aftermarket, "we will see an increase in electrically powered vehicles and transportation systems that are highly automated or even driving autonomously. We are shaping the mobility of tomorrow. Another example, the e.GO Mover is the first vehicle featuring ZF systems which enables an autonomous mobility concept for cities, and it is ready for volume production."
As part of the joint venture e.GO Moove GmbH, ZF develops, produces and distributes the electrically powered and self-driving ‘mover’ for people and goods in cooperation with e.GO Mobile AG, based in Aachen. The prototype for the e.GO Mover will be a further highlight at the Automechanika trade fair booth.
New technologies require specialized competencies
Technological development offers workshops interesting growth potential; but only if they prepare in time. ZF Aftermarket responded to this requirement at an early stage and conceptualized high-voltage training courses. Using e-learning modules finely tuned with practical classroom based training sessions these courses successfully prepare technicians for the technologies of the future, whilst reducing attendance time and lowering costs.
VOX Car Doctors provide gripping infotainment
Knowledge sharing is a central theme for ZF Aftermarket at this year’s show. German TV stars, Holger Parsch and Hans-Jürgen Faul – known to millions as ‘The Car Doctors’ - will be ZF’s guests of honour at this year’s show. Making exclusive guest appearances on the show stage on 14-15 September, among other topics, they will discuss hybrid electric vehicles and debate various transmission types; from micro and mild through to full hybrid.
At Automechanika 2018, visitors will be able to meet members of the ZF [pro]Tech team and see how the concept is offering its partners in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and Spain true added value to ensure that they remain competitive. The introduction of the workshop concept in other countries is planned for 2019.
Information will also be available about ZF Aftermarket’s recently launched rewards program ZF [pro]Points. Allowing workshops to accrue points on every purchase made under its Lemförder, Sachs and TRW brands which can then be exchanged for attractive bonuses, this initiative has been widely received by workshops in Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain and Poland.
Smart solutions offer workshops new opportunities
The high appeal of workshop concepts proves a great awareness of the upcoming challenges. The vehicle communicates and ZF Aftermarket will ensure that the independent workshops can understand it. "It might sound strange at first, but when you take a closer look, it is an elementary key to the future. With Openmatics, we developed this key," explains Helmut Ernst, head of the Aftermarket Division.
ZF's connectivity solution is based on an open connectivity platform and therefore works independently from vehicle manufacturers. An OBD dongle collects and transfers the data. This dongle reads 74 specific signals straight from the vehicle's OBD interface, among them fuel level, braking response and error messages. "Openmatics allows workshops to offer their fleet customers a variety of products and services," says Ernst, who recommends trade fair visitors experience these products and services interactively at the trade fair booth.
Networking adds value for everyone
As a member of the Association Independent Aftermarket, Verein Freier Ersatzteilmarkt e.V., ZF Aftermarket is involved in a number of joint activities, in addition to its own, at Frankfurt am Main. Dr. Ulrich Walz emphasizes: "As enthusiastic networkers it is very important to us to highlight our industry's concerns so that everyone can benefit. In our joint activities, we run through some extremely interesting scenarios regarding, for example, the quality of parts."
To make sure that Frankfurt is not all work and no play, trade fair visitors can look forward to competing in the fun and athletic "Mechanic Games". These will take place at the AGORA outdoor area located in front of Halls 2, 3 and 4. A big attraction here will be the e.GO-karts. With so much going on, Automechanika Frankfurt am Main is well worth a visit: September 11 to 15, 2018.