After four years, Automechanika took place again at the Frankfurt fairground, a close exchange between all market participants and extensive know-how transfer which is particularly important now.
This was clearly seen in the new stand concept and program from ZF Aftermarket with a large marketplace, many live presentations and an extensive training program in the forum of the trade fair. Another focus was on new products for the car chassis—Sachs air springs for passenger cars and Wabco air suspension compressors were included for the first time. And with the TRW brake caliper repair set, ZF is making it easier for workshops to repair sustainably.
“The chassis has a decisive influence on the safety, comfort and efficiency of cars. And ZF Aftermarket can supply a complete product portfolio,” explained Markus Wittig, Head of the Business Line Passenger Car Aftermarket. “This includes steering, brakes, dampers, suspension and wheel control—regardless of whether the vehicle is powered electrically or conventionally. We are also the first aftermarket supplier with a full range of axle components for electric vehicles.”
Modern car models are increasingly electrified and defined by software and digital networking. At the same time, classic vehicle technology is constantly evolving and poses new challenges for workshops—i.e., when it comes to chassis repairs. More and more car models are equipped with air suspension. Especially in heavy vehicles such as electric cars, this design guarantees superior driving comfort and safe, easy handling. However, high-quality spare parts in OE quality have so far been in short supply in the independent aftermarket.
ZF series of air springs
ZF Aftermarket presented its own series of air springs in O.E.-quality at Automechanika 2022. This means that even after a repair, the safe driving behaviour and original driving comfort desired by the car manufacturer are given. Sachs air springs are made from high-quality, corrosion-resistant material, have a long service life and are highly resistant to external influences. In addition, they can be easily removed and installed thanks to their tailor-made and precise geometry.
The new product from the Sachs brand is initially available for vehicles with separately arranged springs and dampers. This includes many models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, as well as Citroën. Installation instructions and videos can be called up quickly via smartphone. A QR code on the product packaging leads to a ZF website with the repair information for the respective model.
In addition, ZF Aftermarket is currently developing trainings to provide workshops with the necessary knowledge for removing and installing air springs and to make them fit for troubleshooting air suspension systems. This training also enables workshops to correctly identify damage to the second core component of an air suspension system: the compressor. Because defects in the spring and the compressor are often mutually dependent.
ZF Aftermarket’s sustainability strategy: maximizing product life cycle
ZF Aftermarket presented a broad range of air suspension compressors under the Wabco brand at Automechanika. This was supplemented by a constantly growing proportion of reman parts. Reman spare parts save considerable amounts of raw materials and energy—and with product quality at the level of original equipment. The remanufacturing of used spare parts makes the vehicle service sustainable and resource-saving—which is why ZF Aftermarket is continuously expanding its range of remanufactured components.
It has an even greater environmental impact if workshops do not have to replace defective components in the first place but can repair them directly—thus no need to transport the components or packaging material. ZF Aftermarket has developed a repair set for brake calipers under its TRW brand. This set contains 228 TRW genuine spare parts for fast-moving calipers—including guide pins, bellows, screws, dust caps and grease. These sets can be used to repair up to 60 brake calipers. Individual parts can be reordered. In addition, individual brake caliper repair kits for vehicle models that are in less demand are also available individually from ZF Aftermarket. The same applies to additional spare parts, such as the piston seals.
Show competence, and generate sales with the e-Power Expert module for ZF [pro]Tech partners
With all of its products and services, ZF Aftermarket aims to support workshops to remain successful in a changing repair market. This became clear in another world premiere at Automechanika—the e-mobility module for the workshop concept ZF [pro]Tech.
ZF [pro]Tech e-Power Expert is a module with which car workshops can present their electromobility expertise to drivers in a professional and attractive manner. It includes templates and information material for all advertising formats and channels—whether digital (own website or social media), print (advertising or templates for your own print products) or outdoor advertising (flags and signs for the company). In addition, there is further material for the cordoning off and marking of e-workplaces in the workshop as well as personal protective equipment.
Dr. Holger Hättich, Head of Customers & Strategy, ZF Aftermarket, adds: “As a one-stop shop for e-mobility, we are also significantly expanding the product portfolio for electric and hybrid vehicles and are now offering e-fluids for electric and hybrid vehicles for the first time. But ZF [pro]Tech partners can also rely on other services available—our famous trainings, which are an important part of our large-scale know-how transfer to the workshop.” In addition to the well-known high-voltage trainings from ZF for technicians (qualification levels 2S and 3S), among other things, there is also online training for workshop owners or managers where they can familiarize themselves with the operator requirements with regards to e-mobility.
Users of the ZF [pro]Tech e-Power Expert module also have the option of ordering charging technology (wall boxes) and booking the installation service via ZF Aftermarket. ZF is planning to work with specialized providers that workshops can access on major customer terms.
Philippe Colpron, Head of ZF Aftermarket, sees the responsibility of the aftermarket organization in reducing the complexity of future technologies for workshop and fleet partners: “We support our industrial partners to adapt, develop and grow. ZF Aftermarket’s ecosystem of partnerships in combination with our constantly evolving portfolio of products, services and trainings that have their roots in the OE business is the best basis for this. We always offer simple, uncomplicated solutions such as our proven and new workshop concepts or our integrated training academy with training courses on car and commercial vehicle technology, but also on the maintenance and repair of autonomous transport systems.”