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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

ZF Aftermarket Makes a Stand for Smarter Service and More Sustainable Future

Date: 14-Jun-2019

The headline act on the ZF Aftermarket stand at this year’s Automechanika exhibition in Birmingham 4-6 June was ZF’s triad principle: ‘See.Think.Act’, and how the values of this run throughout every division. Well prepared and ahead of the curve when it comes to providing solutions for megatrends such as mobility, safety, efficiency and autonomous driving, the business understands that with vehicles growing smarter and customers more demanding, the job of the workshop is becoming significantly more complex. ZF Aftermarket believes that empowering and enabling the technicians of today with the correct tools, support and know-how will help secure the integrity of the aftermarket of tomorrow – benefitting all players. As it continues to lead the sector into the next generation of mobility, the business explains how it is preparing its customers with tailored product and service solutions under its product brands: ZF, Lemforder, Sachs and TRW.

Automotive Future is Smart
The transformation of the aftermarket is in full swing. With its impressive new and remanufactured portfolio for passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, ZF Aftermarket proves that environmental sustainability, cost effectiveness and efficiency can be optimally combined now and for the future.

By mastering the interaction of sensors, control units and vehicle motion control, ZF’s triad principle: ‘See.Think.Act.’ runs throughout its divisions. Applying comprehensive know-how in the design of intelligent systems, ZF expertise combines environmental sensors, such as camera and radar ("see") with central electronic control units in the vehicle (“think”), intelligent mechatronics in the drive, chassis and steering system, then converts insights gained into actions (“act”).

The business extends this to the way in which its people ‘See.Think.Act’ within the market to retain its position as the aftermarket global partner of choice.

Explaining how the See.Think.Act principle manifests itself, ZF’s innovative driving simulation system the ‘Concept Cockpit’ is available so that stand visitors can fully immerse themselves in experiencing the five levels of automated driving. It takes ‘drivers’ through from the assisted driving and systems we have in our cars today, through to fully autonomous driving whereby you can sit in the back seat and hold a meeting or have coffee, and allow the vehicle to take over.

Tailor-made product and service portfolios
Passionate in ensuring the modern technician is well-equipped to cope with the changing landscape, ZF Aftermarket delivers technical support, information & training through its ZF [pro]Tech workshop concept.

“We will see an increase in electrically powered vehicles and transportation systems that are highly automated or even driving autonomously, especially in urban environments,” explains Wayne McCluskey, Technical Training Manager, ZF Aftermarket. “As a manufacturer of the accompanying products in OE quality, we have first-hand knowledge. We designed a high-voltage (HV) training concept at an early stage – and have watched this become a bestseller in our comprehensive training program portfolio."

The training gives workshop employees the necessary key competencies to master the complex range of topics surrounding future technology. ZF Aftermarket's modular blended learning concept ensures optimal success whilst reducing attendance time and lowering costs.

The training course offer is continuously updated in line with market need, and July 2019 will see the debut of: ‘Introduction to Electrical Engineering’. Another new addition to the ZF [pro]Tech family is ‘start’. Complementing, yet operating independently of the training courses, ZF [pro]Tech ‘start’ is a technical support and information hub which is available to garages via distributors for an affordable, one-off fee.

ZF Smart Service – the ideal workshop tool ZF Smart Service will, in the future, allow mechanics to carry out reliable vehicle diagnoses and basic maintenance – such as replacing brakes or resetting steering angle sensors (SAS) - work using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Extremely simple to use and operate: the Smart Service app is loaded to a mobile device, the device is connected using the vehicle’s OBD interface and they communicate via Bluetooth.

Having been successfully piloted in the UK, the next step is to introduce this innovative product to the wider UK market, followed by a European and then global launch.

Martyn Houghton, Senior Manager IAM at ZF Aftermarket, explains: “We know that in the past, many independent workshops have shied away from investing in expensive stationary diagnostic units. With ZF Smart Service, we have developed a particularly efficient workshop tool, a digital screwdriver, if you like, that no tool box should be without.”

Remanufacturing – sustainable and economic
Another area of sustainable economizing in which ZF Aftermarket actively pursues its set course is remanufacturing. Today, ZF Aftermarket operates 15 global remanufacturing facilities producing steering systems and braking parts for passenger cars to construction machinery transmissions.

Many routes, one goal: sustainable mobility
The mobility of tomorrow has to be sustainable. Conserving resources, ensuring a safe and comfortable drive while meeting individual mobility needs lead the list of criteria along which the concepts of tomorrow need to be oriented. ZF Aftermarket meets these challenges head-on to offer customers and partners products and services which put them in pole position. “Our agenda for the future of the aftermarket is characterized by our principle of harmonizing the environment with technology,” promises Martyn Houghton. “We will use our expertise and wealth of ideas to accompany our customers on their way to sustainable mobility.”

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