I recently attended a press briefing about the upcoming automechanika show in Frankfurt. For those of us in the UK it is a fairly short flight to attend but this event is hybrid! This means that a digital version almost mirrors the actual event. C19 or otherwise the time taken to visit can be much reduced by attending digitally – I think I will be there however for the German beer (and ll the interesting technologies of course)… More details below:
What are the current issues and trends in the aftermarket? What are the future challenges for car repair shops, e.g. due to the fast increase in alternative drive systems? This year’s Automechanika Frankfurt Digital Plus will be held in a more compact form, with a different model adapted to suit the prevailing situation, and also with a wide range of online products and services. There is a strong demand for personal interaction, as around 75 per cent of the approx. 200 exhibiting companies want to have physical stands at the exhibition. What’s new is that Automechanika will take place at the same time as Hypermotion – the tradeshow of the logistics industry – at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre. This will give the automotive sector valuable inspiration, e.g. with regard to resilient supply chains, fleet management and IoT systems.
The aftermarket sector will finally be meeting face-to-face again at Automechanika, from 14 to 16 September 2021. Olaf Musshoff, Director of Automechanika Frankfurt, says: “I’m really pleased that our ‘plug & play’ offer of fully equipped stands has been so well received and that so many companies who’ve signed up want to meet in person again in Frankfurt. However, even those who are not coming to Frankfurt can take part in our wide-ranging complementary programme. Thanks to our new online features, we’ll be providing additional options for presentation, for networking and for a wide international reach.” There has been considerable interest from other countries these days: exhibitors will be coming not only from Germany, but also from Belgium, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania, Georgia, Ukraine, Russia, Greece, Turkey, India, the United Arab Emirates, Korea, China, Taiwan and Australia.
The following companies, among others, will be exhibiting at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre: Schaeffler, Hunter, Liqui Moly GmbH, SATA, Mercedes-Benz Gebrauchtteile Center (Spare Parts Centre), Snap-on Equipment GmbH, Alfred Kärcher Vertriebs GmbH, Otto Christ, WashTec GmbH, AVL DiTEST GmbH, Hengst, Heinrich Eibach, ABBT Arnott, AJUSA Auto Juntas, Audatex, Adriateh d.o.o., BBT Automotive Components GmbH, AUTOonline GmbH, MAPCO Autotechnik GmbH, DINEX A/S, Glaubitz GmbH, Saxon Junkalor, Inficon, ATH Heinl, Schumacher, Auger Autotechnik, Erich Jaeger GmbH, Nissens Automotive A/S together with AVA Benelux, Inforserveis S.L., Visomax Coating, TÜV Rheinland, ZDK (Central Association of the German Motor Trade), and many others. And here are some of the companies that will be participating entirely online: Continental with four business units, including the tyre division, ElringKlinger AG, Mahle, Mol-Lub KFT, Body Shop News, Vogel Communications Group GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, who are also supporting the Workshops for Car Repair Shops, and BMW AG with its Original Spare Parts division. The latter will be exhibiting at Automechanika Frankfurt for the first time.
Programme highlights at Automechanika Frankfurt Digital Plus
As an innovation showcase, training centre and test lab for car dealerships and repair shops, the Future Repair Shop 4.0 will be working with the Institute for the Automotive Industry (IfA), demonstrating tomorrow’s technologies, processes and business models at the trade show. There will be eight learning stations on the customer journey with a focus on aftersales, giving visitors a hands-on experience of technological change. Motor industry professionals can gain valuable expertise and fresh inspiration for their own business in the future. Digitisation and new technical developments are posing new challenges to car repair shops on a daily basis. To keep up with it all, it’s important to engage regularly in professional development.
As before, hands-on workshops will be held at the trade fair. They will take place in cooperation with well-known partners and will be directed at car repair shops, in particular. There will also be several live accident repair demonstrations, hosted by FabuCar and the Car Doctors (Die Autodoktoren). In addition, the Automechanika Academy will be running a wide-ranging programme on all three days. Recent developments on the topics of Tomorrow’s Service & Mobility, Electromobility, 3D Printing and Car Wash will be presented in several visionary talks, given by professionals, and will be debated in panel discussions. Anyone who runs a car repair shop will be particularly interested in Schadentalk (a vehicle damage chat show) as well as a range of talks and panel discussions on the day-to-day business of a car repair shop. In times of climate change and environmental protection, the topic of a circular economy and remanufacturing is becoming increasingly relevant.
The first Automechanika Remanufacturing Day will be therefore held on 15 September, in cooperation with APRA (the Automotive Parts Remanufacturers’ Association). On this occasion, several professionals will be presenting the topic from various angles, with opportunities for questions.
Hypermotion Frankfurt at the interface of mobility and logistics
Hypermotion Frankfurt is all about smart solutions in mobility and logistics, with numerous conferences in addition to the traditional exhibition. For example, one exciting feature for an audience from the automotive industry at Hypermotion will be the new container system of GH System GmbH. It will be presented at a special show and also in the Future Mobility Park. The new system can be used throughout the supply chain, right down to the regional and local levels. Using a small standardised container, the innovative system focuses on the end-to-end shipment of goods. RepairFix, a start-up company, is set to present a software application that smartly networks drivers, fleet managers and repair shops in dealing with damage and servicing.
Flexfuel Energy Development UK (FFEDUK), launches its latest class leading engine carbon cleaning via hydrogen injection machine, Hy-Carbon Connect. Hy-Carbon Connect is a fully automated, intelligent and digitally connected carbon cleaning machine. It is the only carbon cleaning machine that includes integrated diagnostics. Hy-Carbon Connect uses hydrogen gas to break down carbon deposits from key engine components. These carbon deposits are responsible for low returning fuel economy, reduced power, increased emissions and the premature failure of engine parts.
The Hy-Carbon Connect station is a connected hydrogen injection cleaning system, eliminating carbon deposits found in combustion engines – Cylinders, DPF, EGR valve, turbo etc). It is entirely chemical free, requiring simply deionised water to produce hydrogen gas that acts as a natural solvent on carbon.
The Hy-Carbon Connect station comes with a touchscreen, which acts as a wireless user interface. The carbon cleaning station, Hy-Carbon Connect®, is simple to use, fast and totally automated. Through its patented technology, Hy-Carbon Connect analyses the vehicle’s state of health – number of miles driven, fault codes and driver habits.
By using its OBD connection, a third patented technology, Hy-Carbon Connect enables automatic control of the engine and its key components allowing engine parts to be automatically ‘set in motion’.
The Hy-Carbon Connect builds on the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence. Hy-Carbon Connect learns characteristics of engine makes, fault codes, model, age and number of miles driven from all the Hy-Carbon Connect machines in use around the world. The more data on engine types it collects, the more targeted clean can be applied. Put simply, the machine gets better the more it gets used, better understanding the treatment specific engines will need.
Hy-Carbon Connect produces a treatment report showing levels of carbon build up in the engine pre clean and post clean. Additionally, automated emails and SMS reminders can be sent to the customer every 12 months or 15,000 miles, whichever comes first.
By removing carbon deposits the Hy-Carbon Connect gives the engine renewed life, power, saves consumers money and provides garages with an incremental revenue stream.
Jerome Loubert, Global Business Development Manager for FlexFuel comments: “Our machines produce industry leading concentration levels of hydrogen gas. The greater the concentration, the more effective the engine clean will be. Through years and years of investment, employing the sharpest minds in the industry and constant evaluation and research and development competitive products do not get anywhere near the volumes of hydrogen production that we do. Our carbon cleaning solutions are entirely chemical free, simply using deionised water – and a lot of science – to restore engines to their near factory condition.”
Since coming to the UK in 2018, FFEDUK boats in excess of 300 garage partners. FFED UK also has distribution agreements with Point S, part of the world’s largest Independent Tyre & Autocare Group. This year FFEDUK is looking to increase its market share by building additional agreements and partnerships with the UK Motor Factors and by targeting the currently untapped commercial vehicle sector in the UK.
Neil Chapman, owner at Offmore Road Garage in Kidderminster and one of the very first adopters of Hy-Carbon in the UK comments: “I have been a FlexFuel customer for nearly two years. In only a few months, I could see that this would be the most profitable machine in my workshop. It is near autonomous, it does not take a mechanic away from other jobs and can run in the corner and do its job. Importantly, there are no consumables or chemicals which reduces running costs and stops toxic emissions associated with traditional chemical engine cleaning. The feedback from customers has been fantastic to date.
I have a strong service customer base and many are now having an engine clean as part of their annual service plan. They are all reporting improved mpg, better engine performance and generally smoother running. At a curative level, it is being used on sticky EGRs, turbos and blocked DPFs. For vehicles failing emissions on their annual MOT test, it is also proving to be highly effective in reducing emissions and ensuring a successful pass.”
The Hy-Carbon Connect is available to the UK from March 1st at £499 per month, but is being offered at £399 per month for the first 1,000 customers to sign up. FlexFuel provides full training, a full marketing pack, 5 year warranty and continued ongoing support whenever required.
Now that much more research is going into EVs, rather than ICE vehicles, the developments will keep coming – IMHO! For example:
A new fabrication technique could allow solid-state automotive lithium-ion batteries to adopt nonflammable ceramic electrolytes using the same production processes as in batteries made with conventional liquid electrolytes.
Volvo Cars is rolling out its first ever over-the-air (OTA) software update on the XC40 Recharge, the company’s first fully electric car. Starting soon, XC40 Recharge drivers in Europe will receive a range of updates, including new features and improvements to the car’s infotainment and propulsion systems. The introduction of OTA updates means that customers no longer have to visit a workshop in order to enjoy the latest software and new, updated features on their electric Volvo.
It also means that a new Volvo is no longer at its finest when it leaves the factory, but keeps improving over time as additional OTA updates are launched. “The benefits of over-the-air updates are obvious,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. “Yesterday, you still had to drive to the workshop to get the latest updates to your car; today, you simply click OK and your electric Volvo takes care of the rest. It couldn’t be easier.”
Features included in this latest software update are a new base software for the car’s main electronic systems, an increase in charging speed and an improved driving range. There are updates to the Android Automotive operating system that powers the car’s infotainment system, too. The software package also includes updates to a variety of items such as Bluetooth connectivity, climate timers, the car’s digital owner’s manual and the 360-degree camera. The update is available automatically and XC40 Recharge drivers only have to accept the download and installation.