Text & Photos: Rajesh Rajgor

Automechanika Frankfurt 2014 reflected the enormous will of the automotive parts and components manufacturers from all over the world to come up with innovative products in the entire spectrum of the automotive industry. A record number of 4,631 exhibitors from 71 countries presented their products and services at this edition that concluded recently.

Volker Bouffier, the Prime minister of the State of Hesse, Peter Feldmann, Lord Mayor of the city of Frankfurt-am-Main, Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt Gmbh and other officials from Messe Frankfurt were present at the opening ceremony. While Bouffier emphasised on innovation and the opportunities it creates for the world, Feldmann acknowledged the massive turnaround and scale of the exhibition.

The Messe Frankfurt Fair was divided into different categories of products in Repair and Maintenance, Electronic Systems, Tomorrows Mobility, Parts and Components along with a special dedicated symbol depicting exhibitors of Truck competence. For some companies the fair was an opportunity to showcase their new improvements in the product, for some it was a brand building and networking exercise. While some focused on the world over-market, others were happy offering solutions for the European market.

The show gave opportunities for the exhibitors to showcase their products and capabilities to an audience from across the globe. Besides, it also offered enough chance to introduce new products.

Repair & Maintenance

At the repair and maintenance section was SSR’s Sprayless Scratch Repair. According to the demonstrator, Martin Maier, it is a unique, fast and ecologic way of removing car scratches. The entire cleaning hand-held device can reduce vendor costs and increase efficiency and profits. Currently focused in Germany, they can readily export to distributors in India. The method was very simple; apply the gel in the scratch affected area, then use the device (scrubber) to spread the gel well on it until the scratch is completely gone.

Men and Machine

WashTec launched their Car Wash 2.0 at the fair. The world’s leading supplier of car wash solutions presented nothing less than a small revolution in its booth with an area of more than 1,200 sq mt. They offered a new, comprehensive concept for user interaction with the car wash system. Key elements were the applications iWash and Wash&Pay. In addition, WashTec Plus offers a set of enhanced management utilities for the carwash operator. “We wanted to offer our customers the best car wash systems with state-of-the-art technology. In Frankfurt, we have offered a radical new approach of man-machine interaction creating substantial benefit for both car drivers and operators,” explains WashTec CEO Dr Jürgen Rautert.

Vision & Mission

Manatec Electronics based out of Puducherry, showcased its Fox 3D vision based wheel aligner. Ilangovane, Dy General Manager said, “This wheel aligner is specifically suitable for cars and LCV’s, and uses high resolution scientific imaging cameras combined with Align + software and works well with the windows operating system.” The aligner is available in auto beam, wall mount, variable height and alignment pit variants.

Oils & Lubricants

Automechanika 2014 saw around 100 companies present their lubricants, aids, consumable and recycling solutions. Of these, Bizol launched the re-design of all its product lines. The company seemed to have upgraded both motor oils and motor oil containers to the highest German standards of the automotive industry. About 4 easy to remember motor oil product lines were created which went by the acronym GATP; Green, All-round, Technology and Protect. Green stands for maximum protection during traffic jams, All-round for excellent engine cleaning, Technology for optimal fuel and Protect for extending and saving engine life. It also won the prestigious Red Dot Design award for innovative packaging and became the first German motor oil manufacturer to receive this award. “As motor oil containers are never personalised and most of the time the labels are overloaded with information, we created a container that is visually different in display. The icing on the cake is the recognition in the form of awards,” said Boris Tatievski, CEO Bizol.

Adhesive & Easy Repair

The use of glue has replaced the conventional methods such as welding, riveting or screwing, as it is safe and simplifies many processes. Adhesives are therefore used in the automotive industry and in workshops. At Automechanika, Henkel presented its innovation of two high performance adhesives for gluing body components.

Innovations

Teroson presented 2 products – Teroson EP 5065 and Teroson MS 9221 as further improved versions. Teroson EP 5065 is a high performance adhesive for body repairs. With improved crash characteristics, the epoxy resin adhesive is especially suitable for adhesions on the roof and side panels. Teroson MS 9221 is a power bonding glue for attaching metal to metal, plastics and wood.

The improved Teroson EP 5065 is known for its very high crash resistance due to its elasticity. This innovation from Henkel is especially suitable for structural adhesions in highly stressed vehicle components. When heated to 80 °C the adhesive cures within 30 minutes. Even without the use of a primer, Teroson EP 5065 has the required adhesive properties for gluing coated and non-coated metals such as steel and aluminium.

The new Teroson MS 9221 is an MS polymer and is suitable as a power bonder for various materials on the vehicle. Typical examples are spoilers and decoration strips or mouldings. Application is carried out with all standard adhesive guns. While the previous product was only available in black, grey and white versions are now available, which further increases the range of use. The adhesive strength and high durability of the product remains unchanged.

Filters

Of the many product variants, Valeo’s ClimFilter Supreme was something really unique. A first of its kind in Europe, it is a cabin air filter with innovative anti-allergen properties with the most complex filtration enabling the ultimate protection for all drivers and passengers.

Based on combined technology of active carbon and polyphenol coating Valeo ClimFilter Supreme provides not only protection against entering of allergens into the cabin (neutralization at the first polyphenol layer), but also protects against harmful gases, odours, pollution, dust and particles.

Today, more than 2.1 billion people in the world and up to 30% of the European population suffer from inhalation allergy issues. These figures have doubled in the past ten years. As pollution and continuous exposure to allergens may provoke an allergy at any age, it is important to diminish this risk. And yet, the probability of allergy sufferers being involved in a traffic accident is 30% higher.

The symptoms of inhalation allergies (sneezing, itching, watery eyes, runny nose, headache etc) are not only a source of discomfort but can significantly impair driver concentration. For example, when sneezing at 80kmph driving speed a driver will cover a 25 metre distance with the eyes closed.

Bosch featured a host of improved products like high performance spark plugs, wiper blades, brake pads and even headlamps. The German company showcased the new high-performance spark plugs for the specific requirements of highly charged gasoline direct injection engines. With improved mechanical strength, especially caused by the new design of the insulator, the spark plug copes with combustion-chamber pressures of up to 250 bars as can be achieved by modern direct-injection systems. Using new ceramic materials, the dielectric strength was increased to 45 kV. Featuring improved insulation characteristics, the high-performance spark plugs meet the increased ignition-voltage requirements of direct-injection engines working with increased pressures. Increased inflammation of the air/fuel mixture with these spark plugs, under any operating condition of the engine, ensures increased efficiency and reduced fuel consumption.

With a new adapter system and innovative wiper-rubber technology Power Protection Plus (PPP), Bosch further developed the Aerotwin wiper blade. Combining 4 adapters and 15 wiper blade lengths, more than 100 vehicle-specific wiper blade sets can be replaced. Using the new multi-clip adapter system, each wiper blade can be fitted to ten different wiper arms – a total of 6 possible combinations more than previously used. Consequently, more vehicle types are covered and warehousing costs for workshops and retailers reduced. Another novelty of Aerotwin is the wiper rubber technology with the patented PPP coating. It ensures optimum wiping performance under any weather condition, without leaving streaks or deposits. The service life of the wiper blade is also increased since the new coating makes the wiper element lip more resilient. PPP also reduces the coefficient of friction of the material considerably. As a result, the wiper blade glides over the windshield in a smooth and quiet manner, even during light rain. The company has also launched copper-free brake pads for the automotive aftermarket and the workshop business. In addition it also introduced new bulb for headlamps – Bosch Gigalight Plus 120, which increases road illumination by up to 120% in comparison with conventional halogen bulbs.

The 23rd edition of Automechanika Frankfurt saw participation from many international companies. While it had 810 Chinese companies, around 143 companies from India had their booths showcasing varied products from lighting systems, crankshafts, gears, transmission, and rubber parts, to bolts and fasteners. 10 halls offered 355,678 sq mt of exhibition space as well as an outdoor exhibition area measuring 96,000 sq mt. Automechanika Frankfurt, held every two years, draws participants to Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, worth approximately $3.5 trillion.

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