The EQUIP AUTO International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation aims to select and reward the most innovative concepts, products and services presented by EQUIP AUTO exhibitors and shine a light on the emerging technology in the automotive aftermarket.
For this 18th edition of the EQUIP AUTO International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation, 142 entries were submitted by the exhibitors. The judging panel, comprising around 50 journalists from 15 countries, elected the winners from the 35 shortlisted entries.
The 2019 EQUIP AUTO International Grands Prix for Automotive Innovation Gold Trophy Winners are:
BODYWORK EQUIPMENT AND PAINT category
Stand: 1 C 085
Winning product: RAPTOR
Launch date: 01/01/2019
RAPTOR by ITALCAN is a paint booth equipped with infrared built into the walls that do not heat a volume of air but dry the supports directly. Its touch-sensitive control panel with 10-inch screen is highly intuitive to monitor the progress of the painting/drying cycle step-by-step in automatic mode (a multitude of programs available as standard).
The information key enables the user to monitor the cost of operation of the paint booth to cent-accuracy for each cycle, thus allowing the repair professional to find out their precise margin for each job in the paint booth. The drying times are reduced thanks to the infrared lamps and guarantee optimal through drying. The inverter technology and the setting allow the air speed to be adjusted according to the program in progress and also to compartmentalize the flow of air in 5 zones according to the type of repair to be carried out. It also is possible to compartmentalize the drying in six zones to optimize its cost of operation and gain productivity. Fitted with a web server remote connection, the manufacturer, CMC, can connect remotely to the booth in seconds and perform all checks and diagnostics, removing the need for a visit by a technician.
The belt-free direct drive between the large ventilation cage and the motors enables low rotation speed and low noise. A cross-flow heat recovery system recovers all the calories generated in order to reinject them into the system and guarantee low consumption. 100% electric, no need for fuel oil or gas.
The standard measurements are 7.5m long x 4.22m wide x 2.90m high. These dimensions make it possible to treat a vehicle + dismantled parts at the same time. It is fitted with 4 compressed air intakes in the booth for zone work. It is also equipped with high quality double plenum filters and double-layered bag filters.
“Productivity turns out at €10.77 for a, 80-minute cycle, as against €26.16 for a traditional solution (gas- fuel oil and electricity) over 120 minutes,” adds Julien Doisne, project manager at ItalCan, the CMC dealer for France for the Raptor booth.
ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT category
Stand: 1 E 034
Winning product:Sogefi fuel filter made from recycled Airbags
Launch date: 01/01/2018
In a world first, SOGEFI, PSA Group and SOLVAY have teamed-up to produce the first plastic fuel filter fully made of recycled polyamide 66.
It is ready for mass-production. The filter has been made using the brand-new plastic compound developed by SOLVAY Engineering Plastics. This material is 100% recycled from textile waste from airbags, providing a premium material able to fulfil the most demanding application requirements thanks to the circular economy, which is quite exceptional for the automotive industry.
SOGEFI used this material in its existing plastic injection process and tested the parts in extensive bench validation tests. It confirmed that this material is fully compatible with standard injection processes, OEM requirements, and that all the tests were passed successfully.
Finally, PSA Group selected the fuel filter of the DV 1.6l Euro6b engine supplied by SOGEFI, homologated the material quality and evaluated the whole validation process.
A life cycle analysis also was conducted, demonstrating the benefits. It was therefore proven that the circular economy and substantial ecological benefits can be harnessed in fulfilling concrete and demanding applications, required by latest generation engines.
“One year of production of the new Sogefi filter saves the equivalent of 483 tonnes of CO2, or 32% less greenhouse gas emissions, compared with the manufacture of a traditional filter. The aim of Sogefi is to extend recycled plastic to 100% of its product range,” added Grégory Gauthé, innovation product manager at Purflux.
LUBRICANTS, VEHICLE CARE PRODUCTS, WASHING, ROADSIDE SERVICES category
Stand: 1 M 030
Winning product: Premium gantry car wash Kärcher CWB 3 Klean!Star iQ
Launch date: 01/10/2019
Kärcher launches a smart and modern gantry car wash that offers excellent washing and drying results and is tailored to the increasing complexity of rim and body design. The CWB 3 Klean!Star iQ possesses many innovative features based on 13 patented solutions. It gives investors the opportunity to better satisfy customers and increase turnover and return on investment.
K!Brush iQ: a unique multi-segment vertical brush, divided into five to seven individual segments to completely fit all the shapes of the vehicle and clean it thoroughly. A 90° brush rotation arrangement follows the contours perfectly, whether along the side of the vehicle or at the front and rear.
K!Planet iQ: the unprecedented multi-brush wheel washer, which works like an electric toothbrush thanks to three rotary brushes mounted on a disk rotating in both directions. The application of a special Kärcher detergent for wheel rims, high-pressure cleaning and an automatic height adjusting movement complete the cleaning result by reaching the full surface of big and small wheels whatever the vehicle width.
K!Dry iQ: a unique and innovating high-performance drying system. Two rotating booms that can be tilted in two angles (30° and 270°) are equipped with several nozzles delivering high-pressure and high-flow to blow into difficult-to-reach places such as behind the spoiler, so that the most sophisticated car bodies can be dried in a single run.
Based on a single, very robust premium structure, with three different heights available from 2.10 to 2.90 m, a multitude of configurations are possible with up to eight dosing pumps and eight fitted detergent drums, foam brushes to protect the car body, customizable panels, operation with recycling water and the latest market innovations.
Giovanni Barret, product manager at Kärcher, explains the benefits of the new gantry wash. “The set- up is based on 10 innovations and 13 patents. The new brushes wash the wheels and rims whatever the size of the car and the rims. The multi-segment brushes are suited to all shapes of vehicle body, which are increasingly complex on all four sides. The end product helps to save water and electricity.”
PARTS, EQUIPMENT AND COMPONENTS (REPLACEMENT) category
Company: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
Stand: 1 G 050
Winning product: Electric Blue brake pad
Launch date: 01/02/2019
The TRW Electric Blue range is a new innovative braking solution for electric vehicles. Tested to the highest standards, it helps to reduce noise and vibration. It also allows professionals to offer a range of brake pads covering 97% of the electric vehicles in continental Europe. With the TRW Electric Blue range, ZF is providing better solutions for the growing electric vehicle market.
A key objective was the reduction of interior braking noise, which can be heard more in electric vehicles due to the lack of engine noise. Furthermore, Electric Blue Brake Pads come with blue shims that not only visually differentiate this range but also support the original target with increased damping properties. All Electric Blue Brake Pads are supplied with the necessary rubberized accessories that additionally support the pads’ noise-damping properties.
With the TRW Electric Blue Brake Pad, ZF provides features that solve the NVH problem (noise, vibration, harshness) faced by OEMs – and brings these solutions to the aftermarket.
Faster fitting of brake parts: all this product innovation and enhanced safety is matched with great service quality. The TRW Electric Blue Brake Pad comes with all the fitting accessories required to achieve a fast fit. The 50,000km warranty will give fitters peace of mind guarantee customers with even better service.
“The Electric Blue brake pad range is the first step of a more extensive approach to electric vehicle braking, with discs, controls and other specificities to be developed,” adds Alexis Ghyselinck, aftermarket marketing manager at ZF TRW.
TYRES, WHEEL ACCESSORIES AND SERVICES category
Stand: 3 B 039
Winning product: Hunter Revolution Walkaway tire changer
Launch date: 01/01/2019
HUNTER TYPE REVOLUTION WALKAWAY is a fully automatic tire changer. It offers an 80-second unattended bead breaking and demounting process. The operation is hydraulic for greater safety and even less effort. With the “walkaway” function, the machine reduces effort and error.
This results in a 25% time savings for the mounting and balancing of a four-wheel set. The tire changer allows the operator to “walk away” during the bead breaking and demounting process. A status indicator lamp signals when the machine is in operation or has finished. During the automatic demounting process, the operator is free to balance the wheels, saving even more time. The REVOLUTION WALKAWAY improves workplace safety even further:
– The operator stands back and lets the machine do the work;
– Leverless safety: No levers to hit the operator;
– The operator’s hands stay away from the assembly;
– The user-friendly wheel lift: no need to lift the wheels manually, thus protecting the operator’s back.
“The particularity of the Revolution Walkaway by Hunter is that it is fully automatic and uses the same process, whatever the type and size of the wheel,” said Eric Boistelle, key account director at Provac. “With conventional procedures, the operator has to perform 17 different tasks. With Revolution Walkaway, there are only four.”
REPAIRS, MAINTENANCE, GARAGE EQUIPMENT category
Company: MAHLE AFTERMARKET
Stand: 3 H 082
Winning product: TechPRO Digital ADAS
Launch date: 01/02/2019
The TechPRO Digital ADAS solution completely changes the maintenance of ADAS systems. It saves up to 80% in time, compared to traditional systems and saves workshop space thanks to digital and patented KEYSTONE technology. Super simple and easy to use, it makes the maintenance of Adas systems accessible to all workshops. With the TARGETLESS digital system (patent), no additional panel is required. The system takes 5 minutes at the most to align and position. All the operations can be carried out by a single operator. TARGETLESS TECHNOLOGY is a MAHLE patented technology and the core element of the system. The versatility of the digital panel allows means that the screen can be adapted to any existing or future car maker reference. It is simple to use and will guide the user through all the steps of the calibration procedure protocol. Fully automatic, the calibration frame is adjusted automatically, through the electric control, and any movement of the target in relation to the car is automatic and virtual. The car never needs to be moved!
KEYSTONE SYSTEM: Extreme accuracy is guaranteed by the self-adaptive system, which allows the software to evaluate the environmental and physical conditions (floor, distance from vehicle) and adjust the digital target image accordingly.
The solution guarantees the widest possible automotive market coverage.
The database behind the operation of TechPRO Digital ADAS follows the constant development of TechPRO self-diagnosis
Jean-Pierre Deshaye, the representative in France for MAHLE Aftermarket, points to the advantages contributed by the TechPRO Digital ADAS solution: “Positioning the vehicle is the most complex operation to perform with a conventional device. The digital screen compensates for poor alignment with the vehicle. Distance compensation is automatic, so for a double calibration, the projection of the target on the screen adjusts in size as if the target were further back.”
SERVICES FOR PROFESSIONALS / SERVICES FOR CONNECTED MOBILITY category
Company: GROUPE LACOUR
Stand: 1 B 070
Launch date: 01/12/2019
SERI is an innovative and scalable solution to automatically scan, calculate and list the damage on a vehicle. Using cutting-edge technology, the technical platform is made up of four main components:
– a reliable and precise measuring tool to identify, measure and classify the impacts;
– artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze the content of the images;
– a manufacturer database to identify the vehicle and calculate in real time the cost of repair;
– a 3D restitution of the analyzed impacts.
The technology is employed on hail-damaged vehicles and is based on the absolute 3-D measurement of vehicles (shape and defects), which offers the potential of extending its field of application to other problems such as scratches and collision impacts.
The shapes of the dents are measured in 3-D and all metrological data can be applied to classify the damage: diameter, depth, etc. The dents can be measured on all outer surfaces of the vehicle, using a deflectometry process.
In addition, the system uses deep learning artificial Intelligence components. This will enable it to become increasingly effective in analyzing and processing the images. The dents are displayed in real time. The result can be viewed in 3-D, with automatic allocation of each impact to car body and car glass part.
It takes one minute to analyze and measure the vehicle to then compile the report and automatically calculate the repair estimate. Finally, this solution can be moved around using a special trailer. It then only takes a few hours to set up.
Romain Carre, project director at Groupe Lacour, highlights the advantages of the SERI solution. “Built onto a trailer and operational in the space of a few hours, SERI automates the choice of repair service to offer: dent removal without repainting, part repair, or replacement,” Carre said.
The official awards ceremony will take place at the EQUIP AUTO gala evening, to be held on Tuesday Oct. 15, in the presence of many leading personalities from the automotive industry and media.
The 2019 roll of honor will be joined by further winners at the show with the media’s “Special Awards” made by French journalists in partnership with the press association AJTE. These “favorites” will reward the innovations spotted on exhibitors’ stands by the journalists, and the awards will also be presented at the gala evening on Oct. 15.