Auto Service World
News   September 13, 2006   by Andrew Ross

Automechanika Product Award Winners Selected

As one of the world’s largest automotive events kicks off in Frankfurt, Germany, Automechanika has announced the winners of this year’s Innovation Awards.
In all, the expert jury decided on a total of 13 outstanding new developments in eight product categories. The winners were chosen from more than 100 innovations submitted from 15 countries, highlighting the international nature of the biennial event and the prestige of the awards.
Comprising leading representatives from the scientific world, the associations and the media, the jury selected the following companies as prize winners: Beru, Adolf Wrth, Valeo, BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik, Audi, Hella, Beissbarth, Volkswagen, AuDaCon, GL, SATA, Birchmeier and WashTec. The criteria for giving the Award were originality, functionality, quality and environmental compatibility.
The ‘Parts’ product category was won by PSG Glhkerze with its integrated combustion-chamber sensor from ‘Beru’. This innovation makes not only a contribution to fuel-consumption reduction but also helps cut emissions. A sensor measures the pressure in the combustion chamber and permits the use of closed-loop controls in series production.
In the ‘Systems’ category, the jury singled out the Wrth Vario ‘safe + easy’ Primer by Wrth and die Power Line Communication from Valeo. The Valeo system enables a step to be taken towards a vehicle with even more electronic components. Power Line Communication is a new technology that reduces the complexity of electrical systems and, at the same time, permits the integration of new equipment.
In the ‘Tuning’ segment, BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik came out top with its Air Inside Technology. In accordance with bionics, hollows in the rim increase the volume of air in the wheel. This results in better damping properties, lower noise levels and, in particular, a weight reduction of almost 22 kg per set of wheels.
The Innovation Award for ‘Accessories’ goes to Audi for the idea of an audio instruction manual and to Hella for the Ford Focus Upgrade Headlamp with Dyna Beam corning light. The audio instruction manual impressed the jury with its user friendliness. Hella’s new development of a corning light makes nighttime driving easier because corners are automatically illuminated. This phenomenon has been achieved by swivelling a bi-halogen module, which is controlled by an autonomous sensor.
Awards were also given for two new developments in the ‘Repair/Diagnostics’ segment. The ‘touchless’ vehicle-measuring system from Beissbarth is a wheel-alignment system that requires absolutely no contact with the vehicle so that both setting up and cabling are unnecessary. The ASAM-UDS implementation for Volkswagen VAS 5005X diagnosis systems makes a contribution to the standardisation of diagnosis data. ASAM e.V. is the Working Group for the Standardisation of Diagnose and Flash Programming, which has achieved a standardised transfer protocol under UDS.
With its AIS Online software, AuDaCon was the only company to be selected in the ‘Repair/Services’ category. The database-aided AIS Online system enables workshops to access technical information and repair data via the internet.
Two awards were made in the ‘Body Repair/Maintenance’ segment, for systems that simplify working procedures in the workshop. The laser-welding seam cutter from GL permits fast, safe and clean cuts to be made in laser-welded bodies and avoids weakening the materials. With SATA RPS, SATA offers a shaker system with fast paint preparation time, little cleaning work on the spray pistol and improved environmental friendliness, as well as an appropriate cost-cutting potential.
That systems do not have to be complex to win an Innovation Award is shown by the McProper Plus hand-spray unit from Birchmeier in the ‘Service Station/Car Wash’ category. The hand-spray unit can spray or foam in any position: slanted, vertically or overhead. Also singled out was the 3D vehicle-identification system for WashTec car washes. This system scans the vehicle in three dimensions and, on this basis, calculates the best wash programme for the vehicle concerned.
The Automechanika show runs until September 17.

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