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News   October 17, 2018   by Adam Malik

Technological change coming, and fast, AASA tech conference hears


Paul Golata of Mouser Electronics shows off a 1/16th size replica of a 3D printed car. He gave the opening keynote “The Future of the Aftermarket” at the AASA 2018 Technology Conference On Oct. 1.

With the amount of change coming to the automotive aftermarket, the industry better be ready to take on the change. It’s coming, and coming fast, one industry expert told attendees at a recent conference.

Paul Golata, senior technology specialist at Mouser Electronics, gave the opening keynote at the 2018 Technology Conference, presented by the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), where he warned that the aftermarket needs to figure out a plan to take on disruptive innovation with products and in traditional processes.

He urged attendees in Clearwater, Fla., at the beginning of October to think about what will become ubiquitous tomorrow that today doesn’t seem so. Take cell phones as an example, he said. When they first came out, who would have thought almost everyone would have one in their pocket? Who would have even thought that 15 years ago?

“It’s important to make sure we know what is coming and prepare for it,” Golata said.

He also noted that it’s important for suppliers to be flexible and able to adapt to change.

“Are you prepared to give exactly what the customer wants?” he asked.


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Autonomous vehicles, for example, are coming and will be part of the landscape, he added. It won’t happen until crashes stop, but they will come and preparations need to be made.

The conference also included sessions on self-healing software, what the aftermarket should be worried about in Washington, a presentation on augmented reality and tracks that focused on marketing, information technology and heavy duty.

Attendees also got to take part in hands-on live demonstrations of AR during the conference.

Also announced at the conference was that Patrick Enniss, product development manager at Mann+Hummel, will serve as the 2019 chairman of the Technology Council of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (ATC). Dave Haun, director of product data services, Gates Corp., joined the board as its newest governor.

Also serving as ATC governors are:

  • Marylou Hournung, director of sales operations, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
  • Kevin Pentecost, information security manager, Standard Motor Products

Brent Berman, director of training and consumer experience at Federal-Mogul, serves on the board as an ex-officio member.

The Council’s next gathering is its annual Spring Meeting, scheduled in conjunction with the 2019 AASA Vision Conference on April 3. The ATC Spring Meeting will be held Thursday, April 4. The event has a new location for 2019: The Henry in Dearborn, Mich.

 


 

AASA 2018 Technology Conference