KYB Europe Aftermarket exhibited at Automechanika Frankfurt last week (September 11-15). A leading supplier of automotive shock absorbers, coil springs and suspension mounting kits took the opportunity to highlight elements of the future on its booth.
On display was a prototype next generation lightweight strut type shock absorber, which was of great interest to both visitors and other exhibitors. The outer shell and bracket were integrally injection moulded with high strength carbon fibre reinforced thermo plastic resin. Carbon fibre reinforced resin is also adapted to the piston rod, which was previously a metal material on this model.
The prototype shock absorber demonstrates one of the many projects which explore possibilities for the future, from the award-winning KYB research and development team. Drivers have more and more demands for optional extras on their vehicles; entertainment systems, satellite navigation, multi-media suites – are almost standard. These extras all add weight to the vehicle, so components have evolved to compensate for the additional weight. Research and development engineers at KYB are constantly exploring ways for shock absorbers to evolve. The reduction in weight of these resin shock absorbers means the car would be more efficient and therefore kinder to the environment. This is just one example of how components may appear in the future.
KYB also considered the future by limiting the impact which attending this event would have on the environment, presenting a carbon neutral booth. Taking into account travel, booth manufacture, food and drink preparation and accommodation, the amount of CO2 generated was calculated using an independent online specialist. To offset this, KYB has made a donation to an environmental charity towards its work on combatting climate change, with a reforestation project in South America.
During Automechanika, KYB also showcased it’s growing portfolio of support tools which are aimed at helping the technicians who fit KYB products. This includes the new KYB Suspension Solutions App, which has some exciting new additions launched exclusively at the show – notably a labour calculation tool and a part specific fitting advice tool. The KYB Suspension Solutions programme also includes 360 degree images, fitting videos, part-specific fitting advice via QR codes and online technical support, all of which were demonstrated to visitors in the KYB Expert area on the booth.